A few thoughts on the passing of Steve Jobs.

I’m not an Apple fanboy by any stretch of the imagination — I have one original iPod that was given to me by a company I worked for at the time — but I would be remiss if I didn’t pay my respects to Steve Jobs and all that he accomplished. To say that he had an impact on computing and gadgets would be an understatement. He made PCs fashionable as well as functional and he revolutionized the industry several times over.

Arguably the greatest testament of his genius is the fact that Apple at one point kicked him out of his own company and then proceeded to drive itself into the ground, nearly going bankrupt in the process, only to have Steve return and build the company back up into the tech powerhouse it is today. Windows PCs still dominate the market, but Apple arguably has a bigger influence on form and function of how we get things done.

A good example is the tablet PC and this image that’s been making the rounds illustrates exactly how Steve Jobs and Apple could change everything with the release of a single product:

Click to embiggen!

Before the iPad came along  most tablets were clunky attempts at wedging a laptop into as small a form factor as you could and not one of them enjoyed mainstream success. Steve Jobs revolutionized a niche market and made it mainstream. He did the same thing with MP3 players and cellphones. Whether you’re an Apple fanboy or not, we’ve all benefited from the innovations that Apple has put out under Steve Job’s guidance.

The question now is: Can Apple keep it up now that Jobs is gone? I don’t follow the company close enough to know if Steve put people with a similar gift for innovation into key positions prior to his stepping down a few months back, but I assume he would’ve had the foresight to try and do so. Then again, it was Steve himself who persuaded John Sculley to leave Pepsi and come to Apple where he would eventually kick Steve out of his own company. That said, regardless of Apple’s future fortunes, there’s no dispute that Jobs legacy in technology will be felt for a long time to come. It leaves you to wonder how many more tech revolutions he might have started if he hadn’t passed at such a young age.

Thanks for all you’ve done, Steve.

5 thoughts on “A few thoughts on the passing of Steve Jobs.

  1. Apple products made it possible for a non-technical person like me to be a relatively early adopter of computer technology. They changed my life in the same way that earlier, more complicated computers changed other people’s lives.

    On a funnier note, My Facebook status yesterday said FU to everyone who felt the need to qualify their RIP’s with an “I’m no fan..” statement.

    So there you go. Fuck You, Les! 🙂

  2. I’ll take it, though you’d think that praise from people who weren’t big fans to begin with would carry more weight than the gushings of fanboys.

  3. Good point. Most of the stuff I saw was not praise, just “I’m no fan of Apple, but it’s sad he died.”

    For what it’s worth, I didn’t read any of them until after I posted what I did… I just knew they were coming. It was pretty predictable. It was nice to see that at lease some people acknowledged that he had some influence in the way we do things today.

    I’ve really only used Macs in my business and personal life, but you’d be hard pressed to find me in a Mac vs. Windows debate spouting a bunch of propaganda. I like to poke fun just like anyone else at the absurdity of the debate, but I wouldn’t consider myself a zealot.

  4. I like Macs just fine. Back in my early 20’s during the days of OS7 I used one every day for a couple of years as a Desktop Publishing Coordinator for a local Kinko’s Copies shop. I’ve not had much call to use them since then, but I don’t have a problem with the hardware (it’s just a PC with a really nice case and different OS these days) or the software (though I’ve not used OSX as much). My only real problem with them is their cost relative to your average PC and the fact that Apple can be a bit zealous about what they’ll let you do with their stuff.

    If I had the extra cash I’d pick up a Mac and an iPad simply so I can learn enough to support them better should someone ask for help. Being that it’s unlikely it would become my primary PC makes it harder to justify the cost. If I weren’t a gamer I’d probably have either a Mac or some form of Linux box. I like Windows these days, I think it’s improved greatly, but I’m not beholden to it. I’d happily switch to something else if it had any kind of mainstream gamer support.

  5. Off that subject but concerning Job. I heard on NPR his commencement speech at a college graduation some years ago and was quite impressed with it’s contents. Honestly I know little about him but his message to those graduates hit a nerve for me. He obviously was a very creative person.

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