“The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.”

A Screenshot of www.apple.com
Steve Jobs is a legend. Although this past Wednesday marked the date of his passing, I use the present tense of the verb because his legend will live on. In 1976, when Jobs founded Apple computer along with Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne, he set out with a view to revolutionize the computing industry. Now, 35 years later, I argue that he has accomplished that goal and then some.

Never before has a single man had so great an impact on a company, a market, or even an industry. Jobs virtually single handedly shaped and modeled how his company would evolve with its consumers. I spoke with an Apple employee this morning, and he mentioned that people left flowers, candles, and cards outside the door of his store. I can think of no other company in any industry whose customers would feel so connected to the leader. And I mean leader in every form of the word. Steve led the company through good and bad. He had a way of playing up the company’s strengths and leading the media astray in times of hardship. One employee said about Steve’s passing at a time when Apple was taking bad press about the iPhone 4S: “Leave it to Steve to keep the media preoccupied.”

Steve was known to be a strong-willed, ruthless leader who would never back down from what he believed in and who knew exactly what he wanted for the company. It is fascinating to think that almost any technological device that you use today has, in some way, been influenced by Steve Jobs. He pioneered the smartphone market, bringing usable data services to the masses. He revolutionized the personal computer market by putting just as much emphasis on media and fun as on performance. He all but created the tablet market, and created a superpower that has reigned supreme in that realm since its inception.
With all of his professional achievements, it’s sometimes easy to overlook the fact that Steve was also a loving husband, and father of three children. It’s been an extraordinary run, Steve. A college dropout after only one semester, you proved to us all that a little idea and a lot of tenacity and dedication can go a long, long way.

For everything you have done for the technology industry; for everything you have done to make geeks cool again; for being an idol to so many and a symbol of hard work and dedication;

Thank you, Steve

In memory of Steven Paul Jobs (1955 – 2011)