The nation mourns an innovator

Steve Jobs, co-founder, chairman and chief executive officer of Apple Inc. died Wed. Oct. 5 after succumbing to pancreatic cancer, seven years after being diagnosed. He was 56.

Widely regarded as a leading innovator in computer technology and media, an entrepreneur, a paradigm for business leadership, Jobs changed the face of the technological world and how we live through it.

From the release of the Apple II personal computer in 1977 to the personal computer we hold in our hands today, the iPad and the iPhone, Jobs’ creativity has led the way, demanding perfection and incredible innovation in the palms of our hands.

Who would have thought we could hold our entire archives of music in the palm of our hand? Who could have imagined the ability to transfer thousands of files and documents wirelessly across our devices? Is the iPad going to completely oust, in time, the personal computer?

The iPod is now 10 years old. The iCloud, which debuted at the beginning of October, will seamlessly integrate applications and files across all personal Apple based products wirelessly. The iPad is in a league of its own. Two generations in and the competition is nowhere in sight.

Apple has redefined our world, but Jobs was the one who knew the future. He was the one who tapped the pulse of the people, who knew what would work, and the products show. Thanks to him our worlds have opened, creativity has flourished.

When Jobs returned to Apple in 1996 after his company, NeXT Computer, which he founded in 1985, was bought back by Apple, he reinvigorated the company he co-founded to unprecedented popularity and growth. Jobs also had a hand in developing Pixar Animation Studios.

But will Apple continue to stay at the top of the tech realm? Will the passing of this titan devalue the company? Even when he stepped down as CEO on Aug. 24, Apple’s stock dropped 5 percent. On Oct. 5 stock dropped less than 1 percent. The future appears to not hang in the balance.

Perhaps he will be remembered as a Renaissance man of our time, articulate, passionate, brilliant. A leader in business innovation.

It will take time to see where Apple goes without their leader. But because of Jobs, our generation will continue to be rife with innovation and advancements beyond our dreams.

At a MacWorld Conference in 2007 before the debut of the iPhone, Jobs said:

“There’s an old Wayne Gretsky quote I love — ‘I skate to where the puck is going to be, not to where it’s been.’ That’s what we try to do at Apple.”

And that’s what will continue to be. He left the world in good hands.

RIP Steve.


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