I have been a Mac user since 1985, when I was in the seventh grade. For months I lusted after the Mac on display at Computerland on Van Ness Avenue in San Francisco. I’d go there after school just to play with MacPaint. It simply captured my imagination. Finally, after many weeks of begging, I got my dad to buy me a 512K Mac. Thus began my love affair with Apple.

Imagine how lucky I felt when I actually began working on the brand and on Pixar in 2001-2002. It was such a privilege to be so close to the magic and to Steve Jobs himself.

The Steve Jobs I knew was human. Not a god. Not someone who could distort reality. Just a man.

But he was sharp and always focused with his opinions and observations. He demanded perfection. Always.

I was a lowly pixel pusher when I worked directly with him. In addition to Pixar.com, I also designed some pitch slides for him. His feedback was always direct and always right. Yes it was surreal to have him call me on the phone and for me to load slides on his Mac.

Near the end of my tenure at Pixar, I wanted to do more. I was hoping to build a little design department there. But Steve didn’t think I was ready, and he told me so—directly. Even though I was crushed at the time, it was probably one of the best pushes I ever got to do better, to stay hungry, and to stay foolish.

Thank you, Steve. You changed me—and more importantly, the world—for the better.