I ran into Steve Jobs at Dulles Airport in Washington. "You're Steve Jobs," I said, reaching out my hand with a big smile.
He ignored my hand. "Who are you?" he said.
Steve is not the glad-handing type. It was awkward, and I wished I hadn't done it. I guess I couldn't help myself because I'm one of his biggest fans.
From an early age, Steve Jobs has been in the spotlight. Since he appeared on the cover of Time at 26, everybody wants a piece of him. Everyone wants to say they know him and tell their friends about him.
I follow his career. I think about him every time I use my iPhone or listen to my iPod while running or working out at the gym. I feel connected to the man who wouldn't shake my hand because he was my advocate in coming up with some "insanely great products" in his time.
Steve was able, through his personality, charisma, vision, and smarts, to demand the best from a team. Then he propelled them to go beyond what they thought was best and onto a breakthrough. Millions of other end users and I are the beneficiaries.
Earlier this year, in Orlando, I asked 100 or so senior product developers from companies like Caterpillar, Hewlett Packard, and John Deere what product they'd adopted that "rocked their world." Someone blurted out "iPhone," and there were murmurs of agreement. But then the room was quiet. Apparently it is easier to talk about innovation than ...