“I felt a great disturbance in the force today…”

As if millions of posts and tweets suddenly appeared about Steve Jobs…

Steve Jobs iPhoneLike most people posting or tweeting in the early hours today, I was sad to learn that Steve Jobs has finally lost his battle with pancreatic cancer. If you haven’t heard of him before, he was Apple’s equivalent of Bill Gates to Microsoft. If you haven’t heard of any of them, please go away(!). In many ways the technological world will be mourning the loss of one of it’s greatest innovators and creative driving forces known in the last 30 years.

His vision and stewardship has successfully forged the (now undoubted) Apple juggernaut, now the largest and most profitable technology company the world over, extraordinary given what they were up against with Microsoft’s initial market dominance.

The iP family of products (iPod, iPhone and, yes probably even the iPad now given their impressive sales record to date) is probably going to be his most resounding success in my opinion that generations will remember him for. I only say that as I don’t want to turn this into a computer war rhetoric between macs and PCs, everyone has to make their own minds up on that one. Yes I’m an Apple fan, but I know they’re not exactly everyone’s cup of tea.

But the iP family have been game changers. The iPod has has almost single handedly revolutionised the music industry; and then of course there’s the iPhone. Everyone will have their favourites, I myself love my iPhone. The bigger picture though is that Apple were the groundbreakers with the first proper smartphone, which these days now competes with another 4 or 5 equally good models. It is the competition now that is continuing to drive ongoing and rapid development as to what these incredible machines can do. And the big winners each time are us, the consumers.

Competition in the Market place has made technology better for all of us and actually made it an exciting arena to be a part of. Gone are the days where one company rules all. Visionaries and genii are now working either in tandem or simultaneously to bring about the next big developments that will have an impact for generations to come. And when one passes like today we must all stop for a moment, say thanks and acknowledge their contribution to all of our lives, it doesn’t matter where your particular allegiance lies.

If Steve has indeed moved on to a better place, I have absolutely no doubt he’s already having an argument up there over the naming rights to iHeaven with the current owners. In the meantime my thoughts are with his family, friends and Cupertino colleagues.


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