We've come to expect technology products to have great design, but that's a relatively new phenomenon. People used to get away with building crap like most Blackberry phones or most PC's. I'd argue this shift towards great design is largely (mostly?) thanks to Apple.
Apple believed, and still believes, that computers shouldn't just help us be more productive, they should help capture and express human emotion and creativity.
When a reporter asked Steve Jobs why he felt this was important, his response was simple and powerful:
"There are a lot of forces in life that tend to funnel us down into this institutionalized path where people sometimes forget that they’re very unique and that they have very unique feelings and perspectives."
Amen. The next time somebody tries to get you excited about a new Excel feature, remind yourself there's often a difference between what's helpful and what's inspiring. We are not fucking robots.
Here's the rest of his answer (links to relevant part of video).
When I launched Stew's Letter, I promised to "send out an email each week."
When Ted Turner launched CNN, he promised the following:
"We won't be signing off until the world ends. We'll be on, and we will cover the end of the world, live, and that will be our last event... we'll play Nearer, My God, To Thee before we sign off.”
I really wish Ted Turner would send out an email newsletter.