First winner of the National Medal of Technology. CEO of the decade in Fortune magazine. Number 17 on Forbes’ World’s Most Powerful People. Inductee of the California Hall of Fame. Jefferson Award winner for Public Service. Inventor of 342 United States patents. Salary of a dollar a year. Creator of Pixar Animation Studios. The man who brought the turtleneck back to the forefront of American culture.
These are just a few of the accomplishments of one the most important visionaries in technology and the world. Steve Jobs was instrumental in reinventing entire industries. He managed to change how nearly everyone sees the world, whether they notice it or not.
He started the computer as a consumer product for the first time in 1984 with the Apple Macintosh. Apple may have slowed down in the nineties, but returned with a vengeance in the 2000s with beautiful, minimalistic designs escaping the jungle of cables computers would have, and has not stopped since.
The introduction of iTunes and the iPod in 2001 began the slow death of physical media, eliminating the need for endless shelves of CDs and has continued moving forward with DVDs as well. Companies like Netflix and Hulu may have changed the way we now access entertainment, but without Apple’s hardware it would have never happened. You also can’t forget the iPad, the product that no needed, but a product that Jobs created a need for.
Then there is the App Store. Jobs created the idea of moving past hardware and worrying more about connectivity. By making an App Store and opening it up to anyone, a multitude of normal tasks can be handled from nearly anywhere. A single device (whether an iPhone or iPad) can now change the thermostat, answer a phone call, check a security camera, pause a movie, or turn the lights on or off.
Steve Jobs is an example of an amazing CEO (at least he turned into one). He was fully indulged in everything Apple did and had a direct impact on Apple’s decisions on products. He led by example, and always demanded perfection. He aspired to make his products the forefront of the information technology industry by foreseeing and setting trends. He would never interfere with a creative process such as when movies were being created at Pixar and was known as being mellow mature individual to all people who met him. At the same time, he had a larger than life persona who would be able to sell whatever Apple was presenting at their conferences and would take criticism from other technology companies and attempt to stick it right back to them, such has Jobs’ words of war with Dell Computer CEO Michael Dell. He had also made Apple the single largest contributor of the Product Red (Jobs is actually on the front page of the website link) program which sells products that go directly to charity. He accepted only a dollar salary and was fully vested in both Disney and Apple, owning significant amounts of stock in each while either leading or advising both while serving on the board of directors of each. He was a self-made man who created multinational success stories which changed the face of the world as we know it.
I have, just at school alone, 4 apple hardware products, not even including all of the software I have purchased from them over the years. My family combined has over twice that. I have seen nearly everyone on campus with some sort of Apple product, ranging from iPads to iPods to Mac desktops and laptops. Many people around the globe likely found out about Jobs’ death using a product he had a hand in building, which I feel is very appropriate.
One of the few computer science engineers that love using Apple and will miss Steve Jobs
Below is a tribute to Jobs from Stephen Colbert, who demonstrates the need for Apple products that no one thought would get popular the way they did.
The one of first apple stores on University Avenue at Stanford University. Near the Apple campus.