Steve Jobs died today after a long battle with cancer. He was 56. Founding NeXT would have been enough to turn anyone into a cult hero in his field. Acquiring Lucasfilm’s Graphics Group and turning it into Pixar would have made anyone a respected business leader.
But for Steve Jobs, those were feathers in his cap called Apple, the company he co-founded with Steve Wozniak, and then later saved from extinction by returning to lead it again. He led Apple to its point today as the most valuable corporation in America, measured by public market capitalization. To do that, Jobs had to beat Microsoft and he had to beat IBM. He won in the end.
Far from just a visionary, people from Apple have always said he was a hands-on leader, who had a personal stake in the success of the company and of the products he helped create. Apple ][. Macintosh. NextStep. iMac. MacOS X. iPod. iPhone. iPad. Jobs leaves behind an incredible legacy, and his death will be felt by his industry, and the world. RIP.
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