Remembrances of Steve Jobs
There are obviously many obit and memorials being written about Steve Jobs since the news broke last night. One of the most widely linked-to has been Walt Mossberg’s.
That Steve Jobs was a genius, a giant influence on multiple industries and billions of lives, has been written many times since he retired as Apple’s CEO in August. He was a historical figure on the scale of a Thomas Edison or a Henry Ford, and set the mold for many other corporate leaders in many other industries.
He did what a CEO should: Hired and inspired great people; managed for the long term, not the quarter or the short-term stock price; made big bets and took big risks. He insisted on the highest product quality and on building things to delight and empower actual users, not intermediaries like corporate IT directors or wireless carriers. And he could sell. Man, he could sell.
Brian Lam is the former Gizmodo writer who wrote about the iPhone 4 prototype that was found in a bar.
The next call, I told him we’d give him his phone back. He said, “Great, where do we send someone?” And I replied that before we talked about that, we needed to talk about the conditions: we needed Apple to claim it as theirs, which is what we saw as the right legal process for claiming goods that had been lost. He said he didn’t want to claim it on record because it would affect sales of the current model. He said, “you’re asking me to shoot my toes off!” Maybe it was about the money, but maybe it wasn’t. I got the feeling that he just didn’t want to be told what to do, and I didn’t want to be told what to do, either.
By building one of the planet’s most successful companies from his garage, he exemplified the spirit of American ingenuity. By making computers personal and putting the Internet in our pockets, he made the information revolution not only accessible, but intuitive and fun. And by turning his talents to storytelling, he has brought joy to millions of children and grownups alike.
Melinda and I extend our sincere condolences to his family and friends, and to everyone Steve has touched through his work. 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. 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.
Those last two were quoted in USA Today. That USA Today article also quotes former Skid Row lead singer Sebastian Bach for some reason. Oh USA Today.
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