Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Legacy of a CEO – Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs shows off iPhone 4 at the 2010 Worl...Image via WikipediaAt 6:15pm last night I received an e-mail alert on my iPad that Sarah Palin would not seek the presidency. At 7:42pm on that same iPad I received an e-mail alert that Steve Jobs had died. Noone is talking about Sarah Palin. Everyone is talking about Steve Jobs.

It’s rare that prime time TV is interrupted for the death of a CEO, but Steve Jobs was not your average CEO. He was a household name – not just because we carry around his legacy in our pockets and handbags – but because he changed the way we live our daily lives.

Chances are nearly everyone reading this has at least one product created by Jobs iconic company, Apple. Three out of five of my most-used technology gadgets are made by Apple. Chances are everyone reading this has an iTunes account, and has seen at least one Pixar film.

As a technology lover I am saddened by the loss of Steve Jobs.


Having worked in the technology industry – and new product development – I know how hard it is to not only innovate, but also deliver new technology. Especially difficult is the crystal ball. Oh, it’s easy to do market research to learn what customers need today – it’s knowing what we will need tomorrow (and the day after that) that’s the real challenge – and that is where Jobs excelled.

I can’t help but wonder how Steve Jobs mind worked – how he could see the vision of the future before any of us knew what we needed. It’s the vision I will miss the most. I don’t know what new technology I will be craving five years from now, but I am certain Steve Jobs did.

10 comments:

Brenda Drake said...

Steve Jobs passing is so sad. He was a mastermind and will be missed. Great post! <3

Anon_e_mouse said...

iTunes account? No. But there are four Macs in this house (and no PCs), our children all have Macs, and at least one - plus our grandchildren - have iPhones. He designed a computer that even my wife - a technophobe if there ever was one - loves to use. Let us hope that his successors at Apple are half as inspired as he was.

Dave E said...

I always though Apple products were (are) overpriced for what they are and that you are paying for 'style' as much as function. Although I am about to go buy an iPad but only because that appears to be THE main tablet for my intended use (music related and no, not iTunes!) more than because it's an Apple.

That said, Jobs surrounded himself with a lot of clever people to create those products, the vision was not his alone and those people are still there. I suspect that Jobs' main role was to prevent the corporate bean counters from destroying the vision those people created a much as it was to lead.
With Jobs gone I wonder how long it will take for Apple to become just another technology company, lead by accountants instead of true leaders (pick any US automaker as an example!).

That said, I have to agree that he will be missed and that the world will be a sadder, and maybe slightly less exciting place, without him.

Steve in POK said...

See this link for some interesting and little known facts about Steve Jobs:
http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/technology-blog/8-things-didn-t-know-life-steve-jobs-172130955.html

I own no Apple devices (like Dave have usually shop price) but have much admired the company and the vision, whether Job's or those around him, that has in the last few years been exhibited way above and beyond all others,particularly in the mobile device and media distribution domains. Jobs created a new company and has clearly established the standards and benchmarks for all in the mobile world. They have done this so well that they have become almost impossible to keep up with - the failures are manifold. I don't think of Jobs so much as a technical icon, but as one of the world's greatest cultural and business innovators. In that he was too young to pass and still had much to contribute. The world will be watching the Apple he left behind very closely.

Colette said...

You all have said it so well. I think it's his vision that I will miss the most.

KarenG said...

I love your opening paragraph because it illustrates the fact that business visionaries do so much for our quality of life while politicians (on either side)do so little. If it weren't for the Steve Jobs' of the world, the politicians would have nothing to do, no money to spend, no happy, prosperous people to make laws for. They produce nothing. It's the people like Steve Jobs that produce jobs and keep our economy running.

Colette said...

Karen, you make such a good point. Innovation is what drives real success.

Tracy Jo said...

Great post. I was so sad too...he was the Einstein of our day.

Liz Fichera said...

I admired Steve Jobs' ingenuity and vision. He worked hard and achieved much, including products that people want and jobs. He was an inspiration.

forex affiliate program said...

His innovative thinking moved the industry. It's about developing products for the right users.