Steve Jobs: The tragic loss of a visionary leader
As a technology writer and enthusiast I’m finding it difficult to come to terms with the news of Steve Jobs’ passing. For as long as I can remember Steve Jobs has shaped the way I see, experience and understand technology. It’s safe to say that we wouldn’t be enjoying the diverse range of elegant, user-friendly and powerful products we use today without his incredible vision and determination to change the way we interact with computers.
After several years battling pancreatic cancer, Steve passed away peacefully on October 5 2011, surrounded by his family and close friends. It’s clear from the sheer volume of comments and messages I’ve read over the past few hours – from the most unlikely of people – that his impact on society has been far greater than anyone ever imagined.
Steve was able to sculpt Apple into the world’s most innovative computer company. A company that all others aspire to be, whether they admit to it or not. Despite their best efforts, Apple’s closest competitors are still years behind the curve, constantly playing catch up. It is clear that over the past few years Steve Jobs has been developing a team of people capable of carrying his vision forwards into the decades to come. Let’s just hope the likes of CEO Tim Cook and senior vice presidents Jonathan Ive, Scott Forstall and Philip Schiller can continue on from where he left off.
“Steve was among the greatest of American innovators — brave enough to think differently, bold enough to believe he could change the world, and talented enough to do it,” – President Barack Obama
I was lucky enough to have been born in the early eighties at a time when computing was on the verge of exploding in popularity, growing exponentially in both power and versatility. Back then personal computers were expensive luxury devices with very limited capabilities, but over the years I’ve been lucky enough to experience their transition into smaller, more powerful and more affordable devices first hand.
When you grow up loading apps onto your TV screen for ten minutes via cassette tape, rather than downloading them onto your iPhone in seconds through thin air, you have a greater appreciation of just how big an impact Apple and Steve Jobs have had on our lives. It’s hard to imagine a world without iPhones, iPads and Macs. Yes, all these innovations would still have taken place without Steve Job’s involvement, but would they have been anywhere near as engaging, compelling, usable and beautiful as they are today? Not a chance.
“Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me … Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful … that’s what matters to me.” – Steve Jobs 2003 (Wall Street Journal)
I can vividly recall my first experience with an Apple computer during my first year at middle school. I remember being blown away by what it could do, and more importantly, what it enabled me to do. It was my first experience designing on a computer, which ignited my passion for graphic design, one that led me into a career in web development and multimedia design.
To this day his vision continues to change the way we perceive and interact with computers. He is an inspiration to many and his contributions to technology will be sorely missed.
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life … Stay hungry. Stay foolish.” – Steve Jobs (2005 Stanford commencement speech)Tagged in: apple, computers, ipad, iphone, Steve Jobs, technology
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