Breaking: Steve Jobs is dead

Apple founder and former CEO Steve Jobs has died. Mr. Jobs, who has been suffering from pancreatic cancer, had looked weak and frail recently, and it was clear that his resigning as CEO recently was due to his failing health.

Steve Jobs changed the world at least three times.

He created the first mass-market personal computer, the Apple II (a version of which I bought sometime around 1979 with my Bar Mitzvah gift money.)

He changed the music business forever with the creation of iTunes.

And he again changed the computer business forever with the invention of the iPad.

And between those things, he invented the iPod and the iPhone, which set a new standard for "smart phones".

It's hard to imagine what the world would look like had Steve Jobs never been born. I would venture to say that many millions of people would find their lives a little less productive and much less fun.

To me, Mr. Jobs was like a real-world Howard Roark, absolutely insistent on creating what HE wanted to create because he knew it was good, valuable, and true. And perhaps I am projecting here, given that my son's middle name is Rand, but I see Steve Jobs as a Randian hero, a person who is all but irreplaceable in modern society and whose motivation came from his own drive to do what he knew the world needed, not a desire to be popular or even appreciated.

Rest in peace, Steve.

(For a more detailed biography of Steve Jobs, see this article.)

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