Tomorrow, Apple CEO Tim Cook will take Steve Jobs place, announcing the iPhone 5. It will take place in a smaller venue, and probably with fewer people watching than normal. It’s a new day for Apple.
A little more than a month ago, we were all shocked to hear that Steve Jobs stepped down as Apple’s CEO. That move sparked a wave of tributes that bordered on eulogies. According to Paul Saffo, a Silicon Valley technology forecaster, “The difference between Steve Jobs and Bill Gates—two great innovators—is that Jobs created objects of desire.” Peter Sealey said, “You’d have to go back to the 1940s and Walt Disney to find a CEO who’s had as big an impact on culture as Steve Jobs. Maybe it’s a stretch to compare him to Leonardo Da Vinci, but he was just as good.”
May I give my assessment?
Steve Jobs was a true leader who changed the way an industry worked. He influenced our very culture and created both work and hope. We didn’t even know we needed an iPhone or an iPad until Apple created them; now many of us don’t want to live without them. I am one of those people—I have an iPod, an iPhone, an iPad and a MacBook Pro. I’m hooked. Steve Jobs had led the way in the arena of technology and I have followed.
I was reminded of a press conference that took place some time ago, when President Obama fielded questions about the economy. When a journalist commented we need more jobs, someone said, “We don’t need more jobs. We need more Steve Jobs.” Leaders who create, rather than simply move things around or modify.
That’s the kind of leadership we need in every industry. Not merely people who keep things safe and hold on to what we have—but leaders who generate ideas and direction and make the way for others to live at a higher level than they could have alone.
How about you? Do you do this for students? For anyone else in your life?
Late in the evening on Wednesday, October 5, I was shocked and saddened to hear the news that Steve Jobs had passed away.
The response to his death has been incredible as so many join together to remember the unique contributions he made.
Take a moment to read these responses as we attempt to answer the question: