[ Read reflections on Steve Jobs from InformationWeek editors in What Steve Jobs Taught Us. ]
My enduring Apple memory is writing columns as a high school student, for my first paying newspaper job, on my amazing little Apple IIc. But when I think about the vision of Jobs, watching Pixar movies with my son ranks right up there. I never got to meet Steve Jobs, but I have loved helping chronicle Apple's story. Here's what you said:
-- Moonwatcher writes: "I think a true comparison would be to Thomas Edison, although Edison was even more of a giant in the number of inventions and in getting electricity usage started. Even so, in modern times, few can make the claim of having had such a profound effect on what millions of people do every day in their lives than Steve Jobs. RIP.
This quote is one of his best: "Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything--all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure--these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart."
-- Nonego writes: "Take care Mr Jobs and may you rest in peace. We love you and we will always remember you forever. Why iphone 4s? it's 'for Steve'. "
-- Will G. writes: "My first programming experience was on an Apple IIe and my first 3 personal computers were a used 1984 Macintosh, a Mac LC, and a Performa (630?). Though I "live" in the Windows world for the most part these days, our family has multiple iPhones and iPods. As for the 1984 Macintosh--it's still around--just being used as a bookend these days. I've still got a button from a trade show that says "Windows 3.0 = Macintosh 1984" or something like that. That says it all--Apple, because of Steve Jobs, was always an innovator. May he rest in peace and may Apple continue to innovate and challenge the rest of the industry to do the same. -Will G"
--JREYES000 writes: "His visions of tablets, laptops, phones, and music players are no-brainers. There are two more subtle, yet major impacts he had. First is in design--making something clean and simple and easy to use. The iPod had one wheel and a button yet did so much. That aesthetic is now seen everywhere. Second, is iTunes. It just seems like a store, but it's really changed the culture. It not only saved the music industry, but transformed how people get their entertainment--music, movies, videos, and now books."
-- Tom Lounibos, CEO of Soasta, writes: "By making technology "cool", he started an engineering revolution ... as everybody (including engineers) wanted to be cool!"
-- ANON1237925156805 writes: "In his resignation letter, Steve Jobs said that Apple's brightest days were ahead of it and that he looked forward to observing its success in a new role. I'm thinking that perhaps he knew what that new role would be. He just kept it a closely guarded secret until it was time for the announcement. And then, in typical Jobs fashion, he eclipsed all the other technological news that day.
No one is irreplaceable, but Steve Jobs came as close to it as any one man can. Even those who found his singular style unappealing and/or became fixated on disliking Apple products for one reason or another surely recognize that just about every computing product they do use today is better today than it might otherwise have been in large measure because of Apple's constant innovations and calls to excellence to which the market has responded. App stores exist because Apple's App Store was created. Mp3 players exist because Apple got them out there.
This was a private, secretive man who nonetheless gave out his email freely and responded at random to correspondents from all over the world. Maybe that's why it feels as though we lost a friend as well as a unique talent who managed to live his entire live on the bleeding edge of change and innovation.
Texas now writes its own "history" books so I'm not laying odds there, but I'm fairly sure that he'll be in history books everywhere else in the developed world along with his friend and rival Bill Gates. A sentence, if not a paragraph. Not too shabby.
Rest well, Steve. You've earned it. "