Steve Jobs

Today our industry is much less than it was yesterday. We have lost one of the great innovators. Even more importantly, Steve Jobs’ family has lost a husband and brother and father, and our thoughts are with them.

What can be said that hasn’t been said? Steve has been arguably the single most influential driver and shaper of personal computing in every one of its five decades, from the 1970s to the 2010s. It’s obviously true for the 1970s (Apple, Apple ][) and 1980s (Mac). As for the 1990s, it should be enough that the Mac shaped essentially all of that decade’s desktop and notebook platforms, and icing on the cake that technologies pioneered at NeXT and Pixar so heavily influenced personal gaming and other personal computing. In the 2000s, suffice it to say that Steve put the personal  i  into modern computing and again transformed this industry, and other industries. Looking forward, absent some other world-changing event, it’s clear that the rest of the 2010s will see personal computing develop along the trail he and his teams have blazed already in this decade.

Here is a measure of a man’s impact: Imagine how different — how diminished — the world would be today if Steve had passed away ten years ago.

Makes our hearts fade a little, doesn’t it?

Now imagine how different — how much more — the world would be if Steve had lived another ten years.

Or another twenty. Or another fifty, as though what we have seen were but the first half of his life — and if the second half were not as a slowly aging, diminishing man, but with his health and strength and faculties as strong as ever for that much more time, a true fifty more years.

We are all cut down too soon.

Thanks, Steve.

8 thoughts on “Steve Jobs

  1. I have thought a lot about Steve in the last few months, as I’ve watched his company shine and his health fade.

    He took a bite out of life as big as the one he left in his Apple.

    I will miss his fight, his spirit, his ability, and his brashness – which somehow, I always found acceptable. More than that – enjoyable.

    Maybe I liked that because I’m dumb enough to have to say sorry sometimes; and he gave me chance to live vicariously through someone who wasn’t and so didn’t.

    Steve fought and beat the estbalishment without somehow ever becoming defined by it.

    The tech wave has been an amazing ride; and throughout it, Steve caught every wave of it before I even knew I was on it.

    Did he catch those waves where I missed them? No, he made those waves where there were none.

    He didn’t just distort reality, he made it.

    I have genuinely shed much tear for a man I never knew.

    Steve didn’t just get rich, he en-riched, and for that he will long remain an icon in my mind when all others have been deleted.

    Herb, I envy you if you had the opportunity to meet the man; and I admire you for creating waves of your own too.

    I am pleased you are in good health and that you continue to make waves.

    I take the time now to thank you too for sharing them.

    Thanks.

  2. Steve was a true visionary. Thank you Herb for this wonderful epitaph. I will share your eloquent words.

  3. I don’t understand why in so many posts, videos and articles about the passing of Steve Jobs I am seeing a lot of people that say his claim to fame was overrated. Obviously there’s no respect even in death, but the guy took something that was essentially going to be thrown out and, over the years, developed and marketed some of the most useful communication and computing technologies the world has ever known.

    If you don’t think a life like his is a monumental loss, you’re just being selfish.

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