Steve Jobs: Death of a revolutionist

It was 7.45am this morning, and I went about my morning routine at work. My coffee turned cold. I reached out for my iPhone, checking texts messages until my news feed popped up: Steve Jobs had passed away at 56.

I tried to gather my emotions. I was overwhelmed by sadness. As if a close friend, or a family member has passed away. Even though I have never seen or spoken to this man who has become such a cult figure in the past decade. Why?

Because he was a brilliant man. Not just a technology expert or talent, he was a true designer, a creator, an innovator. He touched lives. He changed things. He became someone people looked up to, not because of his phenomenal success, but because he failed, again and again, before he finally made it, and revolutionized how we thought about technology and gadgets. He represented life’s trials and tribulations, not the excesses of wealth. And that is why his death is so tragic, and so sad. He fought – initially as people doubted Apple, and then his illness – and fought. He earned the respect of many.

From USA Today:

President Barack Obama: By building one of the planet’s most successful companies from his garage, he exemplified the spirit of American ingenuity. By making computers personal and putting the Internet in our pockets, he made the information revolution not only accessible, but intuitive and fun. And by turning his talents to storytelling, he has brought joy to millions of children and grownups alike.

Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg (via Facebook): Steve, thank you for being a mentor and a friend. Thanks for showing that what you build can change the world. I will miss you.

Microsoft co-founder and longtime rival Bill Gates: Melinda (Gates’ wife) and I extend our sincere condolences to his family and friends, and to everyone Steve has touched through his work. Steve and I first met nearly 30 years ago and have been colleagues, competitors and friends over the course of more than half our lives. The world rarely sees someone who has had the profound impact Steve has had, the effects of which will be felt for many generations to come. For those of us lucky enough to get to work with him, it’s been an insanely great honor. I will miss Steve immensely.

Larry Page, CEO of Google: I am very, very sad to hear the news about Steve. He was a great man with incredible achievements and amazing brilliance. He always seemed to be able to say in very few words what you actually should have been thinking before you thought it. His focus on the user experience above all else has always been an inspiration to me. He was very kind to reach out to me as I became CEO of Google and spend time offering his advice and knowledge even though he was not at all well. My thoughts and Google’s are with his family and the whole Apple family.

We have lost a great visionary, who has earned the love and respect of many.