Goodbye Steve Jobs - inventor, innovator and icon
Today the world lost one of the most celebrated innovators; someone who catalysed technological advance, polarised opinion and helped architect the modern world. Today, I'm mourning the (somewhat inevitable, but no less upsetting) loss of Steve Jobs, Apple CEO at the young age of 56.
The iPod completely changed the music industry (albeit not the first mp3 player, the marketing and product made it an instant hit). The iPhone brought revolution to the mobile phone market and painfully dragged competitors into creating better devices, platforms and frameworks. The iPad utilised the huge success of the iPhone and leveraged the growing tablet market. The "post PC" world as Steve called it was entirely dominated by products created during his tenure.
I have huge respect for the man. A man whose passion for technology transcended his visably deteriorating health. A man who - as CEO - was more convincing than some of the best PR and sales people I've seen. A man who deserves his place alongside celebrated inventors such as Edison.
Five years ago I wrote an article explaining why you should respect Steve Jobs and while I won't repeat the obvious business credentials he harboured, the fact that post pre-dates the announcement of the iPhone shows how much he's influenced the modern world before his crowning achievement. The iPhone has sold more than 100 million units worldwide - completely changing the market.
I'm not even accounting for the might of the myriad of Apple products available today, but his legacy goes beyond these consumer goods. The way items created during his tenure changed the way people interacted with technology and changed their expectations of competitors has opened the door to a bright computing future.
Five years ago I wrote an article stating that "as a Windows/Linux user I find it hard to accept that Mr. Jobs has done marvelous things to Apple and I think that there are more people in my position who maybe don't appreciate how successful he has been". I sit here as someone who uses an iPhone, iPad and Macbook Pro, completely enamoured with the quality of Apple products.
I think president Obama said it best in his wonderful, heartfelt statement:
"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."
"The world has lost a visionary. And there may be no greater tribute to Steve’s success than the fact that much of the world learned of his passing on a device he invented."
If the world was filled with more people who shared his passion for a given topic and wished to challenge the boundaries of what is possible.
RIP Steve Jobs 1955-2011.
I leave this as one of my favourite presentations Steve made. Thanks for everything, today is a sad day.
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