We’ve been expecting it, but today Apple confirmed the news we had hoped wouldn’t be confirmed – Steve Jobs has passed away through complications due to his eight-year battle with pancreatic cancer.
Whilst I know many of us aren’t exactly Apple fans, Steve Jobs was still an inspiring genius, an inventor who understood how to make foolproof devices as well as how to market them with the biggest impact. He was an Apple Conference, and whilst at times he did manage to believe his own hype, there is no doubting his drive, his enthusiasm and his ability to sell.
His charm and charisma were without peer; his vision without question. It was Steve Jobs who turned Apple around when he returned in the late 90s, from a company on the verge of disaster to one of the biggest technology firms in the world. It is Steve Jobs who has been there all the way – from iTunes and reinventing the music industry through the iPods, and the Macs, the iPhone and the iPad. And he laughed off the criticisms, and joked at himself, and made fun of himself and his presentations. He loved his work – but it seems he rarely took himself so seriously he couldn’t handle the criticisms of doubters.
Steve Jobs leaves behind a loving family and a company that should continue to push their devices well into the future. But Apple know, as well as we all do, there will never be another Steve Jobs. There will never be another person so willing to pile all their stats into Charisma and Intelligence, at the expense of all else. There will never be another man with half the magical aura that Steve Jobs emitted, one which could charm the pants off the toughest crowd. Tim Cook just doesn’t have that X Factor that Jobs had.
Whatever you think of him, Steve Jobs was a visionary who wanted to change the world – and did, to a very real extent. From buying the Graphics Group from Disney – which he later renamed Pixar (oh yes!) to his first forays into making a computer that worked out of the box, he leaves behind marks on the world most of us can’t begin to fathom; someone who seemed to always get it, and get it right, and someone who inspired loyalty and admiration in whatever endeavor he chose to pursue.
Most of us wish we could leave behind that kind of legacy.
RIP Steve Jobs. 1955-2011.