In the spirit of the holiday, most of here at Cult of Mac have decided to spend the day with our friends and families, but like last year, we thought we’d observe the holiday by writing about why we’re thankful for Apple and its products this year. We hope you’ll join in in the comments
Leander Kahney: I’m thankful for Steve Jobs, God speed the old buzzard. He could be a piece of work, and not a lot of fun to be around, but by Golly he pushed us all forward. Has there been anyone in the last 30 years who’s had as profound an impact on our culture, through the crucible of Apple? (I’m amazed by the number of comments about him these last few months who dismiss him as just a nifty gadget maker; or Malcolm Gladwell’s dismissive characterization of him as a mere “tinkerer.”) It’s not just his vision of democratizing tech, but also his energy and drive. Running any enterprise is exhausting, requiring huge investments of emotional energy. It must have been extraordinarily demanding to get up every day and constantly push people to produce better and better work. As Jonny Ive noted in his moving memorial to his friend (link to post), no one cared as a much as Jobs, and he paid the highest toll. Perhaps this contributed to him passing before his time? If so, it gives some meaning to his early death — the energy he expended changing the world took its toll on his body. Either way, thanks Steve.
Adam Rosen: I’m thankful to Apple because it’s nice to know there are
still some companies around who take pride in creating quality products that people truly value and desire. Computing and computers are commodity items these days, but Apple goes the extra mile to make those products beautiful and well designed. They are not afraid to be original and think (differently) outside the box. Pride in workmanship still holds meaning, something easily overlooked in our profit-driven culture. For that I am thankful, and hope that they continue to keep these beliefs as they grow in years to come.
Ed Sutherland: I’m thankful for the iPad, which allows me to check email, play games and surf the Web without staying tied to my desktop iMac and away from family. I’m thankful for Apple providing a platform to launch Angry Birds, without which I’d probably be watching way too much television. I’m thankful that Apple has created an entirely new topic of discussion with my kids, as well as another fissure in the widening generation gap.
Giles Turnbull: The thing I’m most thankful for this year is my iPad 2, which has changed how the whole family does all sorts of tasks. I thought I’d just use it for work and testing apps, but everyone in the house now ends up turning to the iPad, where previously they’d have used the old kitchen MacBook (which now doesn’t do much except play music and run Lego Digital Designer). My wife explores ravelry.com on the iPad. My son plays Casey’s Contraptions, Worms, and Minecraft Pocket Edition. The iPad makes computing more sociable, less intrusive, just plain easier. Thanks Apple.
This Thanksgiving, I’m particularly thankful for how Apple has become such an integral part of who I am. It sounds cheesy, but Apple’s products have profoundly impacted the way I live my life, and its products inform my work on a day to day basis. It’s so exciting to go hands-on with a new Apple product or find innovate apps in the App Store that change something about the way I interact with others or complete a task.
I think that Apple is a great example of how technology can make one’s life better. I’m thankful for all of the ways that Apple has led me to new friends and new ways of doing things. Apple has become a huge part of my identity, and I’m definitely thankful for that.
John Brownlee: Last year when we did this, I wrote something about my girlfriend’s iPod, more or less as an excuse to write about something that mattered, something so much more irreplaceably dear to me than a slate of aluminum and glass ever could be. As time goes on, though, I realize that with few exceptions, all of the Apple devices on my desk have become imbued with deep emotional memories. And that’s, of course, as it should be, because Apple’s products aren’t just gadgets… they are objects of beauty and craftsmanship, put together with care, and made companions in my life. Apple’s made products I care enough about enough to consider to be parts of my life. I’m thankful they ever gave a damn enough to do that.
Pete Mortensen: This Thanksgiving, now that I’ve got the bird in the oven and the Lions on the TV, I’m grateful to Apple for helping to provide me with the life that I have. From the time I was a young kid, Apple products have been cherished supporting characters as I have grown, from playing Oregon Trail on an Apple II at school to publishing school newspapers on Macs to covering the company as a journalist and now consulting on strategy and innovation.
The Apple of today is a very different one from the brash revolutionaries I first became acquainted with in the early 1980s. In several markets, they’re the establishment, not the upstart. But they’re still unwilling to settle, they still constantly make decisions no other company will take the risk for, and they’re providing a model for how to run a design-driven high technology company. Even when you’re mad at them, this company makes you think. And that’s what I’m most thankful for.