Thoughts on the Passing of Steve Jobs
I like to keep the mood here upbeat and irreverent, or at the very least I like to make fart jokes. As such, this may not be the most appropriate venue to eulogize Steve Jobs. I’m also probably not the best person to write about the impact that Steve Jobs has had on the world. I only own one Apple product, an iPod touch, which I won in a raffle. That said, Jobs’ accomplishments are truly remarkable and the Company he created will continue to drive our consumer habits in the coming decades.
As far as the entrepreneurs of the computer age go, Jobs is only rivaled by Bill Gates in terms of accomplishments and Gates hardly inspires the same kind of reverence from techies. I think the reason that we all liked Jobs so much was that even though he was a billionaire, we all felt like we could relate. Whereas Gates gives off an aloof, nerdy vibe, Jobs always seemed a little like your uncle who just really likes gadgets. And the truth is, gadgets are what made Apple such a success in the last decade. It’s hard to remember now, but before the iPod hit markets, Apple was a tech dinosaur, a Company that had seen its brief moment in the sun come and pass, whose operating system had been soundly beaten in the market by Windows, and that had been eclipsed by new PC manufacturers such as Dell.
The iPod changed that completely. It took a device that we had been familiar with, the mp3 player, and completely consolidated a fragmented market. Suddenly, if an Mp3 player wasn’t an iPod, it wasn’t worth having. A decade later, that is still true. The iPod’s popularity sparked a new interest in the Macintosh OS, and Apple’s Mac computers, expanding what had once been a very niche market. Today, Apple sells more PCs than almost any other manufacturer. Apple’s excellent product design and marketing have ensnared a segment of the population so deeply that they won’t buy products from other manufacturers.
The Apple that we see today; hip, ubiquitous, and self-contained, was Jobs’ vision from the beginning. A Company whose products were so well designed, innovative, and secure that consumers would never need to go anywhere else. The greatest consumer elctronics company the world has ever seen, whose reach has extended beyond peoples’ personal lives into fields such as entertainment and medicine.
Apple, along with Pixar, which revolutionized the animated film, will also be what we remember Jobs for most. For a man so often in the public eye, we know little about his private life. We know what lead him to create Apple. We know that he was married and that he had children. We know about his struggle with cancer, and we know that he died far to young. From these details we can piece together a picture of what he was like at home. But the truth is, we will always have a constant reminder of Jobs throughout our lives in Apple. Many great men and rich men die and are eulogized profusely and then forgotten. We will never truly forget Steve Jobs because we will always have a constant reminder of his impact on humanity, right in front of us every day. Rest in peace.