Steve Jobs, the visionary who founded Apple and led it to the top of the tech heap, has died after a long battle with cancer. He was 56.
Jobs’ vision of personal computing helped popularize the graphical user interface in home computing with the release of the Macintosh in 1984, made the portable media player ubiquitous with the iPod and defined the smartphone and tablet markets with the release of the iPhone and iPad. But the last few years have been rife with speculation as to whether or not Apple would survive without Jobs, whose failing health was just as much a story as the rumors about the upcoming iPhone 4S. Jobs stepped down as CEO in August, leaving the company in the hands of longtime COO Tim Cook. Despite this, Jobs was, and perhaps is still, the face of the company. Many of my friends and coworkers all expected Jobs to appear at yesterday’s iPhone 4S press event to deliver his traditional WWDC keynote closing line: “One more thing…”, which was almost always the biggest announcement of the speech.
At times, Jobs could be seen as cantankerous. Among many email exchanges Jobs has had with customers, he famously told a Long Island college student looking for a response from Apple’s media relations department for a homework assignment that “our goals do not include helping you get a good grade.” He also curtly dismissed a developer seeking to publish a radiation detector app with a two-word response: “No interest.”
Unwinnable’s Erik Weinbrecht, an Apple employee, offers this remembrance:
“Steve was indeed a visionary and that vision spanned many industries. The creation of Apple and the culture around the company will surely leave a lasting legacy for years to come. It was awesome to have the honor of calling him my boss.”
We already talked at Unwinnable about what Jobs’ departure from Apple would mean to the company, and now Apple, and the rest of the technology sector, faces cold, hard reality: there is no “One more thing.”
One more thing: the Jobs e-mails came from emailsfromstevejobs.com. We thank them for cataloging the correspondence between Jobs and his fanboys and fangirls.
@UnwinnableDonB expects there to be a run on black turtlenecks and zombie makeup this Halloween.