What Nashville Owes Steve Jobs

Even though I never met Steve Jobs and there’s a lot about his life I’m not attracted to, I do share with hundreds of millions of other people around the globe, a sadness in his passing.

I became an Apple convert right after Steve returned to the company and released OS X, and I’ve never looked back.  Some people called me an Apple fan-boy.  And if being satisfied with products that work beautifully, look great, and last it seems forever, then I am – without apology.

I’ve been thinking what we really owe Steve Jobs, is that his relentless commitment to change the world through technology is in his recognition of a fledgling company called Pixar which brings us brilliant and inspiring movies.  Maybe so, but I think there is something greater, particularly to those of us who are creators and live in creative centers like Nashville, LA, New York, and the rest.

Above all things, at least to me, Steve Jobs took the keys away from the gatekeepers and gave them to those of us who feel called to create art and great, inspiring content.  When I moved to Nashville, the keys to the kingdom were held by the few label executives based in Nashville, yet owned by companies all over the world.  Just to get a song demo-ed would cost what seemed like an arm and a leg.  And as everyone in Nashville knows, a demo is a dime a dozen.

What Steve Jobs did is give technology to the average guy.  He gave us the power to take our ideas and put them down in video, audio, and on paper, and share them with the world.  Now anyone in a garage or a back room can record audio that would have cost hundreds of thousands of dollars and many weeks of time.

So thank you, Steve, for giving ordinary, average guys like me and other creatives around the world who weren’t born with a silver spoon in their mouth, a chance to be heard.

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