Steve Jobs, the tributes, the legacy, the challenge for Apple and one warning

6th October 2011

Steve Job's death has made a huge impact on the world with the President Barack Obama leading the tributes.  

The President said:"He made the information revolution not only accessible, but intuitive and fun "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."

Bill Gates, the former head of Microsoft said: ""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."

Google founder Sergei Brin said: "From the earliest days of Google, whenever Larry and I sought inspiration for vision and leadership, we needed to look no farther than Cupertino. Steve, your passion for excellence is felt by anyone who has ever touched an Apple product (including the Macbook I am writing this on right now)."

Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg said: "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."

Apple CEO Tim Cook sent the following email to staff announcing the news yesterday.

"I have some very sad news to share with all of you. Steve passed away earlier today. Apple has 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 built, and his spirit will forever be the foundation of Apple.

"We are planning a celebration of Steve's extraordinary life for Apple employees that will take place soon. If you would like to share your thoughts, memories and condolences in the interim, you can simply email

"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."


The legacy

The Seattle Post Intelligencer quotes Robert Sutton, a professor of management science at Stanford University saying that as business leaders arguably only Henry Ford, Thomas Edison and Walt Disney have reached such a level of fame before.

He said:  "He reached a level in the public consciousness that's beyond that of anyone in modern times. I mean, my mother doesn't know the name of (former General Electric CEO) Jack Welch."

Sutton suggests that perhaps Henry Ford who revolutionized transportation with the Model T automobile, or to Thomas Edison, the master inventor similarly transformed the way we live. Or to Walt Disney, with his vast influence in entertainment.

Here Smart Company lists the five best innovations including the Mac, the iPod and the i-Phone but it also rates the iTunes and App Stores and the fact that Jobs also bought Pixar, the first firm to make entirely computer generated animated films.

Information Week lists ten innovations here broadening this out to include the i-Pad.

On the LA Times, Tom Petruno examines how well the share price has done.

"Apple's 927 million outstanding shares, at Wednesday's price of $378.25 each, are worth more than the combined stock value of Microsoft Corp., Hewlett-Packard Co., DirecTV, Dell Inc. and Nokia Corp.

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