I’m not one for eulogies, so I’m not going to write something long, here.
When we’re gone, our legacy is not the amount of money we accumulated when we were alive – we can’t take it with us. It’s not the number of companies we’ve built, or the education we’ve achieved. Our legacy is the number of people we’ve positively impacted.
On those grounds, Steve Jobs’ legacy is huge. I remember reading once (I can’t find the exact quote), during the height of the Microsoft/Apple ‘wars’, Jobs was always the more dangerous compared to Gates. The person didn’t mean it as a negative towards Jobs, but as a statement towards business-as-usual/status quo beliefs. Paraphrasing, it was said:
Gates is easier to understand. He just wants to own the world.
Jobs wants to change it.
Steve Jobs did indeed change the world. Did he make mistakes along the way? Certainly. Did he rub some people up the wrong way? Certainly. Yet his motivation, I believe, can be judged to be good. He didn’t want to own the world or die the richest man. He simply wanted to make the world a better place by making the wonder that is IT approachable to the average person.
In simplest terms, he wanted to turn computers into toasters. He wanted them designed, engineered and operable such that anyone could use them.
He pushed, more than anyone else, that goal.
And the world is a better place for it.