Former CEO Jobs leaves legacy as innovator

The word “innovator” is probably one of the most overused words in our everyday language. People often use this word to describe above-average people who have achieved good things.

But to me, this word should only be associated with greatness and saved for the truly extraordinary individuals who have revolutionized society and whose great minds have touched others. Very few people in history fall into this category. Some names that come to mind are Thomas Edison, Benjamin Franklin and Johannes Gutenberg.

And Steve Jobs.

The world lost a true innovator on Oct. 5 when Jobs, 56, died after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. As many already know, he was the CEO of Apple Inc. before resigning from his position in August. He was the company’s founder as well.

After his death, the mainstream media began to cover his life and what he meant to the world with his revolutionary inventions. Indeed, a lot of cliché terms like “innovator” or “an inspiration” are being thrown around regarding his impact on the world.

I assure you that all of these adjectives describing Jobs are true. There hasn’t been a person in the past century to have as much impact as he did on today’s society. He was one of the great thinkers and philosophers of our generation. And he invented things that will forever have their mark etched in history.

I’ll start with the Macintosh, his first major invention.

Many people think that Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft, was responsible for creating the world’s first personal computer (PC). This couldn’t be further from the truth. It was in fact Jobs who created the first truly “personal computer” with the invention of the Macintosh, released in 1984.

Before the Macintosh, computers existed, but the average person had a tough time using the system. As opposed to modern desktop computers with a graphical interface and mouse, pre-Macintosh computers used a command-line interface. Users could only navigate by typing out complex text commands to the computer. The Macintosh was the first personal computer to become truly “personal” through the use of a graphical interface and a mouse.

Another invention that made Apple the successful company it has become today was the release of the iPod in 2001. MP3 players existed before this, but many of these earlier devices had poorly designed user interfaces. The introduction of the iPod changed that and perhaps was the inspiration for many imitations like the Zune.

The iPod product line didn’t stop in 2001. It is still alive today as Apple has released the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad.

All of these products have made an impact on the world, whether you want to believe or not. Anything that’s in your pocket right now is either an Apple product or something that was inspired by an Apple product. For this reason alone, it can be concluded that Jobs was one of the greatest pioneers of the past 200 years for creating innovation in today’s society. Jobs was smart, but it takes more than a smart person to inspire multiple generations. This is why he can be considered a visionary.

JACOB TARR

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