Walt Disney is the only other business leader I can think of who was so intimately associated with his business and who so broadly captured the hearts and minds of people around the world. Steve jobs was a visionary. And it isn’t just that his products are ingenious and revolutionary – they are – but it is Steve’s over-arching philosophies about products, design, and business that really “changed everything.” His influence is not only seen in the incredible computers and hand-held devices we use daily, but it is felt in the way we interact with them.
Many quintessentially Steve-born products and techniques were done before: the walkman was a huge hit for years, but it was overwhelmingly surpassed by the iPod; music and app stores have been in existence for years, but iTunes and the App Stores took the world by storm selling billions of digital items in a very short period of time; and computer tablets have been attempted before and since (even Apple’s own Newton), but nothing has come close to matching the iPad in elegance and intuitive usefulness, much less popularity.
Not everything Steve touched turned to gold, but there is simply no denying that his influence lead many creative individuals to develop some of the most impressive devices, techniques, and apps the world has ever seen. In life, he changed the world, and in death, he will be sorely missed. Thanks, Steve!