On December 8, 1980, Howard Cosell announced to the audience watching the New England Patriots battle the Miami Dolphins on Monday Night Football that John Lennon, one of the lead-members of the Beatles, was shot and killed while walking outside his apartment in New York City. Radio Stations across the country played his music and fans flocked to his apartment to mourn his death.
On October 5, 2011, news broke on social networks that Apple CEO Steve Jobs passed away at the age 56. His death becomes this generations’ John Lennon as people flocked at Apple stores across the country to mourn and leave messages of how his products have changed their lives.
Both Steve Jobs and John Lennon have a lot in common: they had a huge impact on society, had followers that had a cult-like atmosphere and people tried to imitate them.
Steve Jobs joins a long list of innovators that change society – from Johannes Gutenberg to Henry Ford. He will be remembered as a revolutionist innovator: someone that has change society by re-inventing a previous-released product.
He revolutionize the way we use computers, how we buy and listen to music, the way we buy applications and the way we consume media – even though Apple wasn’t the first to mass-produce a MP3 music player, a computer, a tablet PC or a smartphone.
Jobs will also be remembered as an arrogant and somewhat unpleasant, shrewd businessman. Some have described Jobs as “short-tempered”, “acted like the smartest person in the world”, “secretive” and “controlling”. Steve Jobs has also been known for only inviting members of the press to Apple keynotes that have written positive reviews on Apple keynotes and ending relationships with the press that have written negative articles about Apple. Former Gizmodo Editor Brian Lam shares his experiences dealing with Steve Jobs after the gadget blog found an unreleased iPhone 4 in a bar (NSFW).
As we’ve seen with other high-profile deaths, the positives always outweigh the negatives. And Steve Jobs will be remembered not only as a shrewd businessman that dropped out of college but as a very respected CEO that came back after being fired from a company he founded and turned Apple from the brink of bankruptcy into the most powerful company in the world.
And his power has attracted a cult-like atmosphere, much like John Lennon did.
When his death was announced, I have never seen so many people express how much an Apple product or Steve Jobs himself has changed their lives or profession as well as how much media attention the death of Mr. Jobs has attracted. Would CNN devote hours of live coverage to the death of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos? Would the President of the United States issue a press release mourning the death of Best Buy founder Richard M. Schulze? Would ESPN include a link to ABC News announcing the death of Intel CEO Paul Otellini? Would AT&T and Verizon Wireless CEOs issue condolences to the commissioner of the FCC?
Steve Jobs left an incredible legacy on the world. We didn’t want to believe that the end was coming when he announced his resignation last August.
And now we can’t picture Apple without Steve Jobs.