Steve Jobs, 1955-2011

Paul Romani

Yesterday, on October 5th 2011, the world lost one of its greatest ever technological and business minds.

Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple, will remain a wonderful role model for today’s youth:

  • Vision: conducting market research is near impossible if you want to stay at the front of a constantly changing industry. Steve was keenly able to envisage what new product would be a big seller. He could put himself in the shoes of the customer – he had empathy. This ability doesn’t just apply to his work with Apple, but also his investment in Pixar prior to their success with the Toy Story movies.
  • Imagination: We take it for granted that our computer has a mouse and icons on the screen. Steve invented both of these things. Before him, computers were all lines of text and code.
  • Taste: Apple products are beautiful. That’s a rare thing to be able to say about technology. In a world which still persists in forcing people to be either arts or science students, the result is either cute products that are awful, or ugly products which work well. As a result of Jobs’ well-rounded abilities, Apple products have both beauty and functionality.
  • People skills: OK, Steve no doubt was a techno nerd, but he could create an electric atmosphere during his speeches that enthralled his audiences. Compare him with Mark Zuckerberg or Bill Gates and you’ll know what I mean.
  • Collaboration: Steve did not design the technical core of Apple products. He was the thinker, the sculptor, and the refiner. He collaborated with teams of designers, engineers, and marketers to fully realize his ideas. It wasn’t a single-handed effort.
  • Determination: He was a fighter. He fought against a giant (Microsoft) with his own company (Apple) that he described as “like a ship with a hole in the bottom, leaking water“. This is no mean feat! Incredibly he won the fight. As of May 2010 Apple became the world’s largest tech company.
While the world has lost one of its greatest ever business and technological minds, Steve will continue to be an inspiration for young people.
You can be cool, you can be artistic, and you can be technological all at the same time.
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