Steve Jobs. He was an innovator, a visionary and one of the most important and influential individuals to walk the planet. The manifestation of his ideas has affected nearly everyone who listens to music, watches movies or communicates via the cell phone. It’s been said that Jobs was like a combination of Henry Ford and Michelangelo, and this is no overstatement given the power of his ideas and his preternatural ability to create innovations that were almost instantaneously and seamlessly adapted into everyday use. The iPod is a perfect example of such an innovation, and one that completely redefined how people consume and listen to music and, seemingly overnight, changed the recording industry forever. Likewise, the iPhone, iPad, and the line of personal computers that by virtue of not only their computing performance and plethora of features, but more importantly how they actually looked, caused a paradigm shift that melded art and science in a unique design aesthetic that will forever influence the way such products are created and marketed to the masses.
Hollywood as well felt the impact of Jobs’ influence with the Pixar Animation Studios creating under his tutelage perhaps the most consistently performing set of films ever to come out of a single production entity. From the original Toy Story released in 1995 to Monsters, Inc. to Finding Nemo and this year’s Cars 2, all twelve of the Pixar brand films debuted at number one and collectively the films have earned over $7 billion at the worldwide box office. With a Jobs inspired corporate culture that values creative freedom and a total commitment to quality, the Pixar movies like everything else that bear the Jobs imprimatur are creative works that create an almost transcendental resonance with the audience and as such become both critical and financial successes.
Steve Jobs’ influence will be felt for generations to come and though the long term impact of his vision cannot yet be fully be understood, there is no question that the world lost a true genius.