Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The End of an Era

That phrase is used a lot, I know... but I feel it is absolutely true in this case. Steve Jobs, the man whose vision took Apple from a niche-market player to one of the world's most successful companies--and whose concepts changed the way people listen to music, interact with their smart phones, utlilize the internet, and intertwine entertainment and computing in their everyday lives--has resigned as CEO of Apple.

Jobs wrote:

I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple's CEO, I would be the first to let you know. Unfortunately, that day has come.

I hereby resign as CEO of Apple. I would like to serve, if the Board sees fit, as Chairman of the Board, director and Apple employee.

I infer from his opening sentences that his continued health issues make it impossible for him to continue as CEO; I can't think of any other reason he'd leave the CEO position of the company he loved so much. That's somber news, if it's the reason for his departure. Steve Jobs has changed the world of technology as intensely as did Thomas Edison before him; like Edison, he had his admirers and his detractors (as does every man of great vision and influence). I fall into the former category, of course; over the years, I have benefited tremendously because of his foresight, his vision, his innovation, and his determination. Comic Shop News has been done on a Mac since we launched in 1987; were there no Macs, it is doubtful we would have been able to do the publication in the early days. I utilize iPods, iPads, iPhones, iMacs, Macbooks (both Pro and Air), and AppleTVs on a regular basis.

On two or three occasions, I have reached out to Steve Jobs for personal assistance with an Apple-related issue that seemed unsolveable; in every case,he has responded personally, has subsequently had someone contact me on his behalf, and has found solutions to the problems. Steve Jobs took the time to involve himself directly with an individual, and he followed through. That's something that few CEO's have ever done.

I hope that his health isn't as bad as the resignation letter seems to indicate; even if he's not CEO, I'd love to know that he has many years ahead of him, and I think the world can still benefit from his brilliance and insight.

For now, though, I want to say, "Thank you, Mr. Jobs." And I truly do believe I'm witnessing the end of an era, perhaps the last moment in modern techonological history where one man's drive and vision has reinvented and redirected both a company and an industry.

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