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Jobs’ impact reached beyond tech world to average consumer

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Steve Chiotakis: Around the world, people are paying tribute to the man who led Apple to be one of the most successful companies in the world. Steve Jobs died yesterday at the age of 56 and news of his death has people reflecting on the contributions he made.

Cecilia Kang is atechnology reporter for the Washington Post. She’s with us from right outside the Apple store in Bethesda, Md. Cecilia, good morning to you.

Cecilia Kang: Good morning.

Chiotakis: What do you see outside of that store?

Kang: Well some people have lei flowers — which is really pretty remarkable for regular folks to come out to a store to try to mark or pay homage to the death of a CEO of a Silicon Valley company very far away.

And it really shows how much Steve Jobs has affected just regular consumers — not just the tech industry, not just investors who have made money from the Apple stock, but millions and millions of regular folks who feel a real affinity and personal connection to him, and the technology he’s created.

Chiotakis: I know we could talk about the legacy, and you really just did. A hundred years from now, Cecilia, what will we be talking about with Steve Jobs?

Kang: I think we’ll talk about his leadership — how he has had lots of ups and downs, but in several cases he has really saved companies from being really down and out to really revive Apple, Pixar, creating new companies like Next into huge successes.

But I think more so than anything, I think we’re going to remember him for his very unique combination of technology smarts, business smarts, knowing what a consumer likes, and design, which is really this very unique combination of skills and characteristics that you don’t find from a corporate leader.

And especially from Silicon Valley, where the focus is just so much on technology, Steve Jobs had a real focus consumers really want, and sometimes it’s just the simplest things that don’t take a lot of extra gizmos and lots of complicated technology, just making things simple and easy to use. And I think we’re going to remember him for that and really transforming the way we listen to music, the way that we compute mobile-ly — and the fact that we even have computers in the home.

Chiotakis: Cecilia Kang, thank you so much, from the Washington Post. Cecilia, take care.

Kang: Thank you.

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