Apple’s co-founder Steve Jobs has lost an epic battle to pancreatic cancer.
Steve Jobs leaves behind a company he has almost single-handedly guided through its several ups and downs, bringing to the world some of the most exciting tech gadgets – from the first Macintosh that appeared in 1984, to the beautiful, translucent iMac G3 of 1998 and to the iPod, iPhone, MacBook Air and iPad of the 21st century.
Tributes have been pouring in not just from the public figures, but also technology lovers around the globe, which include both Apple fans and people who have only heard of Steve Jobs – an indication of the man's egotism, as his critics would claim.
This man was synonymous with Apple through most of the company’s rise to prominence, finally making it one of the largest corporations in the United States.
Some Facebookers are promoting the idea of buying an iPhone 4S as a mark of respect. A commenter on a prominent news site declares he’ll proudly tell his children that he lived during the lifetime of Steve Jobs. Twitter lists #RIPSteveJobs, #iSad, #ThankYouSteve and StayHungry as its top trends.
What is it that made Steve Jobs different?
Steve Jobs was known for his charismatic personality and maverick heart, that complimented a brilliant mind. Apple’s website claims, “Steve leaves behind a company that only he could have built, and his spirit will forever be the foundation of Apple.”
Apple under Steve Jobs was viewed with intense skepticism across the length and breadth of the technology world. People were thinking: Does he really make a difference to the world with his gadgets? Isn’t Apple meant only for the crazy fanboys, somehow attracted by the company’s pied-piper CEO? Why should I go for a shiny case with a glowing Apple logo?
Some of these questions went through my mind too, until I tried out Apple products. The user friendliness was excellent; even little kids can navigate to their favorite apps with ease. The touch response and stability were near-flawless, unlike other equivalent devices I’ve checked out. The battery life was impressive, and remained consistently high even after a couple of years of use. The graphics were good too.
The creative genius of Steve Jobs threw its weight behind all this, even though his company was often involved in smartly repackaging devices that already existed. And, it was Apple that came up with the first-ever fonts, which are ubiquitous today.
Steve Jobs’ career wasn’t without serious hurdles that contributed to making him a controversial character. He was shown the door by his own board of directors in the mid-1980s, following sharp differences. More recently, he raised eyebrows by playing down criticism of Apple’s handling of the Foxconn issue revolving around alleged mistreatment of workers, and grappled with technical flaws with the iPhone 4 when it was newly launched.
There has been great talk about his absence from Apple leaving behind a vacuum that cannot be filled. But there's also the belief that Jobs’ legacy of "different thinking" will stay.
For many, Steve Jobs is a visionary and a personality difficult to ignore, not least due to some of his famed quotes:
“Stay hungry, stay foolish.”
“Remembering you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose.”
“Design is not just what it looks like. Design is how it works.”
“I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance.”