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RIP Steve Jobs: Thank You For Thinking Differently

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There are few people in this industry that cause the level of emotion that Steve Jobs does. In his passing at home with his family this Wednesday, there a huge outpouring of tributes to the person that I consider to be the most inspirational and most important in the technology field. 

When I heard the news this morning when I woke up, I was deeply saddened. After Steve Jobs stepped down as CEO on August 24, a lot of people feared the worst about Steve Job's health. That act alone caused an immense amount of concern, tribute and sadness in the technology industry. But his death still comes as a gut-wrenching surprise. I think everyone was still hoping for his famous "One More Thing". 

What is outstanding about Steve is that his impact goes far beyond the realm of computer geeks and software developers. Any paper that you pick up will have the news of Steve's passing on the front page. And that is the profound impact that he has made. He has given us all an industry to be proud of, translating the exciting nature of IT into some thing all consumers understand. I can't overstate what a great ambassador he was for what software developers do - he gave us the chance to feel really proud of the things that we can produce. 

Best known for his outstanding keynotes and commanding stage presence when unveiling new products, one of the most celebrated speeches Steve Jobs was his insightful, and truly inspirational commencement speech at Stanford in 2005. The speech is encouraging for those of us who love what we do, concluding with the advice to "Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish"


Go to the Apple homepage today and you will see their tribute to the most inspirational person in our industry.

 "Apple has a lost a visionary and creative genius, and the world has  lost an amazing human being. Those of us who have been fortunate enough to know and work with Steve have lost a dear friend and an inspiring mentor. Steve leaves behind a company that only he could have build, and his spirit will forever be the foundation of Apple"


Here's a pick of my favorite tributes from around the web: 

President Obama: 

Michelle and I are saddened to learn of the passing of Steve Jobs. Steve was among the greatest of American innovators - brave enough to think differently, bold enough to believe he could change the world, and talented enough to do it.

By building one of the planet’s most successful companies from his garage, he exemplified the spirit of American ingenuity.  By making computers personal and putting the internet in our pockets, he made the information revolution not only accessible, but intuitive and fun.  And by turning his talents to storytelling, he has brought joy to millions of children and grownups alike. Steve was fond of saying that he lived every day like it was his last.  Because he did, he transformed our lives, redefined entire industries, and achieved one of the rarest feats in human history: he changed the way each of us sees the world.

The world has lost a visionary. And there may be no greater tribute to Steve’s success than the fact that much of the world learned of his passing on a device he invented. Michelle and I send our thoughts and prayers to Steve’s wife Laurene, his family, and all those who loved him.

Bill Gates:

 I'm truly saddened to learn of Steve Jobs' death. Melinda and I extend our sincere condolences to his family and friends, and to everyone Steve has touched through his work.

Steve and I first met nearly 30 years ago, and have been colleagues, competitors and friends over the course of more than half our lives.

The world rarely sees someone who has had the profound impact Steve has had, the effects of which will be felt for many generations to come.

For those of us lucky enough to get to work with him, it’s been an insanely great honor.  I will miss Steve immensely. 

 Larry Page:

I am very, very sad to hear the news about Steve. He was a great man with incredible achievements and amazing brilliance. He always seemed to be able to say in very few words what you actually should have been thinking before you thought it. His focus on the user experience above all else has always been an inspiration to me. He was very kind to reach out to me as I became CEO of Google and spend time offering his advice and knowledge even though he was not at all well. My thoughts and Google's are with his family and the whole Apple family.

Mark Zuckerberg:

Steve, thank you for being a mentor and a friend. Thanks for showing that what you build can change the world. I will miss you.

Tim Cook: 

No words can adequately express our sadness at Steve's death or our gratitude for the opportunity to work with him. We will honor his memory by dedicating ourselves to continuing the work he loved so much

 Steve Ballmer: 

I want to express my deepest condolences at the passing of Steve Jobs, one of the founders of our industry and a true visionary. My heart goes out to his family, everyone at Apple and everyone who has been touched by his work.

AllThingsD have a great article listing some of Steve Job's most memorable quotes, while the New York Times and Wired both have detailed articles about Steve's life. Walt Mossberg has a piece about "The Steve Jobs I Knew". 

Apple have invited people to share their thoughts and condolences by email at rememberingsteve@apple.com.

This Think Different advert, narrated by Steve Jobs himself, seems to be the best way to sign off this article, a fitting tribute to someone who truly changed the world.


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