Steve Jobs: A visionary who touched many lives

Posted on by Mike Evans

Of all the comments on Steve Jobs, these two pieces from fellow writers struck a chord. Federico, from the view of a young man starting his career; Dr. Drang, older but convinced of the impact that Steve made, and will continue to make, on the world.

Federico Viticci,

Three years ago, I didn’t know what to do with my life. University wasn’t really for me, and I had just been fired from a job I didn’t like anyway. As I stood for weeks at a point where I needed to figure out how to survive without going back to my parents asking for help, it hit me: I could try writing about Apple for a few months and maybe someone was going to like the things I had to say and maybe I could make a living out of that. I decided I was going to do what I always loved: discussing technology.

I’m 23 now, and I write about Apple products every day. I don’t run a huge news site, my English is far from perfect, and I never met Steve Jobs. I never will. Yet somehow, I feel like I must thank him for making it possible for a guy with an iPhone in his pocket to turn a passion into a business that seems to be enjoyed by a few readers every day. Something I do believe in. That gets me out of bed in the morning. That makes me fight with my girlfriend sometimes, because I should care less about news reporting and spend a little more time with her in the evening.

Steve Jobs was — is — a visionary genius of our time, a leader, an artist and a man who firmly believed in what he loved, as well as the things he didn’t like.

This personal, brief and sincere “thank you” isn’t about the qualities of Steve Jobs. We all know those stories. For those who don’t, now it’s a good time to start reading.

I thank Steve Jobs for creating products that let me stay up at 5 am, writing. I thank Steve Jobs because he was right: the only way to do great work is to do what you love. And I know I am.

Dr. Drang,

History books are mostly filled with the doings of kings and presidents and generals, and we often think that’s what history is. But the everyday lives of people are more profoundly and permanently changed by technology than they are by laws and wars and palace intrigue. Technological changes usually get overlooked because they tend to move slowly and pass through many hands. There are, however, exceptions.

There’s the steam engine and James Watt, electric power and Thomas Edison, and the automobile and Henry Ford. Our lives today are scarcely imaginable without them.

So it is with the personal computer and Steve Jobs. He didn’t invent the computer any more than Watt invented the steam engine or Ford invented the car, but he created the personal computer industry and is, more than anyone else, responsible for the way we use our many digital devices. As I said when he retired, “the entire personal computing industry is aligned with his vision… [Y]ou’re using a Steve Jobs product whether it has an Apple logo or not.”

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