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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2761

Steve Jobs: 2nd Death Anniversary of Inimitable Genius

Hemantha Abeywardena writes from London…

It is hard to believe that it has been two years since we lost the one of the greatest technological visionaries of our time. Steve Jobs, the co-founder of the greatest brand on the Earth at present, Apple, lost his battle against pancreas cancer on 5th October 2011, leaving a significant vacuum at Apple in particular and in the technological realm in general.

Mr Jobs, who was not keen on seeing mere evolution in the products that he invented, possessed the unique gift of sensing the needs of mankind, decades before his peers – and of course, his rivals - could imagine about them; both his fans and foes know very well how his products took the world by storm as soon as they were launched.

The world also misses his keynote speeches, unforgettable presentations and above all the passion that he had for what he loved.

On the eve of the second death anniversary, Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple, sent an email to the employees of Apple while reflecting on the distinctive legacy left behind by the co-founder: “Tomorrow marks the second anniversary of Steve’s death. I hope everyone will reflect on what he meant to all of us and to the world. Steve was an amazing human being and left the world a better place.”

Mr Cook went on to say the impact that Mr Jobs made on him and the company with his far-sightedness: “I think of him often and find enormous strength in memories of his friendship, vision and leadership. He left behind a company that only he could have built and his spirit will forever be the foundation of Apple. We will continue to honour his memory by dedicating ourselves to the work he loved so much. There is no higher tribute to his memory. I know that he would be proud of all of you,” said Mr Cook on a deeply emotive note.

Mr Cook’s tribute comes at a time when Apple fans still seriously debate whether Apple will be the same in the absence of Mr Jobs, particularly in the context of the slow progress being made by the company on the innovative front. Mr Cook seems to reassure the same audience that the vision of Mr Jobs has not been abandoned during the forward march; on the contrary, according to Mr Cook, it is still very much alive in the realm of Apple.

Mr Jobs was a rare forward thinker and in a league of his own: the range of products that he introduced at regular intervals while being at the helm of Apple clearly reflects the rarity; the way he looked at things from an angle that nobody had ever done before him, resulted in the birth of matchless products – iPod, iPhone and iPad – that mesmerized the world of technology in a short period of time.

Mr Jobs famously said he had never been bothered about what customers wanted; for instance, there were no customer surveys on his watch, which often ask customers ridiculously boring questions, only to be reciprocated in kind. Mr Jobs never adopted these tactics. Instead, he introduced gadgets to the world in line with his vision that we soon fell in love with – and he was right.

The world of technology feels the need of visionaries like Mr Jobs as never before; the technological landscape seems to be barren without the inspirational influence of geniuses like Mr Jobs and Bill Gates. The absence of clear innovation in the mobile industry – and beyond that – is compelling people, who had made a contribution in more than one way, to come out while yelling at those who are responsible for the bottleneck to wake up.
That is exactly what Nolan Bushnell, the co-founder of Atari who employed Steve Jobs as a developer in 1974 while paying him $5 an hour, on the eve of the second death anniversary on CNN. He took a swipe at Mr Cook to vent the frustration: “"I have a feeling -- and this is a funny thing that happens with people who are very buttoned down -- that (Cook) probably thinks he's innovating, when in fact it's just micro-evolution," said Mr Bushnell in the interview.

Mr Bushnell went on to say that true innovation has no consistency; “Nobody sees it until it is done,” he clarified what he meant.

iPod, iPhone and iPad were true innovations indeed. Nobody ever thought about them until Mr Jobs produced them during his famous Apple events.

It is wrong to brand Mr Jobs as a mere innovator. He was an excellent motivator and master of elegance too. He, time and again, proved that attention-to-detail is not a curse when it comes to running a major company; on the contrary, it was a springboard for the laborious process of elevating a brand name to a global rank.

The challenges faced by Sony, Panasonic, Nokia, Toshiba and even Microsoft clearly show importance of visionaries at the apex of the respective companies, despite being not short of brilliant engineers, technicians and managers.

Steve Jobs, a Buddhist, had the determination to give his customers the best products, which, at times bordered on obsession. He never compromised his position even if it had the potential to trigger off a downfall in an infamous boardroom coup. He showed the corporate world the merits of doing what is right, not what is popular, in defying the widely-accepted norms as a part of unwritten culture.

May he attain Nibbana!

- Asian Tribune -

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