Jobs' legacy

Jobs' legacy

Steve Jobs, who died on Wednesday, changed the world unrecognisably and changed the way people experienced it in the few decades he was at the helm of Apple. He founded Apple in a garage and built it up as the world’s most valuable company, but it was not his business acumen that made him a legend of modern times. He had a vision that drove him to imagine the impossible and turn it into a reality that appealed to the needs and senses of people. He envisoned the potential of technology and saw how it would impact the lives of people. Once the product was created it found its own market and customers. Jobs is in the league of pioneers like Edison and Graham Bell in creating technological tools that became part of the lives of people.

It was a combination of creativity, hard work and commitment to excellence that made him an icon of the modern world. He created the first personal computer, Macintosh, and changed the idiom of personal computing. Every gadget that followed from the Apple stable later was a turning point in the interface of modern technology with human needs. The iPod, the iPhone and the iPad were all leaps of imagination that challenged human limitations and expanded the frontiers of technology. Jobs had an intuitive understanding of what customers needed and, like those who are ahead of their times, translated that understanding into things that met the needs. He was famously contemptuous of market research and relied on his own gut feeling. The artist, the technologist and the business man combined in his personality in a way which has not often been seen and may be difficult to see in future. He reduced complexities to simple functions and designs and made the most difficult technologies human and accessible.

Jobs died young after living in the shadow of death for a long time, troubled by a rare kind of pancreatic cancer. Awareness of death gave him a remarkable perspective on life, as he has himself admitted. It left him with what was truly important and allowed him to follow his heart, and ‘’to stay hungry and to stay foolish’’. There are only a few in a generation who have the wherewithal and courage to make this prescription to themselves and follow it. Jobs stood apart and did it, and would live in the new points of departure he created for the world.

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