Entrepreneur, visionary, innovator, technologist, leader: the list goes on. These are some of the names which have been given to Steve Jobs, best known for his lifelong contributions to Apple and involvement in Pixar.
Photo taken from DigitalTrends
Steve, who co-founded Apple with Steve Wozniak in his garage, passed away of a respiratory arrest at his home last Thursday. In a statement released by his family, the 56-year-old died “peacefully” and surrounded by his family.
The news may not come as a surprise to some, as the former CEO of Apple had previously taken medical leave from the company due to the discovery of a cancerous pancreatic tumour in 2004. Although it was a rare, more survivable variant of cancer, the tumour nevertheless took a toll on Steve’s health. In August the same year, he moved to a post on the Board of Directors, handing the title of CEO over to Tim Cook, who’d been with the company since 1998.
What is shocking, however, is the untimeliness of the announcement of his passing. The iPhone 4S had just been released the day before to huge fanfare and critical acclaim, and was still making its rounds through websites and news organisations when it was interrupted by the news of Steve’s death, which flooded the feeds of major social networking websites.
Photo taken from Blazomania
Many believe that Steve’s involvement in the company and its products has made Apple what is today. Unlike many other companies of its kind, Apple only launches products approved personally by its CEO, who’s also been known to lose his temper at employees who don’t perform to standard. However, it’s this very attitude that has brought success to the company in its line of products – ranging from desktop PCs, laptops, music devices, software and more recently, mobile phones and tablets.
Often seen as the face and driving force of the company, Steve’s strong ties with Apple has also disadvantaged the company in some ways: Apple stocks fell 5 percent when he resigned in August, and also 0.7 percent on the news of his death. Many believed that the company would not survive without the guidance and direction that Steve provided to Apple for almost the entirety of its existence.
Above and beyond the title of CEO, the visionary was so involved in the company that he’s been said to have left behind plans for the next four years, written up in the past year in response to his failing health.
To remember and thank Steve for his contributions to the technology industry and as a celebration of his life, many have paid tribute to him in multiple ways. Apple has set up an email address for thoughts and condolences, and fans have created graphic designs (perhaps the most popular is a silhouette of Steve against Apple’s logo) and even set up “shrines” at Apple Stores around the world.
Photo taken from Jonathan Mak’s tumblr
As I am having my internship in New York City, I took a trip to the flagship Apple Store at Fifth Avenue to pay my tribute on Friday, along with many others. People were crowding around the shrine solemnly taking pictures, saying prayers, and looking at the many of the gifts for Steve. There were framed pieces of art, flowers, cards, cardboard boxes from Apple products, gala apples (with a bite taken out of from) and so on. I placed a simple note I made with a photo of Steve beside the other gifts, and took a couple of photos before heading back home.
Thinking back, Steve’s contributions to the world have gone far beyond Apple, and he will be missed by both fans and critics. He invented industries for new products to bloom in, made inspiring speeches to huge audiences and secured over 300 patents under his name, among many other achievements.
Steve once said: “I want to put a ding in the universe.”
He did indeed.
Thanks Steve, and rest in peace.