A: 275 million iPods. 100 million iPhones. 25 million iPads.
The word most commonly used is “visionary”, with “genius” and “inspiration” not too far behind. Whatever he was, the man behind the Mac has left us. Steve Jobs, the brilliant salesman, marketer & computer legend who cofounded Apple and all that Apple Hath Wrought succumbed to cancer yesterday at age 56. His death, while tragic, was not unexpected – Jobs had stepped down from Apple months ago and knew he was sick. His legacy, however, isn’t going anywhere. Very few people can be credited with genuinely revolutionizing the world’s culture, or its arts – or even its communication. He did all three.
Are you a Mac person? Do you use an iPhone? An iPod? Even if you don’t, chances are you know someone who does. We wouldn’t have the iAnything if Steve Jobs hadn’t launched the very first modern personal computer at the age of 21. The rest, as they say is history, and every subsequent invention was heralded by Jobs himself in his trademark black turtleneck and blue jeans. He was the quintessential pitchman, convincing millions of people to buy something high tech they didn’t know they needed. But something which, much like MacBook upon which I write this daily Blog, would soon become indispensable.
People who use Apple products tend to be egregiously loyal, and they are comfiest when surrounded by the company’s signature graphics, language, ads and a tone – it’s undeniably a culture, and Jobs fashioned it himself.
Nor was Jobs’ own life anything short of cinematic – he was born in 1955 and grew up in Cupertino, California – now Apple’s home. He attended a semester at Reed College before dropping out and continuing on to pursue his interest in technology. The myth of the computer being born in a garage is true – Jobs and pal Steve Wozniak formed Apple in 1976. The Mac that we would all go on to know and love was introduced in 1984. The mouse and the simple user-friendly interface were Jobs’ attempt to make home computing a reality – and something that all of us could manage.
But Jobs’ innovations were not just limited to connecting people electronically …how about animation? He bought a fledgling company in 1986 called Pixar. Once again, we know the rest of that story. No one had ever seen animation of the scale or scope Pixar presented, and the company continues to thrive (and make Oscar-winning films) to this day. Without Jobs’ guidance, there would be no Finding Nemo, Cars, A Bug’s Life, The Incredibles, Ratatouille, Wall*E, Up and Toy Story 1, 2 or 3 - just to name a few.
Here’s to Steve Jobs, visionary genius, and to the incredible world he created that we all get to share.
2) Toy Story (1,2,3)
4) Finding Nemo