Many today are saying a farewell to Steve Jobs, the co-founder and former CEO of Apple. Jobs was a visionary inventor, creator, and designer. He championed a belief in the self that has always been unusual in the corporate world
Jobs did not only change the IT industry, all of us who work in industries that are supported and enabled by IT have our own debt to this man. We might not all use Apple systems, but ever since the days of the Apple 1, then 2, then the Mac, Jobs led the industry – everyone else had to catch up.
Can you imagine how a computer would function today if Apple had not innovated to the extent they did? Clunky, grey, functional, designed by a focus group that doesn’t really know what they want. Jobs always said that you can’t design products by asking people what they want, because people don’t know what they like until you show them what they like.
The products Jobs created at Apple have changed the mobile phone industry, virtually creating the Smartphone overnight. He entirely changed the music industry by not only creating an easy way to consume music – the iPod – but also marrying it to the iTunes system and making it easy to buy music electronically for the first time.
In contemporary modern corporate life there can be no single person who has so fundamentally changed so many different industries in his lifetime.
I would offer the customary ‘Rest in Peace’ to Steve, but as he believed in Buddhism and rebirth he would never have imagined that he was going to now rest forever. Somewhere in the world there is another Steve Jobs being born today – let’s hope he continues to improve the world just as much as his earlier incarnation did.