Steve Jobs, tech visionary: 1955-2011


Steve Jobs, founder, chairman, and twice CEO of Apple Inc., and a man variously regarded over his 30 years in the technology industry as a creative genius, a failure, and one of the most successful business executives in half a century has died, according to Apple. He was 56.

Jobs was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2004. He recovered, but the cancer reemerged and he received a liver transplant in 2009. His deteriorating health forced him to take a medical leave of absence from Apple in January 2011, which became permanent in August, when he officially stepped down as CEO and named longtime COO Tim Cook as his successor. Jobs chose to remain on the board as chairman.

The legacy Jobs leaves behind is immense. His storied history with Apple, its ups and downs, are by now well-known lore in the tech world: He founded the company in 1976 with Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne and introduced people to the modern concept of personal computing. He was kicked out of his own company in 1984, went on to build NeXT, which he then sold to Apple. Soon after retook the role of Apple CEO in 1997, where he found the company on the verge of bankruptcy.

Jobs kept everyone on their toes: his own employees, the press and competitors. He was a famously demanding boss, with as sharp an eye for design as his ability to predict what mainstream consumers wanted from their tech products. The result was selling millions of devices and turning the company he founded into a design, technologic and business powerhouse. He leaves the company as the world’s second most-valuable publicly traded company.

After his return to Apple in 1997, he introduced the iconic iMac desktop computer, which was the beginning of the company’s dramatic rise. He then turned his attention to consumer electronics, turning upside down three different industries: music, mobile phones and portable computing. The iPod, first introduced in 2001, reimagined how people bought and listened to music, while the iPhone arrived in 2007, upending the expectations of what a mobile phone could be.

The iPad was Jobs final contribution to the tech world, which fittingly is an intersection of Apple’s strengths: using a clean, simply designed form factor that gives users access to music, videos, games, productivity tools, and the web with a simple swipe of a finger.

Here’s a great reflection on Jobs is from something Om wrote in 2005 after Jobs shocked the tech world with the decision to move Macs from Power PC to Intel chips:

Some men dream the future. He built it.

Steve Jobs, the maverick who has architected one of the greatest comebacks in the history of Silicon Valley, continues to prove that he was a modern day Howard Hughes. Unpredictable, charming, loving, petulant, and deviously mysterious. But more than anything, brilliant.


Blanca M.

La humanidad a perdido uno de los mas importantes genios de nuestro tiempo! “Rest in pods” Steve Jobs. What a lost for the humanity!

Sohrob Tahmasebi

I can’t think of anyone who excites me in the realm of technology anymore. He was one of a kind. Such a loss.


I’ve just heard about Steve Jobs passing a few hours ago – it was shocking news to hear.

Apple lost its leader today, but more importantly, the world has lost a very special individual. Steve Jobs has been a monumentally important business leader in American history, among Henry Ford or Thomas Edison. Steve has been a real-life phenomenon of an order that most people won’t get to experience in their lifetimes.

Steve had the intelligence, insight, courage and leadership to propel Apple from near-bankruptcy in the late 1990s to where it stands today, as the world’s largest and most valuable company.

Steve created a new culture of thought at Apple. Apple would no longer be a company that followed the competition in well defined markets; Apple, through its revolutionary product design, would define the market categories that it would compete in. Subsequently, Apple revolutionized the music industry with iPod and iTunes, dominated the smartphone market with the iPhone and practically created the tablet computer market with the iPad.

But I’m not here to speak on Apple’s market capitalization or business achievements. I am here to remember a man who followed a unique path in business and in life. Not only was Steve able to follow his gut instinct with no hesitation, he also possessed an innate ability to deeply inspire those around him to create and contribute.

Steve Jobs had a personal net worth of more than 8.3 billion USD when he passed, but you couldn’t peg him as your typical billionaire if you had passed him on the street. Instead, Steve was warm and personable to those who knew him in person. He would never pass up the chance to stop and take a few minutes to catch up and exchange a few ideas. Steve was a person who truly believed in the meritocracy of thought.

I could go on, but my words simply can’t do this man justice, so I’ll leave you with his. Goodbye Steve, and thank you for all the memories.

– Adrian

“When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: “If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.” It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.

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.”

– Steve Jobs, 114th Stanford University Commencement Ceremony Address, June 12, 2005

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Rob Kaminoff

Without his creativity, perseverance and revolutionary spirit, we’d still be staring at an MS-DOS prompt, not knowing wtf to do.

Benjamin Ederson

Steve Jobs was a genius, sincerely for me in Haiti, every thing that Steve Jobs touched was incredible, I was the man that can feel your desire and build you want you want to live, to share, to enjoy. R.I.P Steve Jobs

jay hardy

damn. this is horrible. Wish all the best for all who loved him.


What an inspiration this guy has been! The vision he had, the ideas he assembled to support it, the standards he he set.

He saw Apple become the world’s most valuable company, and certainly its most influential. He inspired and transformed not just his industry, but even unrelated ones who embraced his principles and creativity.

What incredible victories he got to see before he passed on. I’m very glad he lived to see it all, and I’ll miss him even though we never met.

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