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.