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realclearworld

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.

Steve Jobs, 1955-2011

Steve Jobs, 1955-2011

* * *

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.

Read more...

"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

14 comments to Steve Jobs, 1955-2011

  • drillanwr

    I'd almost forgotten this great piece from just after Steve Jobs stepped down from Apple in August:

    Nick Schulz @ NRO:

    Steve Jobs: America’s Greatest Failure
    Glory is sometimes born of catastrophe.

    http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/275528/steve-jobs-america-s-greatest-failure-nick-schulz

    I am sure there is someone who would take the history of Steve Jobs failures on the road to success, and try to give measure to, say, failed green technology like Solyndra ... However, Jobs's failures involved his or investors' money ... not billions in taxpayer dollars.

    Also, a commentor @ AoSH is citing something I can't seem to find on NRO, but is great:

    142 Good line over at NRO:

    "Once you figure out why your cell phone gets better and cheaper every year but your public schools get more expensive and less effective, you can apply that model to answer a great many questions about public policy. Not all of them, but a great many." - Posted by: Clubber Lang

  • From American Spectator:

    Apple founder and former CEO Steve Jobs has died. Jobs, who has been suffering from pancreatic cancer, had looked weak and frail recently, and it was clear that his resignation was due to his failing health.

    Steve Jobs changed the world at least three times.

    He created the first mass-market personal computer, the Apple II (a version of which I bought sometime around 1979 with my Bar Mitzvah gift money.)

    He changed the music business forever with the creation of iTunes.

    And he again changed the computer business forever with the invention of the iPad.

    And between those things, he invented the iPod and the iPhone, which set a new standard for "smart phones".

    It's hard to imagine what the world would look like had Steve Jobs never been born. I would venture to say that many millions of people would find their lives a little less productive and much less fun.

    To me, Mr. Jobs was like a real-world Howard Roark, absolutely insistent on creating what he wanted to create because he knew it was good, valuable, and true. And perhaps I am projecting here, given that my son's middle name is Rand, but I see Steve Jobs as a Randian hero, a person who is all but irreplaceable in modern society and whose motivation came from his own drive to do what he knew the world needed, not a desire to be popular or even appreciated.

    Rest in peace, Steve.

  • jorge

    I do not see the big deal. He did not invest anything, he was a smart businessman who made billions and billions. Did he helped people, well he made a great toy for grown ups.

    "Inside Steve’s Brain,” wrote: “Yes, he has great charisma and his presentations are good theater. But his absence from public discourse makes him a cipher. People project their values onto him, and he skates away from the responsibilities that come with great wealth and power.”

    All charitable work that was done by Apple was cancelled during SJ tenure, his best friend Ellison from Oracle, we all know is a jerk. Had a daughter out of wedlock, which her mother had to go on welfare, later when the girl was on her twenties, he came forward.

    Talking about great inventions, have you heard of Dr Rene Favarolo? Died poor, because his clinic was broke. He invented a technique, that was not as savvy as the I Pad, but quite in use today. The heart bypass, were the clogged veins/arteries of the heart are substituted by healthy thigh veins.

    Sorry that the guy died, and for his family, just that.... Hope he enjoys the millions he made were ever he is....

  • Honey

    drillanwr,
    Here's the link to the article where the quote comes from:
    Williamson: A Jobs Agenda
    If the link doesn't work, go to NR on line and scroll down to the Williamson article link.

  • [...] Babalu blog also weighed in: There are very few people outside of my family that I can say have had a positive effect on me. 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. [...]

  • jorge

    Praise the country and the system that permited Steve Jobs, the businessman, to be succesful. Not Steve Jobs, the man the zen-buda worshiper, vegetarian, liberal democrat, Obama suporter. Who gave 150,000 U$ to the cancer hospital in California, once he knew he had cancer, so they could help him find a cure for his illness. The owner that prevented nonprofits from collecting donations on its popular iPhone, still he had the right to do it´s his company.

    Caribbean, praise the guy who invented magnetic resonance (scam), that has saved lives, the x ray, and so much more.

    Steve jobs marketed gadgets and made a nice speech once at Stanford. By the way, Stanford University was founded with the donation from a very rich man, Leyland Stanford, same as all major private universities in the USA.

    Strike from my previuos coment about charity donations on the part of Apple. Business is about creating value for its owners and shareholders and has no business in giving away shareholders value to charity, as sam walton said, Wal Mart is not in the charity business, however, people have the right to do whatever they want with their money. Some chooose the high road, to facilitate others to be able to be rich on their own merits.

    Nevertheless, philantropy has been part of the business culture of the USA, since our founding fathers which were quite wealthy individuals and worked on behalf of our country. Even the 1800´s barons such as Carnegy gave part of the fortune.

    It is the country and the system that gives the oportunity to such bright business people to be sucesful, do not praise a person with no moral values. Jack Welch, created more wealth when he re-made General Electric!

    George, when you serve the troops the cuban food, are you not giving back to our country?

    When its an option, not an obliagtion, is were great men come in. Steve Jobs, was not a great man, just a very savy marketeer of gadgets and a succesful business man that with all his money could not save himself from cancer.

    • "Praise the country and the system that permited Steve Jobs, the businessman, to be succesful. Not Steve Jobs, the man the zen-buda worshiper, vegetarian, liberal democrat, Obama suporter [sic]."

      What a very socialist thing to say. Praise the system, not the individual. Interesting.

  • jorge

    praise the capitalism system and the country, USA!

    Happy George?

    • Without the individual entrepreneur working his ideas within the system that allows him the freedom to do it we would have.. NOTHING.

      Your words betray you, Jorge. Some bad thinking going on in your noggin.

  • jorge

    Your command of the english language is excellent, I could not have said it better!

  • [...] Babalu blog also weighed in: “There are very few people outside of my family that I can say have had a positive effect on me. 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.” [...]