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.
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In Pictures How Apple won the world
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For years now, iPhone and iPod owners have fiddled with their devices (sometime mindlessly) as if they were worry beads. As a Buddhist who once joined an ashram, Jobs no doubt was amused to learn that when the iPhone was launched in 2007 it was dubbed the “Jesus phone” for its seemingly miraculous features – cellphone, e-mail, Internet, camera, photo album, digital recorder, GPS, and apps too numerous to count – in a device so compact you could slip it into the back pocket of your jeans.
As news broke of his passing, mourners gathered at Apple stores around the world, placing flowers and candles. And from around the world, the tributes to Jobs came in, including one from another college dropout.
“Steve and I first met nearly 30 years ago, and have been colleagues, competitors and friends over the course of more than half our lives,” Microsoft founder Bill Gates tweeted. “The world rarely sees someone who has had the profound impact Steve has had, the effects of which will be felt for many generations to come. For those of us lucky enough to get to work with him, it’s been an insanely great honor. I will miss Steve immensely.”
“Insanely great,” of course, was a phrase Jobs himself had used in introducing the Apple II back in 1977, and it became a favorite of his over the years.
“A lot of times, people don't know what they want until you show it to them,” Jobs told Business Week in 1998. "I've always wanted to own and control the primary technology in everything we do.” It was an outrageous statement, of course, reflective of an enormous ego married to genius. But it was very close to what he accomplished.
Books and doctoral dissertations have and will be written about the technological vision and approach to business that Jobs embodied. Walter Issacson, biographer of Benjamin Franklin and Henry Kissinger, has a new one coming out next month titled simply “Steve Jobs.” Jobs cooperated with the book but had no control over it.
“Jobs speaks candidly, sometimes brutally so, about the people he worked with and competed against,” Amazon blurbs. “His friends, foes, and colleagues provide an unvarnished view of the passions, perfectionism, obsessions, artistry, devilry, and compulsion for control that shaped his approach to business and the innovative products that resulted.”
And of course, you’ll be able to read it on your iPad using the iBooks app.