A Visionary’s Farewell: The Cambridge Tech Community Says Goodbye to Steve Jobs at a Kendall Square Memorial Service

Posted by erik devaney

How do you go about celebrating the life of one of the greatest entrepreneurs in history; a man who took the endless complexities of computers and ever-so-elegantly packaged them into sleek, easy-to-use devices?

The Kendall Square Association (KSA) knew the answer: keep it simple.

At the recent Steve Jobs memorial service, which the KSA hosted on the Entrepreneur Walk of Fame, members of the Cambridge community took turns commenting on the extraordinary life of the Apple co-founder. In many instances, speakers also shared stories about how Apple products affected – and continue to affect – their lives.

There was no Teleprompter, no massive stage and no blinding array of lights. Instead, behind Steve Jobs’ star on the Walk of Fame were a simple podium and a small PA system. The speakers took turns, in open mike-fashion, going up to the podium and saying a few words.

Attendees of the memorial service were quiet and respectful, and it was clear that most were members of the Cambridge tech community.

“Steve Jobs was an innovator and a visionary,” Augie from the Cambridge Innovation Center told New England Post. “As someone who has worked with Apple computers all of my life, this was a nice way for me to come out and think about the man behind the business.”

Even those who didn’t originally plan on coming to the Steve Jobs service couldn’t help but stop when they walked by. “I had just gotten out of work and saw all of the people when I got off the bus,” said Diana, who works at MIT. “I thought it was a real comment that everyone had their iPods and iPhones out.”

Emceeing the event was Kendall Square Association President and Cambridge Innovation Center CEO, Tim Rowe.

Rowe commented that Jobs was an “incredible innovator and technologist who touched many of our lives” and encouraged attendees to “remember what he gave to all of us.” Rowe also explained that the open mike format of the memorial service was intended to keep “with the open and relaxed entrepreneurial style” that Jobs was known for.

Attendees learned from Rowe that putting on a memorial service for Steve Jobs in Cambridge was, appropriately, a spontaneous occurrence. After receiving a few emails asking if the KSA would be hosting anything at the Steve Jobs Walk of Fame star, Rowe thought, “that would be a really wonderful thing if we could do that.”

The Vice Mayor of Cambridge, Henrietta Davis, showed up to lend her support. A self-proclaimed “proud Apple user,” Davis said of Steve Jobs: “I don’t think we’ll know, in our lifetimes even, how much he’s changed the world.”

Vice Mayor Davis went on to say that Jobs clearly represented something “really big” due to the fact that both her 1-year-old granddaughter and 90-year-old mother could figure out how to use an iPad. According to Davis, the visionary Apple co-founder helped make Kendall Square “the entrepreneurial center that we are.”

Of all of the speakers who contributed to the event, one really stood out as having a deep, emotional connection to Steve Jobs and the Apple brand. Bettina Hein, the Founder and CEO of the Cambridge-based startup, Pixability, told attendees that she owes her career to the entrepreneur in the black turtleneck. “I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for Steve Jobs,” she said.

Hein gave a chronological account of how Jobs and the Apple brand contributed to her success. When she was 9, she was introduced to programming on an Apple computer in a computer class (Hein had the folder from that class with her at the memorial service). When she was 14, Hein’s father bought her an Apple Macintosh to do her homework on. When she was 19, she took the money she had made from a high school job and invested it in Apple computer shares. When she was 26, she took the “Apple” computer class folder with her to a meeting where she met the future co-founders of her first tech company.

Most recently, when Hein was 34, she sold her Apple computer shares and founded Pixability.

Before leaving the podium, Hein encapsulated the feelings of all of those involved with the Steve Jobs memorial service when she stated, “…I like to live by his maxim, ‘stay hungry, stay foolish.’ Thank you, Steve.”

Related posts:

  1. Cambridge Remembers Steve Jobs; Memorial Service to be held October 11th in Kendall Square
  2. Commemorating Steve Jobs Through Social Media
  3. Apple’s Mystique May Grow with Steve Jobs’ Death
  4. Loco for Locu; Cambridge Startup to Launch Online Menu Service, Receives Funding From Some of the Biggest Names in Tech
  5. Steve Jobs Told Us What We Needed Before We Knew

Short URL: http://www.newenglandpost.com/?p=5519

Posted by erik devaney on Oct 12 2011. Filed under Featured - For home page featured article, General. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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