Where were you when you found out that Steve Jobs passed away? That could soon be a question bounced around for decades, much like asking someone where they were on September 11th, during massive natural disasters or other pivotal points in history.
That could go to show that Jobs was someone much more than just Apple's co-founder and former chief executive officer. It even reveals that he was more than just a pop culture icon, which could be attributed to the raving fans at product announcement keynotes and his signature black turtleneck.
But pop culture is fleeting. No, Jobs was more than all of that. He will always be remembered as an icon in the history of technology as well as the United States, and even beyond those borders.
So where was I? If I had stayed online for five minutes longer following the end of Oracle CEO Larry Ellison's public cloud keynote (or actually, rant about Salesforce), then I would have been at Oracle OpenWorld, surrounded by 45,000 attendees in the technology industry finding out just around the same time. That would have made for a much different experience.
Instead, I left as soon as that was over, making for a more personal moment to news that touched the world. About an hour after leaving, I heard that inescapable, and now signature, sound of a new text message on an iPhone. The message from a friend simply read, "OMG." Thinking that if she couldn't explain what the problem was in the same message, I figured it could wait. As I was in transit, only about 20 to 30 minutes later did I end up responding asking what was the matter.
She replied within a few minutes with a simple answer: "Steve Jobs."
And then I knew. It's unfortunate that was all she had to say. But as Jobs' tragic battle with cancer was so public and given his recent resignation as Apple's CEO, no explanation was necessary.
More so, take a look at this AP interview with Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak:
It's a strange feeling to suddenly mourn the loss of someone you've never met. But as I looked around my belongings -- a MacBook Pro, an iPhone, and an iPad (along with another first-gen iPhone somewhere else and a broken iPod mini in the closet) -- I realized that this man has more than just touched my life, but rather shaped it to a certain extent. Through that, in a sense you could say that I did know him. But with those products and their eventual success, maybe he knew all of us better.
So in that moment when I heard the second iPhone text chime and looked down, the world instantly felt a bit emptier.
Where were you when you found out about Steve Jobs?