Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, at the company memorial of Steve Jobs:
But there is one more thing he leaves us. He leaves us with each other. Because without him, Apple would have died in the late-90s, and the vast majority of us would have never met.
The works of Apple have touched and will continue to touch many people's lives. They have certainly touched, and changed, mine. I gave up on programming when I decided to major in the humanities. Many years later, I realized that I still liked software and cared about it. In 2004 I wanted to pick up the skills again, but found the landscape wide and unwieldy. I didn't know where to start. In the summer of that year, I bought the first Mac that I truly owned — a PowerBook G4 — and found a starting point: an open source project on Traditional Chinese input methods that a couple of good friends and I started. Mac OS X always had a great UNIX foundation, and Mac was already the choice of many open source developers. Friends taught me important things I needed to catch up, like how C++ had evolved during the years I wasn't paying attention. At the same time I realized that the native app development on Mac OS X had its roots in NeXTSTEP. Years ago, I was once shown the amazing NeXT cubes at an acquaintance's lab when he was doing his grad study in Hsinchu, Taiwan, and I never dreamt that one day I'd be able to program with the operating system's software frameworks. It was a joy, almost illuminating, to discover and learn that so many good things had never lost their way. With the PowerBook, I learned how to program once more, and I've got to know many great people and made many good friends.
I wrote to Steve Jobs once. That was when Snow Leopard first came out in the late summer of 2009, and there were some issues with the new Traditional Chinese fonts. Those issues made them unusable in formal settings. With friends' help and encouragement, we compiled the screenshots, filed Radar, and I finally got to draft the email. I didn't expect him to read it, but the next day, someone at Apple replied, asking if I could send back the attachments that I "emailed Mr. Jobs." And the issues with the fonts were eventually resolved. It's not the famous one-liner that people loved to post online, and it's easy for us to attribute everything that a company does to one person. Still, that is important: there are people at Apple that care.
I appreciate that Apple shared the recording of its company event with the rest of the world. It was solemn but at times lighthearted, comforting and at the same time gracefully cheering. It gave me a way to say goodbye, even though I never met him.
Nobody is an island, and what a great loss it was. Norah Jones's songs soothed, and Coldplay lifted us up. It is truly, in Apple's own way, a celebration of Steve's life.
Thank you, Steve.