By a Newsnet reporter
Steve Jobs, the joint founder of Apple has died at the age of 56. The visionary who has revolutionised the communications industry lost his fight against pancreatic cancer early this morning.
Jobs, with friend Steve Wozniak, were amongst the early pioneers of the PC revolution and together they created the famous Apple company.
Jobs was one of the first people to appreciate the potential of the graphical user interface (GUI) and mouse, originally developed by Xerox in a Palo Alto research lab. Xerox sat on the idea for four years not knowing what to do with it and it wasn’t until Jobs saw its potential in a visit to the Xerox facility that an agreement was reached and the Apple Mac was born.
The pioneering Macintosh PC was launched in 1984 and became an instant hit. Microsoft would later use the same GUI idea to create their own Windows interface.
Ousted from Apple in 1986 after a power struggle Jobs acquired Pixar animation from Star Wars mogul George Lucas. An attempt at introducing another personal computer onto the market, NeXT, failed and when in 1996 Apple acquired the struggling NeXT, Jobs found himself back at the company he helped create.
In 2001 it was a much wiser Jobs who took to the stage to introduce a small handheld device he christened the iPod and with that, the struggling Apple were back. The advances in technology allowed Jobs to really apply his uniquely aesthetic designs to products as the iPad and iPhone followed.
In 2004 Jobs announced he was suffering from pancreatic cancer and a liver transplant followed in 2009. He leaves behind his wife of 20 years, Laurene, and four children, including one from a prior relationship.
“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do,” he told the Stanford grads in 2005.
“If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on.”
Today Apple is the biggest technology company in the world, and for a brief period recently even overtook Exxon mobil as the biggest company bar none. Jobs’ visionary ideas have been copied by others and the communications industry is now witnessing a second evolution with the emergence of mobile hand held devices incorporating the three essentials of: communication, internet and apps.
Steve Jobs was unique in his ability to instil a rock star devotion from Apple customers. His skill at ‘selling’ us a product we didn’t know we needed is legendary and many will struggle to remember life before the iPod.
It was once said that the PC revolution was the only industry revolution where the pioneers all lived to see the dream realised. The early death of Steve Jobs has left a hole that will be difficult to fill.
His first authorised biography is scheduled to be published by Simon & Schuster in November. What price the title will be “Stay young, stay foolish”, Jobs’ favourite saying?