Steve Jobs died peacefully at his home on Oct. 5 due to complications arising from his long battle with pancreatic cancer. As the news spread, the world mourned the passing of the person considered as one of the greatest CEOs and innovators of our generation.
Jobs helped found Apple Inc. in his garage after dropping out of college, the only consistent rival to Microsoft’s domination of the computer world. After some initial success the company found itself floundering, which lead to infighting between Jobs and then CEO of Apple John Sculley. After Sculley learned of a plot by Jobs to oust him he had Jobs removed from his position of power within the company, causing Jobs to leave Apple several months later. After striking out on his own he bought fledgling animation studio Graphics Group, which soon changed its name to Pixar. Jobs helped turn Pixar into one of the most respected animation studios in the world. Jobs returned to Apple 12 years later, and after a swift boardroom coup against the CEO, took on the position of CEO and helped Apple establish an identity of simplistic, elegant design.
For 10 years Apple has set the standard for innovation in the field of computer hardware with Jobs leading the charge. Apple effectively appealed to a large youth demographic, turning technology from something overly complex and only appreciated by geeks into a sleek, sexy, must-have commodity.
From the iPod to the iPhone, Apple has always been a step ahead of the market, making itself a trend setter in personal electronics.
Jobs’ legacy can be seen easily on campus. It’s next to impossible to walk from one end of the campus to the other without seeing a student listening to music on their iPod, or texting on an iPhone.
Jobs’ oldest rival, founder of Microsoft Bill Gates, had a particularly powerful reaction to the news of his death. In a press release after Jobs’ death he stated: “Steve and I first met nearly 30 years ago, and have been colleagues, competitors, and friends over the course of more than half our lives. The world rarely sees someone who has had the profound impact Steve has had, the effects of which will be felt for many generations to come. For those of us lucky enough to get to work with him, it’s been an insanely great honor.”