In Memoriam of Steve Jobs: The Ultimate Dreamer

Jackie Jerkins, Copy Editor

On Wednesday, October 5, the world lost one of the greatest innovators it has ever known. Steven Paul “Steve” Jobs, co-founder of Apple Inc., passed away at 3 p.m. at his home in California. The cause of death was cited as respiratory failure due to complications of pancreatic cancer.

The teenage world knows Steve Jobs as “the guy who invented Apple.” It’s not a terrific surprise, then, to find that the demographic most dependent on creations headed by Jobs has often taken him for granted.

Beginning in the 1970s, Jobs—a “middle class hippie kid with no college education,” according to a Steve Jobs tribute website—took his fascination of electronic computers (which were, at that time, merely switchboards) and made it into something brilliant. It was that very same uneducated hippie kid who went on to revolutionize the industry of technology forever, and, while he was at it, change the lives of nearly every person on earth.

The first Apple hit came in the late 1970s and early 1980s with the release of the Apple II computer. Success was rich but short-lived, and Jobs strived in vain in years following to restore to Apple the glory that the Apple II had given it. The hardships were cruel and many (including Jobs being driven out of his own company and replaced), but the self-made billionaire struck it big once more with the introduction of Mac OS X in 2001, an operating system that—as was his habit—changed entirely the idea of what a computer should be.

From there it was smooth sailing. The iPod revolution, followed by the iPhone revolution, shook technology industries to their cores. With a stake in Pixar animated films on the side, Jobs rose to the top of the technological food chain, and this time for keeps.

“I want to put a ding in the universe,” once smiled the entrepreneur.

In typical Jobs fashion, the messiah of the consumer technology world has put not a ding in the universe but a gaping sinkhole. With unprecedented grace, vision, and solid common sense, Jobs has done one thing that other modern innovators have not: he has listened to the people. His appeal to the masses has seen him take into account everything that the average person would need from a piece of technology, and then predict everything that they might not even know they need.

Hus influence is felt distinctively by students. Moments after the breaking news of Jobs’s death, Facebook statuses erupted with memorial ‘R.I.P.’s. While his life is rarely expounded upon past his contributions to Apple Inc., many teens seem to realize that he had an enormous momentum in their world, on some level or another.

“He’s impacted so many people with his products, and it’s just not going to be the same without him,” says Evan Lee, senior.

Throughout his life, Jobs maintained a philosophy of making dreams come true. He speaks to today’s generation, urging them to act on their ideas and to take the risks necessary to make their visions reality. He looks into the eyes of teens and assures them that they can make a difference, and that no matter what, they can be successful.

“Here’s to the crazy ones,” narrates Steve Jobs in Think Different, “the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes… the ones who see things differently … they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.”

Around the globe, people are honoring the middle class hippie kid who changed the world and who was crazy enough to “Think Different.” On the day of Jobs’s death, people outside of Tokyo’s central Apple store left at the store front apples with one bite in them, vivid homage to the famous company logo.

For the rest of the world, however, honoring Steve Jobs is as simple as sending a text on one’s iPhone, because it is precisely what he wanted us to be able to do.