Edit: the audio of the speech mentioned below is available as an mp3.
From: Noah Iliinsky
Date: August 26, 2011 11:04:21 AM PDT
Subject: History, inspiration, thanks.
Twenty years ago this week, we were in the same room. You were speaking to the incoming class at Reed College, and I was one of those freshmen. I remember you talking about your time at Reed, how you were always hungry, ate Roman Meal because it was filling, and would go to the Hare Krishna temple because they’d feed you (and then you’d all go steal flowers out of yards to sell). You had a friend, maybe a dean, who’d slip you $20 or $50 once in a while when you went for walks.
I was excited to see you that day, because I’d fallen in love with the Macintosh four years earlier, in 1987, when I was 13. It was so clear to me what a superior solution it was, relative to everything else that existed. It was fully as magical then as the iPad is now. I don’t know whether it inspired my passion for excellent design, or resonated with an innate sense that was already there, but that passion has never left me.
(Incidentally, while at Reed, I loved using the NeXT machines, and took a computing class from Richard Crandall. I remember your welcome greeting in the Mail program.)
These days I’m still focused on creating excellent experiences; I consult, lecture, and write (http://www.oreillynet.com/pub/au/4419) about information visualization, specifically in the domain of helping people learn how to do it well, so they can create successful, efficient, beautiful solutions.
Thank you, Steve, for all that you’ve done for us over the last 30+ years. Not only have you brought amazing designs to the world, and proven to the world that design deeply matters, but your dedication and vision has inspired me (and thousands of other designers) to do excellent work, to strive to continuously create better solutions. I cannot imagine what my life would have looked like without your contributions. Thank you.
Very best wishes, Noah