Steve Jobs, 1955-2011
There are very few people outside of my family that I can say have had a positive effect on me. Ronald Reagan was one such man. Another of these died this evening. Steve Jobs, the co-founder of Apple was another.
Since 1984 when I saw a Mac for the first time I started following the fabled company that started the PC revolution in 1977. One man and his singular vision revolutionized not one but several industries. His technological vision was such that from kernels of ideas he created the first personal computer, created a computer with a graphical user interface, practically invented the digital publishing industry along with Adobe and Aldus, changed the way we listen to music, buy it, interact with it. And, he gave us the best damn smartphone ever developed. I am sitting here, writing this on one iteration of that computer, my iMac, and next to it are my iPhone, my Apple router, my iPad, and my iPod. They just work. Thanks to Steve.
Jobs was a genius, no doubt, but his kind of genius is not the E=MC2 kind; his is the evolutionary kind whose life's work, when taken in toto, amounts to a greatness few ever achieve, a greatness that touches so many lives with positive energy and delight. His company, built in his image, will continue to thrive and delight us with new products that I, and millions upon millions of other people, will buy. But Steve Jobs, the man the visionary, the creator, will be missed terribly. They only come around once in a generation. My generation has just lost its luminary.
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Maggie wrote the following earlier and I merged it here into one post:
iLived, iImagined, iInnovated, iProduced, iCreated jobs and wealth, iWin. Only in America...
Wall Street Journal: Steven P. Jobs, the Apple Inc. chairman and co-founder who pioneered the personal computer industry and changed the way people think about technology, died Wednesday.
"Steve's brilliance, passion and energy were the source of countless innovations that enrich and improve all of our lives," Apple said in a statement. "The world is immeasurably better because of Steve."
His family, in a separate statement, said Mr. Jobs "died peacefully today surrounded by his family...We know many of you will mourn with us, and we ask that you respect our privacy during our time of grief."
During his more than three decade-long career, Mr. Jobs transformed Silicon Valley as he helped turn the once sleepy expanse of fruit orchards into the technology industry's innovation center. In addition to laying the groundwork for the modern high-tech industry alongside other pioneers like Microsoft Corp. co-founder Bill Gates and Oracle Corp. founder Larry Ellison, Mr. Jobs proved the appeal of well-designed intuitive products over the sheer power of technology itself and shifted the way consumers interact with technology in an increasingly digital world.
Unlike those men, however, the most productive chapter in Mr. Jobs' career occurred near the end of his life, when a nearly unbroken string of innovative and wildly successful products like the iPod, iPhone and iPad fundamentally changed the PC, electronics and digital media industries. The way he marketed and sold those products through savvy advertising campaigns and its retail stores, in the meanwhile, helped turn the company into a pop culture icon.
At the beginning of that phase, Mr. Jobs once described his philosophy as trying to make products that were at "the intersection of art and technology." In doing so, he turned Apple into the world's most valuable company.
Mr. Jobs was 56 years old. After exhibiting significant weight loss in mid-2008, he took a nearly six month medical leave of absence in 2009, during which he received a liver transplant. He took another medical leave of absence in mid-January without explanation before stepping down as chief executive in August.
Mr. Jobs is survived by his wife, Laurene, and four children.
"Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life." - Steve Jobs, 2005 Stanford Commencement Address