Skip to: Content
Skip to: Site Navigation
Skip to: Search


Steve Jobs wanted to change the world, and he did (video)

Steve Jobs, who died Wednesday, seemed to know what people wanted even before they did. From those first boxy little Apple computers 35 years ago to the iPhone and the iPad today, he changed the way we work and play.

By Staff writer / October 6, 2011

Apple CEO Steve Jobs holds up the new MacBook Air after giving the keynote address at the Apple MacWorld Conference in San Francisco in 2008. Jobs, one of the most famous and successful entrepreneurs in recent history, died Wednesday.

Jeff Chiu/AP/File

Enlarge

From those first boxy little Apple computers 35 years ago to the iPhone and the iPad today, Steve Jobs seemed to know what people wanted and thought they needed even before they did. In fact, when it came to product design or approach to business, that was his operating philosophy.

Skip to next paragraph

Mr. Jobs, who died Wednesday after a long illness, has been called the Henry Ford and the Thomas Edison of his generation, a modern-day Leonardo da Vinci. Every year, it seemed, he had another sleekly designed toy or tool to introduce as he paced a giant stage – dressed in his trademark jeans and black turtleneck, his own image sometimes blown up Oz-like on a giant screen behind him.

Jobs’ accomplishments weren’t all computers and other electronic gadgets.

With iTunes (a free computer program), people could legally buy and download music – thousands of songs, as well as movies and TV shows – which they then could sync with their iPods or other listening devices. In essence, it became a principal (and profitable) gateway for the way people amuse and entertain themselves.

During the time when he had been ousted as CEO by Apple’s board (a job to which he returned in 1997), Jobs bought the Pixar computer-animation studio from George Lucas for $10 million. After it had produced “Toy Story,” the first computer-animated feature film, Jobs sold the company to Disney for $7.4 billion.

Jobs was not the easiest boss to work for. “My job is to not be easy on people,” he once said, summing up his management philosophy. “My job is to make them better.”

The devices that Jobs and the Apple designers came up with year after year had a sensuousness to them that attracted millions of customers, many of whom waited for days outside stores so they could be among the first to buy – as if they were waiting for tickets to the last Beatles concert.

Permissions

Read Comments

View reader comments | Comment on this story