I wasn’t fan of the increasingly “walled garden” approach that the company has been taking, but even detractors couldn’t deny the effect of Steve’s focus on the quality of the products Apple created. We’ve all heard stories about how he’d reject (with contempt!) any product that was incomplete or sub-par, or any idea that was a distraction to his vision for Apple’s future. He knew what he wanted to create and seemed incredibly frustrated with anyone who couldn’t understand what was in his head, or had trouble helping him bring those ideas to life.
Watching Apple’s trajectory with Steve, and it’s decline in his absence, amazed me. A company of this size (current market cap is 355 billion!) was led, directed, and even driven, by the dreams and vision of a single man. That anyone could have such a strong road map for his products, especially the ones that didn’t exist yet, was mind blowing.
I saw a quote (that I haven’t verified) that said he took Apple’s stock from $10 to $400. He took us from MP3 players to iPods. From flip phones to iPhones. And while I was typing this a co-worker dropped in to tell me his department, who codes on Windows and Linux, were buying high-end MacBook Pros for their entire team. They tried, but couldn’t find better hardware to buy from any other vendor.
Steve Jobs not only changed the landscape of our industry, he transformed how most of the world interacts with technology. He, and the products that were yet to come, will be sorely missed.