On Steve Jobs

The world has lost a man of vision with Steve Jobs passing away. Although I think it is kind of exaggerated, some even say he was a genius or a messiah – intended cartoon below and extra link (in Dutch). Nevertheless, it is a big loss and very sad, not for the tech industry alone. I want to write a few lines here as well as he also influenced me.

To me Steve Jobs was someone who made me buy 2 (expensive) Macintoshes, an iPod and iPod Touch. Like many others, I discovered Apple’s products by watching Steve’s phenomenal keynotes. He had so much drive and passion and was so confident about the things he was doing– computer animation studio Pixar is just one example of that. When you learn about his life, it all looks so eerie. As if he was destined to become very successful. He followed his curiosity and intuition and it all somehow worked out for him. Very remarkable. He entirely changed the music industry by making us pay again for songs through the iTunes model – the ironical thing though is that he was a pirate himself.

What he also should be remembered and credited for is that he took away computers from the geeks and turned them into a fashion statement. By introducing the NeXT, he actually made computers usable as Tim-Berners Lee expresses – engineered and designed in such a way that they are extensible on the inside and usable on the outside. Every day, I have a lot pleasure using the unconventional Apple products – sometimes I must admit though that using only one mouse button instead of two doesn’t make much sense when you are used to a context menu with a right button click. But then again, why not challenge the status quo like Steve Jobs consistently did?

In short, Jobs leaves behind a lot of legacy. Will Apple still flourish without him? Will Objective C remain very popular among programmers? What about iPhone sales and the iPad? All valid questions to be raised now that Steve Jobs died after already stepping aside as CEO. It is clear that Jobs had a very intriguing life and therefore I am kind of thrilled to see the respective upcoming Hollywood autobiography. Unfortunate though that I could not meet him in person just like I had the chance to speak to fellow inventor Steve Wozniak in early 2009. There’s so much to ask him about.

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