x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 16 January 2018

Apple's founder changed lives with his passion

The legacy of Steve Jobs will endure, but how long will it be before we see his like again?

How do you pay tribute to the Edison of our day? Perhaps the internet itself, which Apple CEO Steve Jobs helped redefine several times over with his ideas, should have been shut down in mourning of his death.

Then again, that is not what the man, who famously said "don't waste your life living someone else's dream", would have wanted. For Mr Jobs, innovation meant always moving forward.

Mr Jobs, who died on Wednesday after a long battle with cancer, leaves behind a company worth more than $50 billion (Dh183.5 billion), second only to Exxon in terms of valuation. Few other millionaire CEOs could invoke similar emotion among the public the way he did. Perhaps it is because he, unlike many other figures in Silicon Valley, was not an overly technical person but more of a maverick, who understood what people wanted: easy to use technology that actually made life easier.

His sleek gadgets certainly delivered, commanding an almost cult status among computer nerds and technophobes alike. Even his competitors awaited his every move. Whether in the fields of technology or design, wherever Apple went, others surely followed. While his departure will hardly spell the end of the Apple success story, it does provide an opportunity for other innovators, too long in Mr Jobs's shadow, to make names for themselves.

That is, after all, what Mr Jobs hoped to do: inspire. His array of peerless iproducts, from the iMac to the iPad, were not only sleek but infinitely functional. The gadgets he helped create changed the way an entire generation approached technology. And with software like iTunes and businesses like Pixar, he even had a hand in how we listen to music and watch movies.

Mr Job's life was, in many respects, the opposite of his products: jagged, jarring and rich with adversity. He was adopted as a child, a college dropout and the father of a daughter out of wedlock. His genius and his drive was, in many ways, an anomaly.

So as we marvel as his impact and draw on his inspiration, we also recognise that a one of a kind light has burned out. Mr Jobs's legacy will live on for generations.