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I let out an audible gasp upon hearing the news. I don’t gasp, but this was one of those moments.
So much will be said and written in the coming days about Steve Jobs and his contributions to technology. But he was more than a computer guy, gadget maker or technological innovator. His creations went far beyond that little magic brick in your pocket. He literally changed the world.
For better or for worse (and I think better) Jobs can be credited with:
– iTunes forced music companies to rethink distribution, and all but abandoned the concept of the “record store.” Purchasing music, movies and books instantly, the moment you want them, is now the norm.
– He created a new economic model with the 99-cent song and provided a platform to buy only what you wanted, obliterating the concept of the “album.”
– Mac-based music and video production put once expensive tools into amateurs’ hands, allowing art that may never have been able to be made to flourish and spread. And make money where they might never have.
– Pixar created a treasure trove of movies and opened new pathways of storytelling. There’s a slew of Academy Awards that were basically created for this genre of movie-making.
– The major telcos are far richer because of the iPhone and have created entire divisions solely dedicated to making sure voice and data pushed across their networks function properly. The explosion in subscribers and the data they consume is directly attributable to iPhone, which paved the way for all other similar devices.
– Running after Apple is an industry unto itself, with thousands employed in the sport. Hundreds of magazines, books, reporters and publishing companies owe their existence and profitability to covering Apple products.
To say Steve Jobs will be missed hardly does his passing justice, because our world won’t get to see where he was going to take us next.