A genius departs

Steve Jobs made people change the way they experienced the world, and would be remembered for long for this ability which mark out genius and greatness from mere talent and excellence. He succeeded not only in developing cutting edge technology but in taking it to the world and transforming popular culture with it. That is why he is not just an icon of technology but a signpost of modern culture. The company he founded and nurtured, Apple Computer, has acquired a cult status for the products it brought to the shelves, which went straight to the hearts of people for their simplicity, elegance and their appeal to the changing needs of the world.

Technological cycles are shorter now with increasing competition and faster obsolescence, but Apple could always stay one step ahead because of Jobs’ inventiveness and uncanny ability to imagine what the customers wanted.
His was the mind behind every one of Apple’s pioneering products. The Macintosh computer was the first to use the graphical computer interface. iPod made music different and other musical devices backward, smart phones were no longer the same after the birth of iPhones and iPad changed the nature of personal computing. What was remarkable was that no one knew these possibilities existed and Jobs almost blurred the line between invention and discovery. He did not hold market research in any great esteem and believed that even customers did not know what they needed. He had the courage to take big risks but a perhaps unconscious understanding of individual tastes and collective needs ensured that he never failed.

The company that he started from a garage became one of the richest and most valuable enterprises in world. The challenge for the new CEO, to whom he has transferred power, is to maintain the momentum.

Steve Jobs has suffered professional setbacks, when he had to leave Apple because of internal problems, and had personal tribulations like a serious health problem which he still has. But he was never cowed down by them. His achievements are all the more remarkable  for a person who had no great family background and did not have even proper college education. He had told his first team to ‘make a  dent in the universe.’ It was the ambition and self-belief of that call that made him achieve what he did.

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