2011 will be remembered for many milestones in the tech industry for months to come, but today in particular will be remembered for generations. The iconic co-founder of Apple — Steve P Jobs — passed away, leaving behind his family, Apple and an industry that he has shaped over the last three decades.
Steve Jobs had been battling pancreatic cancer for a few years now, and his deteriorating health led him to step down as the CEO of what is now the world’s most valuable company. Things were not always this rosy; in the mid 90’s Apple was on the verge of bankruptcy. Fast forward a decade and Apple has revolutionized the music, computer and mobile industry under the watchful guidance of this auteur.
In 2007, mobile phones were clunky. Touchscreen devices were rare and tacky. Application “stores” were run by network operators and mobile internet was merely a luxury. The iPhone changed all of that, and within months competitors caught wind of this paradigm shift. Companies like BlackBerry and Nokia were slow to pick up on this new direction and today face dire times. In 2010, Apple did it all over again with the iPad. Steve Jobs with Apple created a market out of nothing, and competitors today are still playing catch up.
Steve Jobs will be remembered as one of those rare innovators whose focus on great industrial design, integrated hardware and software has shone through his competitors “spec-tastic’ approach to products.
Being a technology writer, I can’t help but feel a great loss, ironically, for someone who I have never met. However, I can proudly say I was part of that generation in which ‘that man’ changed everything.
Barack Obama summed it up best in his tribute to Steve: “The world has lost a visionary. And there may be no greater tribute to Steve’s success than the fact that much of the world learned of his passing on a device he invented”