Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Tribute to a Legend

The world has lost a visionary today. Steve Jobs was not just the face of Apple, he was an idol, an inspiration, a master.

Apple stated in their official statement that Jobs had been "the source of countless innovations that enrich and imrpove all of our lives" and had made the world "immeasurably better".

Jobs had a rocky start in life. He was the adopted child of a university lecturer and a student, raised by working parents who could barely scrape together the money to send him to college. When he did go to Reed College, he soon dropped out, but stayed behind to study calligraphy and other subjects which interested him. He later used this knowledge in products he designed in microscopic detail.

He set up Apple in 1979, with Steve Wozniak, where he created Macintosh. Jobs was kicked out of Apple in 1985. He then bought Pixar in 86 and entered the film business. Pixar went on to create Toy Story, the most loved animation film to date.

He returned to Apple in 1997 and was instilled as an "interim CEO". He nursed Apple back to life - but he didn't stop at that. His love for music returned, and he changed the world again. The iPod changed everything. First, because of its tiny size, and for its quick synchronization. He then persuaded the record labels to sell music digitally. Within an year it had sold nearly 100m songs, and the iPod had 70% of the music player market.

His next big venture was the iPhone - he brought technology which, in his own words "was five years ahead of what's on any other phone". Other companies followed suit, but not fast enough - in mid-2011 Apple became the world's biggest mobile phone maker by revenue.

His final contribution to the world of technology was the iPad - the iPad is changing how people work and play.

Jobs told the Stanford Graduates "No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don't want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because death is very likely the single best invention of life." Jobs parting words to the Stanford graduates were "Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish".

The pressure will now be on Apple - to show that Jobs has indeed left a legacy they can build on - to be as creative as they were under his charge, and to keep revolutionalising the world.