Ten years ago, at this time, I was experiencing one of the biggest rushes of my life. No, I’m not talking about my marriage (though that’s a big one), nor the birth of my children (also up there). In fact, this rush doesn’t compare to either of those. But it’s important, because I shared it with several hundred of my closest friends. I’m talking about the launch of Apple’s first iPhone.
When the iPhone was first announced, the Apple faithful (which included pretty much everyone with whom I worked, since I worked at an Apple Store) were reasonably excited. Very, very excited. We were like kids waiting for Santa Jobs to bring us a Buddha’s Day present (I know that’s not a thing). Shortly after the announcement, my wife sent Steve an email, asking him to please not have the release of the iPhone on our wedding day, that October. I like to believe he listened to her.
Regardless, the day came on June 29th, and we were all bouncing off the walls. We closed the store so we could unbox the new toy, put it out on display, and (for the Genius team and a few others) play with a couple so that we could answer questions about them. One decade ago, today, was the first time I ever dropped an iPhone.
I was turning it over in my hand, marveling at how the engineers had managed to compress a computer more powerful than the original Mac into such a small form factor (compare it to today’s iPhone, and the original is so fat). It slipped through my fingers, hit the floor, and slid to the center of the room. Everyone in the Genius Room got really quiet and looked first at the iPhone lying face down on the concrete, and then at me. I walked over to the nearly $1000 pocket computer and reached down to pick it up.
I fully expected the glass to be shattered, as I flipped it over. I was more than a little relieved to find there was nary a scratch on it. I gladly passed the device to someone else, thankful I didn’t have to explain that one to a manager.
We opened the door a couple hours later and the crowds rushed in to pick up their own. We sold and sold until we were all physically exhausted, but still mentally wired. It would still be some time before any of us got to take one home for our own, but we didn’t care. We had experienced the launch of a product that would rival the Mac in its importance to pushing technology forward. It’s a day I will never forget, not only because of my new technological friend, but because of all the human ones with whom I got to experience its birth.