I hardly need to mention the sad news we woke up to this morning. The internet has already widely publicised the passing away of Steve Jobs. And although it is sad that such an inspirational personality has left us before their time, now is not the time to mourn Steve, but to celebrate the wonders he has brought to our world.
There’s no doubt that nearly every person living in the western world has something to thank Steve Jobs for. You may have never brought an Apple product yet still benefitted from the innovations Steve brought to the world. It was Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Apple that were the original driving force behind bringing computers from clunky devices that filled a room to the work and entertainment device we all know today. There’s no doubt others would have got there eventually, but Apple were the catalyst under the vision of Jobs.
Since then the software available on Mac’s has changed the industry with competitors such as Microsoft implementing many ideas from OS X into their own OS’s.
Several years later and Jobs and Apple revolutionised another industry, releasing the iPod in 2001. Nowadays that’s a household name with almost 300 million of the units sold since release. Despite not being the first, the iPod was certainly the best MP3 player available and made the idea popular. Combining that with the iTunes store and people were starting to buy music legally again – helping to save an industry that was struggling with piracy. The iPod also helped develop the MP3 player industry as a whole, would companies such as Microsoft and Sony have innovated the way they did if not competing with Jobs’ iPod?
In 2007 came the invention that Steve will no doubt be most remembered for. The iPhone has completely revolutionised not just the phone industry, but the entire way we view and interact with technology. Touchscreens had been done before, but this one was different, it was actually useable with your fingers without problem and therefore practical. Combine that with iOS, one of the most intuitive pieces of software ever created and you can see why the iPhone changed the world. Competitors such as Android wouldn’t be anywhere near as far down the line without Apple showing them how it was done first.
This success was sealed last year when Steve Jobs proudly revealed the iPad, the device that has alone sparked the tablet market back into life.
It could be argued that there is a team of people making these products, not just Steve and that of course would be true. But Steve’s vision has been woven into every single one, the idea of making technology more accessible and simple yet at the same time very very clever has always been his way forward – products which make the world an easier place.
And it was Steve’s enthusiasm for everything he created which set him apart from his peers. Even when he was on medical leave earlier this year, Steve made it back on stage for both the iPad 2 and iCloud reveals – he really cared about these products and wanted to be the one who revealed them to the world.
Steve was also renowned as hard task master. He was a man never satisfied with second best – always striving to excellence and motivating his staff to create the best products they possibly could. It was with this enthusiasm and dedication that he was able to take Apple to the top of the tech industry.
And it wasn’t just Apple that Steve was responsible for. Who could forget ‘Toy Story’, surely one of if not the greatest animated film of all time. It wouldn’t have happened if not for Steve Jobs. He was the man who believed in the studio, who helped to get them the deal with Disney, whose money got the film to a cinema release. All fans of Pixar films owe a debt of gratitude to Steve Jobs too.
I’ve only touched on the legacy that Steve Jobs leaves behind today. How much he will be missed is obvious from the incredible outpouring we have seen today from the like of Barack Obama, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Bob Iger and Eric Schmidt amongst others. Several fans have created memorials outside Apple stores to Steve.
Many have said that Steve is the Henry Ford of our time and I think I’d agree with that. He was the leading light of the tech industry, always innovating, always looking for how to improve and always hugely excited about everything he did.
ThankYou Steve for all you brought to us, may you rest in peace.