This post may be a little late (two days to be exact). I would not really like to write an obituary, that can be done by people far better than myself. Rather, this is about how Steve Jobs has affected my life, and those of everyone across the world.
I must admit, I'm not an Apple fan. In fact, I'm an Apple hater. More than anything else, I hate the Apple fanboys who keep harping about how cool Apple products are. I have never used any Apple products so far, except maybe tried out some that my friends have. Yet, Steve Jobs and his vision has affected my interactions with the technical world in many ways.
Take for example my phone. I use an Android, and it's awesome. I just love the multi-touch gestures on the phone. But then, that's something Apple came up with on the iPhone. If it were not for the superior touch screen capabilities of the iPhone, we would still be stuck with boring single touch resistive touchscreens which had to be worked with styluses. Not only that, the multi touch trackpad on my computer too has been inspired by it's Macintosh cousin.
The next example is the displays on all computers so far. Steve jobs, in his commencement address, which is attached at the end of this post, mentions that if Apple had not come up with proportionately spaced fonts, probably no computer in the world would have this feature. That is not an overstatement. The fact is that Macintosh has indeed always set benchmarks for competition. Just watch the video where Jobs unveils the Mac in 1984 (again, attached at the end of this post). Since then, till the day he died, that video shows what Steve Jobs was capable of. He let superior products made by the companies he led, speak for themselves. When he joined Apple in 1997, he was facing the challenge of leading a company that was near bankruptcy. He knew, in his heart that there was a huge base of Apple loyalists who would pay much more than the market rate to get products which looked good. He was the one who envisioned newer markets for Apple other than computers, coming into the realm of music players, phones and tablets. In these markets too, he set benchmarks for the entire industry. He never did actually come up with new technology. He found niches in the market for existing technologies where no one found any earlier.
Some while ago, I wrote a post trashing the way Jobs marketed his products. My main argument against this form of marketing was that it promoted a form of consumerism wherein people are convinced that they cannot be happy unless they have the latest and greatest Apple products. That argument is still valid. Nevertheless, I know that I shall miss Jobs on the stage, with his charisma and his enthusiasm. Steve Jobs shall surely go down history as one of the greatest entrepreneurs, next to the likes of Henry Ford.
Do take some time to watch these videos in case you have not seen them already.