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2011 YEAR IN REVIEW

Recall: How Steve Jobs even changed Mexicans with Guns

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“Let’s have a look,” Bono told the Chicago Tribune. “The ‘devil’ here is a bunch of creative minds, more creative than a lot of people in rock bands. The lead singer is Steve Jobs. These men helped design the most beautiful art object in music culture since the electric guitar. That’s the iPod. The job of art is to chase ugliness away.”

Steve Jobs obsessed more about stuff like the beauty of the computer’s power chord than business projections. Marketing and design, again, were his passions, but he had the soul of an artist. It was Jobs that delivered the now-legendary “Think Different” campaign. “We at Apple had forgotten who we were,” he told Isaacson. “One way to remember who you are is to remember who your heroes are.” The campaign, one of the most powerful in the history of advertising, featured black-and-white photographs of key historical figures (Chaplin, John and Yoko, Picasso, Miles, César Chávez, and many others) with the simple slogan, “Think Different.” Just a slogan and the Apple logo — even if there were questions about whether it was proper English.

“I never owned an iPod, iPad, iPhone, or any type of Apple computer,” Mexicans With Guns’ Ernest Gonzales defiantly wrote the Current. But even he was forced to reconsider, writing back minutes later: “But if the computer never became a household thing then there would be none of my music as I know it.”

At the upcoming 54th annual Grammy Awards in February, Jobs will be posthumously honored with a Trustees Award, one of the Special Merit Awards given every year by The Recording Academy to people who offer "a variety of brilliance, contributions, and lasting impressions on our culture" and who had "an indelible impact on our industry."

Few of us have not been touched by Jobs. But ultimately, his victory had nothing to do with computers or even the music industry. “This wasn’t about processor speed or memory,” he once said. “It was about creativity.”

He was damn right, and that’s why he changed not only one world, but several. In the process he changed us too by making beautiful and easy-to-use products allowing each of us to express ourselves more clearly.

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