A moment of silence, please, for Steve Jobs.
I’m sure that many of you are—to be blunt—tired of reading about him already. The number of obituaries, tweets, Facebook posts, columns and remembrances treats Steve Jobs like he was a head of state, a major movie star, a world leader.
He was, indeed, a world leader, and he touched your life.
Even if you don’t own a single Apple product, even if you’ve never seen a Pixar movie, you have been affected by Steve’s drive, determination and vision. Steve wasn’t always right, but he never stopped innovating, never stopped trying to improve the world (and sell products).
There is no doubt that the early days of the personal computer revolution were massively influenced by the Jobs/Woz Apple ][. The Lisa and Macintosh brought the WIMP (Windows, Icons, Menus, Pointing Device) out of the laboratory and out to consumers. NeXT truly was a next-generation vision that influenced today’s Macs. There’s the iPod, the iPhone, the iPad, “Toy Story,” “Finding Nemo” and so much more.
Of course, the influence of Jobs’ vision went far beyond Apple, NeXT and Pixar products. As a tastemaker, nearly every competitor tried to emulate Jobs’ products while simultaneously differentiating from those same products. Most competitors failed.
On a personal note, my interactions with Steve Jobs were very few, limited to a few short conversations at press events and trade shows. I can’t say that I truly knew the man. I’m not sure that I would have wanted to work for Steve. But I have incredible respect for him.
Let me share two messages. The first is from the Apple board of directors, which wrote:
We are deeply saddened to announce that Steve Jobs passed away today. Steve’s brilliance, passion and energy were the source of countless innovations that enrich and improve all of our lives. The world is immeasurably better because of Steve. His greatest love was for his wife, Laurene, and his family. Our hearts go out to them and to all who were touched by his extraordinary gifts.
Finally, please read the personal comments by The Wall Street Journal’s Walt Mossberg, who knew Steve fairly well.
May Steve Jobs’ memory be a blessing to his friends, family and all of us.
Alan Zeichick is editorial director of SD Times. Read his blog at ztrek.blogspot.com.