The narrative of a commercial for Apple’s “Think Different” campaign, and often attributed to Steve Jobs, was making the rounds on Facebook and Twitter tonight, in the wake of the news of Jobs’ death:
“Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes… the ones who see things differently — they’re not fond of rules… You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things… they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.”
Anyone following the news of Jobs’ death on social media the last few hours has to be struck by the extent of his revolutionary contributions over the last few decades. We all knew Steve Jobs was a creative genius. Even people who are not Apple groupies cannot deny that he was a tech pioneer. But witnessing the roll call of his accomplishments played out in condensed fashion during one short evening of tweets somehow reinforces the magnitude of his genius. Not a one-trick pony visionary with a single product, cure or idea that changed the world, Jobs was a genius who introduced innovation after innovation that indeed pushed the human race forward and radically changed the boundaries of how we work and play.
Still, of all these contributions, something that I read somewhere shortly after he resigned in August struck me as being perhaps his greatest contribution: He and Apple have created nearly 50,000 jobs. And if you count the spinoff companies Jobs and Apple have inspired, the young techies who are developing apps for all the products Apple produced, the people who started companies – tech or not – simply because Jobs inspired them, and the companies that owe their ability to operate, innovate and grow because of the products Jobs created, well . . . I think you can see how staggering that “Jobs” number becomes.
Jobs’ “Jobs Legacy” reinforces why innovation in this country needs to be supported.