I never spoke to Steve Jobs or had any of those famous emails threads with him.
The closest I got was standing just a few feet away from him at the AllThingsD D5 conference back in 2007. It was a group of us talking in the hallway and Steve just sort of walked by and starting chatting with someone nearby. I believe Brian Lam was right there as well, and was chatting with Steve. I recall sometime later that day, Brian telling me how amazing it was to hear that Steve read Gizmodo 3-4 times/day !
D is one of these conferences with top executives in the digital world, and it was instantly clear to me that Steve Jobs was in his own category. He was the only person who created a buzz when he walked through the hallway. He was the only person people would remark to me later in conversations that when they got to meet him, would have to call their wife/husband an instant later, to let them know. Simply put, it was a defining moment for people to even be in his presence.
At the joint interview session with Steve Jobs & Bill Gates — people packed the hall and it was one of the most amazing conversations I’ve ever seen on stage.
When Jobs remarked that “You and I have memories longer than the road that stretches out ahead” – I don’t think there was a dry eye in the audience.
By a strange coincidence, I was searching for some older photos last night, and stumbled on this one from that night in 2007 (taken by Adam Tow and captioned “Raanan is witness to the Steve Jobs and Bill Gates interview at D5.”):
It’s been amazing reading all the coverage today, and there are some really interesting posts going up tonight that everyone should check out, including:
- A must-read from my buddy Brian Lam: Steve Jobs Was Always Kind To Me (Or, Regrets of An Asshole)
- Walt Mossberg on his relationship with Steve Jobs: The Steve Jobs I Knew
- Steve Levy: Steve Jobs, 1955 – 2011
So a sad day for many of us, but very inspirational as well – just watch this: