It may seem redundant to list Steve Jobs’ accomplishments, but they have greatly affected our daily lives. Everyone and their grandmothers own an iPod, the iPhone catapulted the multimedia-enabled smartphone market, the iPad launched the new and forceful tablet industry, the Macintosh was the first commercially successful and viable home computer with its paradigm-shifting graphical user interface and, of course, let’s not forget Pixar, which completely reinvented feature-film animation.
Yet these innovations don’t do sufficient justice to Steve Jobs’ legacy. His technical achievements were not merely game-changing and the expansion of Jobs’ empire was not just about final products. They served as tools for grander worldwide connection and different perceptions of our changing future.
Take the iPod. When combined with the original music sharing service, Napster, it effectively reformulated the entire music industry. It wasn’t just about a newly digitized way to listen to music. It was about anonymous, mobile accessibility of information for anyone, anywhere, at no cost. Media piracy skyrocketed at exponential rates, rendering the titans of the music industry all but obsolete. Although this wasn’t Apple’s intention, the iPod played a role in piracy by creating a new way to easily digitize downloaded music. It has made live touring, and not record sales, the ultimate way to make money in the music industry. It’s not a coincidence that the independent music scene has thrived this decade, as these changes paved the road for all music to become equally accessible.
Jobs has often been called the Edison of our time.
“We’re here to put a dent in the universe,” Jobs often said.
Along the lines of the greatest revolutionaries, inventors, philosophers, politicians, free-market tycoons and military minds of American history, Jobs is a perfect example of a leader who kept America at the top of the food chain, the type of leader who executed grand concepts, the type of leader who is more than the sum of his products. As America faces significant competition from global powers worldwide, the need for titans of industry are as urgent as ever. Jobs was the core of the digital expansion of the world, the nucleus America will need in order to remain perpetual trailblazers.
The Internet is in mourning right now, and probably will be for a few more weeks. The world has just lost one of the most vital, if not the most accessible, technological innovators of contemporary times. The skinny of it is that Steve Jobs was an icon. And he will be remembered as such. It all boils down to his puzzling, yet sublimely poetic mantra we should all attempt to live by, “Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish.”