Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Thoughts on Steve Jobs

I don't have any great profound thoughts on Steve Jobs. I never met the man, but my first job out of college was with a software company that eventually developed and sold an educational software package for the Macintosh. Backk then, moving from my UNIX and THEOS background to using a Macintosh computer was an immense change. (Nowadays the two are much closer together.) By the way the company actually released its Macintosh product, Jobs had left Apple.

I've written about Jobs here and there, most recently after he resigned as CEO of Apple, when thoughts naturally turned to the third part of his Stanford University address - the one where he talked about death. And I've written about what I see as the flaws in his vision - see my post When Steve Jobs tried to buy a Helocar.

Personally, I haven't owned an Apple product in about a decade, although members of my family own a variety of Apple products.

But Jobs' flaws, and the odd combination of Jobs' low market share in computers and large market share in personal devices, and the heady competition from the Windows and Linux folks, doesn't detract from Jobs' greatness.

Probably Jobs' greatest contribution to us wasn't his company, or any particular product. Steve Jobs' greatest contribution to us was his vision. John Sculley has compared Jobs to Henry Ford, noting that both were innovators who had grand visions. Sometimes their visions had flaws, but they stuck to their visions. Jobs (and Ford) not only changed their respective industries, but they also changed the world.

And I'm sure that people such as Bill Gates would be the first to state that Steve Jobs changed the world.

It's too bad that he won't be around to continue to change it.
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