Steve Jobs 1955-2011

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By Dominique Franklin / Staff Writer

By Dominique Franklin / Staff Writer

The world recently lost a man who was an innovator, a genius, and a visionary. American legend Steve Jobs. The world mourns the loss of a man that many refer to as being the 21st century’s Thomas Edison.

Steve Jobs was born in 1955 and raised by his adopted parents, Justin and Clara Jobs. During his time as a child, Jobs’ father would show him how to take apart and reconstruct electronic devices. This undoubtedly led to the spark that ignited the fire of Jobs’ visionary drive.

During his high school years, Jobs would attend after-school lectures at Hewlett-Packard, the company that would eventually hire him. This was the place where he met Steve Wozniak, who in later years would be the co-founder of the Apple Empire.

After high school, Jobs was accepted to Reed College in Portland, Ore. College, however, was not part of his destiny, seeing as he only spent six months there before choosing to drop out.

Jobs then reconnected with Wozniak and together, the two began working on what would eventually become Jobs’ legacy.

In 1976, Jobs and his partner launched the Apple Computer company from his family’s garage in Los Altos.

The company, of course, was an instant success.

Only two years later, the company cracked the Fortune 500. At just twenty-six years old, Jobs was a millionaire, and clearly on his way to success.

Jobs recruited John Sculley to be Apple’s new Chief Executive. This decision, however, would eventually lead him to his first mistake.

Staying on board as Apple’s chief visionary, Jobs worked steadily to push the boundaries of innovation. This role put him in charge of the development of the Macintosh computer, which would be the first personal computer available to public.

Low sales stressed the relationship between Sculley and Jobs. This ultimately led Apple’s board members to back up Sculley during this time and punish Jobs by demoting him to a very basic office position.

In much simpler words, they were virtually firing him.

Having secured his fame at just thirty years of age, Jobs was suddenly out of a job. During his time away, Jobs then launched a brand new computer company called NeXT, Inc. and shortly afterward purchased The Graphics Group, which would become Pixar Animation Studios.

Although Jobs had created a new path for success, destiny beckoned him back to Apple.

In 1996, Apple, who was struggling during this time, merged with NeXT and effectively returned Jobs to the company he had helped create.

Just a year later, Jobs was named CEO of Apple and in the decade that followed, he led the company to produce some its greatest products, such the iPod, iPhone, and iPad.

Steve Jobs mentioned in his 2005 commencement speech to Stanford University that “getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could ever have happened” to him. Although he may have been blind to it at that time, his return was the best investment Apple could have made.

With Jobs as CEO, Apple was able to reach the much sought after honors of being the number one electronic company in the world.

Much of Apple’s success has been due to Jobs’ seemingly restless attempt to revolutionize the electronic industry and build his legacy before his untimely death.

In 2004, Jobs was diagnosed with a rare and almost untreatable form of pancreatic cancer. Through his illness however, he continued to push the innovative capacities of Apple.

It was during this time that he continued to make people rethink the modern day business man and attribute his own skills to how a CEO should conduct his or her self.

His delivery, style, and uncanny ability to excite the masses with every new electronic device he introduced was, and is still, unmatched among his successors.

Though there was high hope he would pull through after his liver transplant in 2008, the cancer eventually returned to claim the life of our generation’s greatest visionary.

On Oct. 5, at the tender age of 56, shortly after resigning as CEO of Apple, Jobs passed away, leaving the entire world devastated.

What this man has done for the world is truly incomparable. To liken him to that of Thomas Edison or Henry Ford for their contributions to the world are about as close as one can get.

For a rare moment in history, the world was united in mourning the loss of this great man. On the day of his death, the world shared in unison an empty void as the news of this tragedy spread rapidly throughout the Internet.

Flowers and apples, as well as other items, were used to honor the memory of Jobs and placed at the footstep of Apple stores around the world, thus temporarily transforming them into a public shrine for someone who served the world in the best way he could.

So, I say, look around you.

Take notice of the desk that sits nearby by. On it sits a laptop, loading the latest Facebook time line. Whether said computer is a Dell, a Mac, or any other brand available, imagine that computer having been created without the existence of Jobs.

How different might that laptop be if there was no Apple organization to set the standard for the design and efficiency of a personal computer?

Just for a moment, imagine there being no Steve Jobs to decide just how to change the status quo of green, small font in order to create a wide variety of font style and sizes?

Take another look around.

Notice the ring you hear coming from your pocket as you reach to pull out the latest smartphone. Whether or not it’s an iPhone, just let yourself imagine a world that missed out the opportunity of being introduced to such a product.

Jobs created a device that forever changed the perception surrounding the use of smartphones. Sure, there were plenty of smartphones before the iPhone came along, but none of them were the same. None of them will ever be the same.

Today’s apps and market places were virtually nonexistent. The idea of being able to have just one device, such as that cell phone you have in your pocket, would have never been envisioned in the way that it was by Jobs.

Take one more look around and note the objects surrounding you. You might notice you own that one item everyone loves to have in their possession. You know, that must-have item of our generation—the iPod.

Although digital music existed in the late ’90s and there were certain devices that catered to it, nothing was anything like the iPod.

Jobs made it possible to hold 4GB, 60GB and even 120GB of data in the palm of our hands. That being said, he forever revolutionized the music industry by being the first to popularize the convenience of storing digital music in the MP3 format.

Though there may be people that are firmly against buying anything with an Apple logo on it, hardly anyone will go so far as to discredit Jobs and his contributions to the technology of this age.

He alone has made this world infinitely better with his creations.

As I sit here typing this article, my iPhone rests in my pocket and my iPod on its charger. Without a doubt, it’s imperative to take a moment to truly thank Jobs for his courage as an individual to push the boundaries of technology when no one else dared to even attempt such a feat.

If only he had ten more years, there’s no telling what other life changing devices may have been created. The world will continue to mourn his loss. May he rest in peace.

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