Virtually everything I do on a daily basis involves a bit of technology that Steve Jobs either designed or influenced.
I owe my current livelihood to the company he built, and virtually every computer I've ever used or owned had his stamp on it, from that first Apple II in Saudi Arabian kindergarten all the way to the MacBook Pro I'm typing this on from New Zealand, and the iPhone 4 at my left side, and the iPad 2 on my right.
As a writer, virtually every word I've created has been born on a Mac. Every photo or video I've taken has been edited and stored on one. In my public speeches, I have deliberately swiped Jobs's speaking style and presentation skills, and as a result I've gained ovations at every presentation I've given.
I think back to what technology was like when I was a little kid, and I look at it now, and the world of 2011 bears as much resemblance to 1977 as 1977 did to 1877. Steve Jobs had a vision, and he had the brains to gather fellow visionaries together, and together they changed the world forever.
I always wished I could meet the man, shake his hand, and tell him "Thank you" in person. Now, like virtually every other person I've grown to admire and respect, I will never get the chance. Steve Jobs now joins a hall of great artists and geniuses like Mark Twain, Albert Einstein, John Lennon, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Henson, Gene Roddenberry, Kurt Cobain, and Douglas Adams — all great people who have had a profound influence on my life, but who will never know it, because I can never tell them.
The candle that burns twice as brightly burns but half as long, and you burned so very, very brightly. Goodbye.