Remembering Steve Jobs
Saw a circuit board and envisioned a company; released the first Apple Computer.
Packaged a newer board with integrated keyboard and monitor, launched an industry.
Created the NeXT computer which was respected by industry but a commercial failure. A decade later it would form the basis of a new Macintosh operating system, and help Tim Berners-Lee develop the World Wide Web.
Turned Pixar, a small hardware animation company into one of the most successful motion picture studios in the world.
Singlehandedly tolled the death knell for floppy disks and later, CD's.
Launched one of the most innovative and successful retail chains in America, and now the world.
Took the languishing GUI interface from Xerox PARC and popularized it with the launch of the original Macintosh.
Created the first successful online music store and convinced cantankerous music executives at all major companies to agree to a common pricing scheme.
Recognized the utility of "the mouse" and incorporated it into the (Lisa, then the) original Macintosh, rendering arcane command lines obsolete.
Oversaw the design and launch of the most successful music player in history. Then enlarged and improved the idea with the iPod Touch.
Killed Apple clones, allowing for standardization and control of everything in the product line.
Championed wireless web surfing with the iBook.
In a time of duress created a partnership with Microsoft which assured continued software development and a direct investment of millions of dollars in Apple.
Upended the cell phone market with a radical new design, the iPhone.
Created a whole new product category between laptop and smartphone with the iPad.
Had a lifelong fascination with calligraphy and design, leading to the spartan look of Macintosh computers themselves, and the proliferation of fonts and design choices in all computers.
Popularized the use of laser printers with their ability to render artistic creations and page layouts in gradations previously available only with brush and pen.
Took the word "app" from a little used abbreviation to a worldwide industry worth hundreds of billions of dollars.
Oversaw the creation of the iconic "1984" Macintosh commercial, the "Think Different" campaign, and the long running "I'm A Mac" series of television spots.
Enraged Adobe and began the decline of flash as a necessary component of web design.
Popularized the use of color monitors long before other PC manufacturers.
Launched the all-in-one multicolored iMac computers. Others followed and tried to break out of beige box syndrome, but failed.
Oversaw the rise of Apple, Inc. from near death to - briefly - the most valuable corporation in the world.
When my wife called down the stairs and said that a TV bulletin had just announced that Steve Jobs had died, I felt like someone had punched me in the gut.
I can't explain why, but perhaps these are some of the reasons why. He had failures, to be sure, but if you don't swing at a pitch, you can't ever hit the ball, and he had hit after hit, and home run after home run. He was Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, Henry Ford and Thomas Edison all over again. You don't generally get more than one of those in your lifetime.
Thank you, Steve, for changing my life.