by Alex Cosper (10/06/11)
Steve Jobs (1955-2011) proved to be the most influential tech pioneeer in the transition to digitally distributed music in the 21st Century. He may have helped accelerate the demise of the CD, which can't be considered a bad thing when you consider all the plastic waste on the planet.
His visionary talent for designing user friendly computing technology, empowered music fans by putting their entire libraries in their pockets with the iPod and iTunes. Both innovations helped consumers organize their music collections in sensible and quick on demand ways that had never been done before. Suddenly the national top 10 was no longer as important as your own personal top 10,000.
A string of high quality developments under Steve's leadership, starting with Mac OS X followed by the popular gadgets through the iPhone and iPad, transformed pop culture and created a wave of excitement about innovation and entreprenuership. In August 2011 the company that originally started in a garage by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak surpassed oil giant Exxon Mobil as the most valuable company in America. Steve lived to see this remarkable achievement that no other company could claim in three decades.
Apple's unprecedented ride to the top of the American dream proved that the spirit of innovation is healthy to pursue despite long held corporate mantras that you have to "play it safe" and "art doesn't sell." By shattering corporate myths about how business must be run, Steve and Apple ushered in a whole new world of possibilities how business can be run more creatively, efficiently and successfully. His ideas not only transformed several industries (music, movies, phones), but created new industries as well, with selling apps as the most visible for programmers. Thanks to Jobs, many content consumers became content producers.
His inspiration to millions of Apple users and Pixar movie fans cannot be overstated since it was so profound. He will be compared with other great innovators. His contribution to society, particularly to music fans who learned to design their own iTunes playlists, was far reaching and will ubdoubtedly be felt for a long, long time.
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