The death of Steve Jobs has affected people all over the world. Some people disliked him, many more people admired him, but it's hard to deny he changed the world we live in a significant way. It got me thinking after hearing many people talk about him after his death, was he that great? My short answer is yes. I have heard people put him in the same class as Walt Disney and Thomas Edison, and I have to agree in the sense that he has made the same type of impact and changed our lives in a very dramatic way.
Perspective is valuable, and I will be the first to admit Steve Jobs was far from perfect. He was, at times, egocentric, inconsiderate, and meticulous and by many accounts, a tough boss. I don't know much about Walt Disney or Thomas Edison's personality, but I am sure they all had traits that were less than praiseworthy. However when you look past that he is a person who may be a perfectionist you can appreciate what he brought into our lives. I think the fact that when he came back to apple in late 1996, they were a struggling computer company months away from bankruptcy to August 2011, where they were the most valuable company in the world is enough.
What's more important is what came out of that journey from the bottom to the top.
Steve Jobs brought us the iPod, which was not the first mp3 player. Still, Apple was able to bring us innovative and easy to use hardware and integrate that into well-programmed software (Itunes) for a fantastic experience. Some say he hurt the music industry more. Some say he helped save it. Still, I believe his brilliance was his vision and ability to understand what it took to create a whole new way for the consumer to experience the way we consume media and information. He did the same with the iPhone, applications, and the iPad. There were tablets before the iPad and phones that let you access your email and internet but not in a way that completely changed how the user experienced it. There are numerous other ways he and Apple have transformed our lives in this digital age.
His creativity, vision and uncanny ability to bring the best and brightest minds to apple and to aspire the best from everyone created a company with the culture and innovation to keep pushing the boundaries of what we use and how we use it in our daily lives. There is much more to write about Steve Jobs's contributions, but yes, I think he made the same positive impact in the lives of millions of people, much like Walt Disney and Thomas Edison.