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I just wrote a piece about Steve Jobs (it's being edited now, more when it's up). He, and his companies, have been part of my life for 34 years. I'm only 46, so pretty much I can't remember much about the time when Steve Jobs wasn't part of my life.

Today's news fills me with emotion. The kind you can't really explain. It's wrapped up in a lifetime of living in Silicon Valley and it isn't really explainable.

Love him or hate him, Steve Jobs changed my world in major ways. Not many people can say that. Which is why I'm feeling this strange emotion right now that I can't explain to you in words or actions.
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202 comments
 
I felt the same way when Michael Jackson died.
 
Thank you Robert Scoble,Steve Jobs.
 
It's so sad because I think this is an admission that he is really very sick and can't continue. :-(
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He is the Edison of our time.
 
with you here .. watering eyes.. no words to express the sadness ...
 
I'm no fan of Apple but he is an icon and its sad to see anyone in his position go through what he is dealing with. I'm with ya. Good luck to him.
 
I bought the Apple IIe in 1983 - sad day indeed
 
That's also how I feel, an indescribable sadness.
 
Just hate how time keeps making things... different...
 
I look forward to reading your piece.

What I find amazing is how he created a company which has succeeded more than anything simply because they make great, reliable products that always exceed expectations. Very few other manufacturers can say that.
 
I'm sorry but all these stories are acting likes it's a eulogy for Mr. Jobs. Yes he was great for the technology community, but the man is still with us. Let's not just jump to the end.
 
He was good! and he will be better, I hope.
Hai Le
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I don't know about you guys but I love Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Linus, Stallman ... They are all great people that brought great things into this world.
 
Don't worry,we hove Larry Page, i love Larry Page
 
+Robert Scoble, one could argue that he changed everyones world in major ways with his work. It is a sad state of affairs to see him step down.
 
SJobs is the greatest CEO of all time!
 
I've never been an Apple fan, but Steve Jobs is definitely an icon and will surely leave his permanent mark in computers and technology history. I truly wish him all the best.
 
Well put Robert...
 
I think it is very sad news in that I am sure he didn't want to step back. He loves that company and doing what he does and having to let someone else step in tears him up im sure.
 
Just wish him and his family well :)
 
He's was always like Mexican candy to me. Sweet, sour, salty and spicy all together and I still bit into it. That's the best analogy I have to express my crazy mixed emotions as well.
 
I know what you mean.
I've been thinkin' ... We live in this amazing time defined by many here in Silicon Valley and as they all get older the era we call now shifts away to something new. His leaving foreshadows a time when my kids only hear about these amazing people that changed our world. I love that the streets I walk and the people I meat are intertwined by the founders of this time. 
 
I'm no Apple fan, but I've got to acknowledge Steve Jobs pushed computing so far.

I think Tim Cook will be great but I can't picture him on the level of bringing the mouse or multitouch screen into modern computing.

But who knows, lets see what he does.
I hope for the best for Steve.
 
I remain grateful to Steve Jobs for learning how to present better. His product introductions and WWDC presentations have made a permanent mark on me, and I'm sure others as well.
 
Steve was a messiah! I hope his influence of the Company and its products stays. He brought the touch of art to technology with fonts, and those sleek product designs. Will Miss him!
 
My glass is raised for you Mr. Jobs. Our thanks goes out to anyone who lives out a dream and, in doing so, helps others realize theirs.
 
I think I understand. It's that feeling you get when a childhood/adolescent icon dies or is otherwise no longer on the scene. For me, it was when David Eddings died; his books were such a huge part of my teenage years that the world felt strangely incomplete without him, even though I never met the man.
 
I dont think its as doom as gloom. He will probably work 8 hours a day instead of the 14-16 hours he was putting in.
 
Anyone ever go back and look at an old school iPod from 2003 and wonder what we were thinking? Or that hockey puck mouse on the original iMac? I'm glad Steve Jobs kept improving the world, one device at a time, one line of code at a time.
 
He didn't change your world, he changed everyone's world.
 
Has been a part of my life from 1979ish to present - from when I was 9 years old with an Apple II to present day at age 40 with an ipad 2 and an iPhone 4. I even used Next computers in University. I also loved the Newton.
 
I'm so glad that Windows people don't get like this over Bill Gates.
 
+Steven Hull Sure, we look back now and find them ugly, but compare them with what was available from other companies right at the same time.
 
I could live with out the furby....same processor as the apple IIe.....
 
I kind of saw Jobs's influence waning a little this year. I think Apple is slowing down and milking some of its successes, instead of blazing new trails.
 
There is so much about this announcement that goes beyond his just stepping out of the CEO role. This quote from his letter is pretty profound... "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." ... and you know (you just know!) that it doesn't look good, and explains the emotions that we're all feeling right now. As you aptly wrote... love him or hate him, you sure have to respect the man for the innovations he has brought to the industry!! We wish him the very best!
 
Jesus..... I get the influence, but this near demi-god sonata is over the top. Are we THAT ...... whatever you call it?
 
I just hope and pray everything is ok with him. He is a device machine artist.
 
+Dean Bairaktaris I'd feel the same way about Bill Gates, except Gates hasn't brought me a machine I really love for quite some time now.
 
+Dardin Edward Soto No one is saying he is near "demi-god" - he had a long influence and helped usher in the era of personal computing in Apple, did Next, Pixar, and more - and then completely changed the game with digital media players, made tablets popular, and many other things. I use Windows 7 and Linux for my OS' currently for my laptops, so am not genuflecting at the altar of Apple :)
 
+Robert Scoble All deep emotions recollect from Tranquility. Hard Come, Hard go. Peace and live longer with +steve jobs
 
Say what you will about Steve Jobs, I feel really bad for anyone who has to deal with the C word. It would be a very different world with out him. 
 
+Dardin Edward Soto sorry, there is simply no one in the industry even close to Steve Jobs. I've met thousands of CEOs and many visionaries, but no one is put together quite like Steve nor has so much of my personal history been wrapped up together with someone as it is with Steve.
 
engineering point of view = 0 (zero). Design 18/20. No inovation whatsoever. Apple didn't create nothing. Designed a lot, but inventions = 0
 
One of the true game changers of our time. He will be missed.
 
Agreed with everything. Granted I've never met the guy, but what makes today emotional is all the memories of him on stage speaking to the audience and announcing a new product. I'll never forget all the times Steve announced a new iPod and each one was received with applaud. Just brings back all those exciting days I guess.
 
I'm not his biggest fan you have to respect what's his done for bringing tech more main stream.
 
+Luís Miguel P. Freitas that demonstrates you know nothing about technology or what really is an innovation. He was the first to bring me a Tablet PC that worked. Worked. Head to tail. All others suck somewhere. THAT is innovation. THAT is engineering.

My friend who works at HP on the webOS team used to work on the iPHone team. He talked to me many times about the engineering work that Apple did to make things seem perfect. For instance, scrolling the screen up and down works on iOS much better than any other phone (they worked for thousands of hours to get it to do that at 60 frames per second). THAT is engineering. You, sir, are NOT credible when you say Apple doesn't do real engineering.
 
+Eric Booth Well said! Jobs is still with us, let's hope he will be around still for quite a while.
 
+Pam Adger this news isn't good. It tells me that he isn't well and that he's fighting to get better. I hope he does, but I feel the same way when a doctor tells us someone we love isn't doing well.
 
First of all... This is not about +Robert Scoble This is about Steve, his family, his life, his health. it is going to be hard to replace him. Not impossible, but difficult, because he does not compromise his vision for his work.
Having said that, his capabilities are milestones other CEO's can reach. Do not be fooled by the Reality Distortion Field!
 
As a research programmer from PARC in the 80's, I've always had mixed feelings about Jobs and the birth of the Mac. But that said, I've always had tremendous respect for his drive and innovation, and it's very sad to see him go.
 
I didn't say they didn't do engineering. I said they don't do good engineering.
 
Steve has been at the cutting edge of innovation. From the GUI to the IPad. A very hard one to replace indeed
 
+Hugh Messenger I bet. Man, I wish we could walk around the halls of PARC and you could tell me some stories.
 
+Robert Scoble I completely get and understand the legacy that an influence of that length can render. If I may calibrate my earlier remark, ... the buzz is akin to him having died or of terminal health. He resigned one postion, and is now going to overlord the very postion he vacated. What is going to be different, really? Nothing. Anybody that thinks he has the type of personalty to simply be a figurehead and not be involved just as he is now is devoid of reality. The only thing he wont be doing is signing checks day-to-day. We can speculate all we want on health, and that is likely ONE of the elements in his decision-making equation, but what if he is just tired and wants to ride his bike? ...
Ivy Fu
 
he also changed other part of the world...
 
+David Buttrick I don't see how any other executive can reach the memories that Jobs can pull on. More later when the Next Web publishes my piece.
 
I really hope that he will still have serious influence even if he's not CEO. Every time Apple puts out a product, the way I interact with the world changes. I need that to continue!
 
I don't know of any other exec as enchanting
 
After all,still have to go back to the days of purely in order to enjoy the glory of it all ... in the JOBS different tune with the outside world should mind it ....
 
At 55 he is far too young. I truly hope he recovers. He shows how America can lead the world with innovators and thinkers...I say that as a British/Canadian subject/citizen.
 
+Dardin Edward Soto sorry, but this note is pretty specific that Steve isn't well. If he were well, he would use different language. One thing I've learned over the years is that the language Steve picks to announce something is VERY carefully picked. So, you must decode it that way. He didn't say "I'm just wanting to enjoy life and ride my bike." He said "I can't perform the duties anymore."
 
+Robert Scoble Yeah, really. +Luís Miguel P. Freitas I think you need to reconsider. To me the most amazing thing is that tech companies come and go with the tide (Lotus anyone? DEC? etc.etc). Yet here is Apple now the largest company on the planet (depending on the day/hour) with tremendous upside. Jobs is on the same plane with Edison, Ford, and Bell and will be remembered as such.
 
+Giles Crouch my friend, +Luke Kilpatrick, lost his wife last week. She was 29. Steve Lacey was killed by a drunk driver a month ago. He was way too young. Life isn't fair. Sometimes the good ones die too young.
 
...and in other news he's aint dead yet! let's save all the eulogies for then and just be about our business folks... nothing to see here... these aren't the droids you're looking for... move along...
 
Maybe people should think about this different. Maybe after 30+ yrs of working long hours and eating and sleeping work the man might just be ready for a break?
 
+Luís Miguel P. Freitas Apple did not do "good engineering" ? Are you serious ? One can criticize Apple for their business policies, or other matters, but it sounds a bit loony to suggest that the engineering of the products is "not good" !
 
Exactly my thoughts +Tom Anderson. Unfortunately, this wasn't really a big surprise and/or totally unexpected, given his health condition. It's not SJ stepping out as Apple's CEO that saddens me... It's the reason why he was forced to do it. =(
 
+Jamie Rich sorry, but if someone you love just learned they have terminal cancer and things aren't looking good this is how humans react (and you would too). We start mourning before death. It's our way of telling the person who is dying "we respect you, and wish you all the joy you can have in your remaining days."
 
"Jobs is on the same plane with Edison, Ford, and Bell and will be remembered as such."

Ford and Edison, anyway. They were both pretty fond of taking credit for others' work and inventions and alienating people. Edison, in particular, spent a LOT more time and energy fighting to own stuff he didn't actually make than he did inventing anything, in the long run.

So yeah, Jobs is the new Thomas Edison, that works.
 
+Robert Scoble - unfortunately a lot of the stories would be about how viciously political, egotistical and childish top-flight researchers can be, which is why I left. A decision I have of course regretted ever since. But yeah, it was fun, the ultimate geek sandbox, and I do have a lot of great memories and stories. :)
 
This was kinda shocking for me. I'm with you on this, it's a weird sense of emotion I'm feeling at this news. I don't care what anyone says; Steve Jobs will always be known as one of great innovators of our time. Name one other person in recent times that has put such a huge and positive effect on the world with technology and lead the way by always thinking outside the box. I really hope he remains a huge role inside of Apple, his baby. 
 
+Robert Scoble don't get offended of what i said. But must agree that other people have other point of view, even if you don't agree. I have a very technicall opinion about this, and a inside view. I've seen a lot of bad choices, and a lot of good ones. But still a very narrow field of choices they worked on. So few pieces of hardware bringing stability, but lacking on true inovation.
 
+Brian Schwall sorry, Steve Jobs is very careful about this stuff. His note said nothing about "I just need a break." This is NOT good news. I'm starting to realize that the emotion I'm feeling is a bit of that kind of "someone I know just got horrible news" kind of emotion. I've been trying to suppress that, for a variety of reasons, but now that I'm actually reading his note it's pretty damn clear this isn't good news.
 
totally agree. I am 36 year old tech geek and have been using apple products for 26+ years. I kind of feel the same way I felt when Jim Henson passed on... oddly enough
 
This is a sober day. I'm not a fan of all things Steve & Apple, but I think he honestly tries doing right, he pulled personal computing out of the ****hole another large company put it in, and has done absolutely amazing things for Apple when much of the world, and I, wrote it off for dead. Here's to health, Steve.
 
Get a room, geez. You guys sound like you lost your girl.
 
+Luís Miguel P. Freitas To say that Apple doesn't do good engineering is like saying Google doesn't do search too well. Until a few year ago, I was exclusively a PC, and all those "I'm a PC commercials" completely used to pissed me off. Since the time that I got my first Apple device, the iPhone (and I have a few of the other devices they make as well) I've been amazed at the thought, the efforts, the innovation and the quality that goes into these products. Forget for a second about all these devices, that magnetic iPad2 cover alone is incredible innovation and engineering!!!
 
+Luís Miguel P. Freitas well, I get where you're coming from. But his is an innovation of perfecting something that's not perfect. Sort of like sanding the rough surface off of a chair and applying a nice thick varnish to it. That can be just as innovative as someone who designs a new chair and, even, more important to society.
 
+Robert Scoble Sorry, your comment is, quite literally, the first I've heard that he is stepping down to having terminal cancer. Having lost family to Cancer, I really do know how much it tears you up. so please accept my apology for snarky remarks prior.
 
Here is what I feel. I love him for all what he has done. I wasn't fortunate to live in times of Einstein or any other science/technology geniuses but I am very fortunate to live in Steve Job's era. He has laid the foundation of two eras of computing. Lots of writers are talking about Job's biggest hits etc, but I think his biggest hit is Apple itself, a company that excels in creation of consumer technologies, bringing different but related/inter-connected disciplines together. Whether he is the CEO or the Chairman or the "Chief Evangelist" or any other title, I just hope he is doing well or is on a path towards getting better, and continue to do what he does great and clearly loves doing... One of my biggest hopes is to see him do something "disruptive", something "game changing" in the field of Education. iPad has some clues, but there is so much more to be done and we need Steve Jobs more than ever...
 
+Robert Scoble sadly I agree. I think this is just a bad sign that Mr Jobs is not long for this world...
 
+Robert Scoble Ok, why then announce he is the Charman of the Board if indeed he "cannot perform" any more? Just to protect the stock? I hope my query is not seen as insensitive, and yes I am understanding that reading the Job verbiage and tea leaves is a meta-art and quasi-science, but to me that doesn't jive. If he is THAT ill, why make a head fake and say he is going to be in the Board at all?
 
Steve Jobs is not just a part of private lives, he CREATED wealth for many people all around the world. I'm not talking about Apple stock; I'm talking about the fact that the things he thought up and created and managed, actually MADE people's lives better! I cannot think of a better thing to do with one's life. And I really feel for anyone who knows him personally or loves him. "Lost your girl," is absurd: this man is loved personally, but also he is loved throughout the world because he helped us live our lives better. How many people can stake a claim to that?
mark a
 
this is good news if you truly care about Apple computers as a company. Steve will still be around, given his health holds up.
 
i work mainly on developing new solutions and several open source projects. And that is the foundation of macosx and android. But no one likes to talk about that :) And the most influential people on kernel, TCP/IP, database, and hardware or basically everything you use in macosx, don't work for Apple or even related. So marketing works. You only know about "those just F&$%ing genius guys" on newsgroups and mailing lists. They don't do marketing. :) My praise to them.
Tom Roe
 
The history of the tech industry over the past 2+ decades can be is derived a lot from apple innovations, and mainly Steve Jobs' innovations.

I don't like what kind of company they've become, but Jobs is a visionary and repeatedly changed the tech industry.
 
Here in Canada we've lost one of the most authtentic and devoted politician that I ever see. Cancer. Sickness of others reminds me to give all the love and attention to those person who make my life better
 
Why is everyone saying nice things about Steve Jobs as if he just died? The man only stepped down as CEO but he's still around, probably will still call the shots. :)
 
+Joris Satyadharma because one thing I've come to understand about Steve is that he's VERY specific in his wording. This is NOT good news and this is a signal to the world that his health has taken a turn for the worse.
 
I was more of a Commodore 64 and a Sony Walkman guy.
 
A billionaire retires, can somebody get me a Kleenex, I'm all misty-eyed here
 
+Robert Scoble Regardless of my cynical nature, I do appreciate your taking the time to converse, albeing in the midst of such volume of commentary. I've watched you many times with +Leo Laporte and am a great fan of your site. I look forward to your article.
 
I don't believe in Apple inovation just because of being too closed to developers. It's a very personal view. And please +Robert Scoble, i agree he changed the USA tech "ecology", but it's simply not true that statement about "the world". NASDAQ don't reach here (Europe) really... :))
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settle down scoble, you're acting like iJustine.. he may just need the time off. I really hope he's ok.
 
At the very minimum, I think his choice of words means that his current status (which we don't know that well) is the best he'll ever achieve and it's bad enough to make it impossible for him to carry his duties as CEO. It doesn't necessarily mean that he'll die very soon.
 
why is this sad news? the guy retired, he didn't die. there are other leaders and innovators out there - they will take over and life goes on
 
If history repeats itself, I wish he will make another comeback again. 
 
A great visionary, driven executive, and historic leader. Best wishes for the future to Apple, Steve, and Silicon Valley.
 
My first "real" job got me into desktop publishing before anyone had a name for it - on a 128k Macintosh. I then went to a job where I had to write documentation for factory-automation equipment using ed, vi, and pict (old Unix hands may know what a step backwards it was). I appreciated that Mac more than you could ever imagine!

And I made sure Macs were being used at the next company to which I applied.

If you lived through trying to write hundreds upon hundreds of pages of manuals in the pre-Mac days, it's probably hard to fathom just how completely revolutionary the Mac was. I owe unending thanks to Steve Jobs and the hard-working engineers at Apple for the paradigm shift they created.
 
+Robert Scoble I look forward to reading your piece about this. Just a little old lady in Omaha, and I really am sad about Steve and feel appreciative of his work.
 
I'd have to agree with Robert. If anything, Steve is a master at communicating very specific bits of information. If he had ANY good news that he could have given us in his letter, he would have done so.

Sigh. Just happy I got to see him at WWDC this year.

Be well Steve. 
 
I have my opinions about the Apple ecosystem, led by Steve Jobs, that I want to put aside for the moment because Steve Jobs getting cancer in the first place always bothered me. He was a health nut. He got cancer. What does that say for the rest of us that are over weight and eat fast food? Should I stop and get cancer anyway? All the money and resources and knowledge in the world can't do a damned thing. Good luck, Steve. Get well. And personally, I'd rather hate the Apple ecosystem with you at the helm then love it with you retired.
 
he will be remembered. from the moment of apple's inception, through its tumultuous moments, to its current glory days. he started a culture everyone loved. 
 
Steve Jobs was also the best example of why one shouldn't always do the same as everyone else. That's what almost killed Apple before Jobs' return. The unique vision he had and the decision to be different is what brought Apple its renewed success.
 
+יוסף מזלטוב בן אברהם You error here is trying to lay all the blame at Apple's feet, what about all the other American companies who were ALSO using Foxxcom? Wow, demonize much? I believe Apple was the first, if not only company to hold Foxxcom's feet to the fire over this issue.
 
To the guy who says I should visit Foxconn and talk to the workers. I have. They have 10s of thousands of workers, and I'm saddened by the folks who committed suicide, just like I'm saddened by the group of teenagers in Palo Alto who killed themselves last year (I guess we should ban Palo Alto schools or something like that for causing horrid living conditions too).

That said, many brands of computers are manufactured in Foxconn factories, not just Apple ones.

+Keith Dickens my mom was a health nut and died when she was 66. All of us die. Billionaires too. No way you can hold off our bad ending. So, just try to do good while you're here.
 
Just a question just for you +Robert Scoble . Since you are one of my "Follow up guys". i like to read your articles, even if i don't agree with them often. :)
Do you see a oportunity to Apple open to the world without Steve Jobs, and a more creative and broader view for Apple? Now, Microsoft don't have the wheight it had previously. Forget about stocks and such economical and marketing perpectives. Objective view please. :)
 
Steve jobs has changed the world in ways i don't feel we even really know yet, If it wash;t for his ideas and apple i would have never stumbled across x-code on my girlfriends macbook pro..To say the least without steve jobs i would have never found my passion for computer sciences. I pray for him and his family in their times of struggle no one should have to experience. Thank you Steve Jobs. I have never met you but, in a way I most Definitely love you, and what you have done!
 
Robb MacMahan, it's a very dull discussion if everyone agrees and only have one point of view.
 
Hope you feel better. Jobs' work with the MacIntosh was a great story in the book and film, "In Search Of Excellence." Played the video for my students every year for a long time.
 
+Luís Miguel P. Freitas I bet that Apple will soon completely change the TV industry. After that it will ship an iPad with a super high resolution screen. After that is anyone's guess.

I am seeing signs that they might open up a bit more, but only very carefully and thoughtfully. But I also expect it will slow down a bit like all big companies do. We'll see if they can find some way to resist doing that.
 
+Robert Scoble One very sad thing is that visionaries are often terrible when it comes to picking a successor. Far too many times, when the founder passes the torch of leadership, the organization quickly goes right down the proverbial toilet.
 
Only thing I can say is I started to work with computers 33 years ago... and that was because I saw an Apple II in college... that was also my first computer and for all that time I always did the only job I like. Thanks Steve!
 
After playing and learning my first bit of coding on TRS-80s and Commodore 64s I'll never forget the day my dad came home with an Apple IIc. It was by far the coolest computer I had ever seen. Over the years I've been back and forth between PC and Mac but have always marveled at how Steve and Apple have continued to fight their way back from obscurity and change so many different markets with brilliant innovation and high quality design.

Guys like Steve don't just step down unless it is serious. I really hope he pulls through and lives a long and happy life.
 
+Steven Streight Tim Cook is an operations guy. I also don't think that Apple will go down the toilet. Everyone there will ask themselves "what would Steve Jobs do?" And there WILL be answers to that question!
Tom Lee
 
The tone of his resignation announcement is not good. Reading all your posts I can only feel that he is very ill. Regardless of Tim Cook, or who ever takes Steve's spot, what Apple won't have in the future is his vision
 
There is a strange feeling around in the tech world today, I've never seen this kind of reaction to a CEO stepping down. Of course, this time it is a little different. We all know Steve's health issues and seen how run down he looked at his last keynote. The fear is that his resignation as CEO is a sign that he maybe losing his cancer battle.

I pray for him and his family that this is not the case. I may not like Apple and their products, but I admire them and Steve for what they have accomplished and their influence in the industry.
 
I choked up when I read his resignation letter. He's more than a computer guy - he's someone who changed things. 
 
Steve Jobs in my mind IS Apple, there's a certain psychological bell that rings when you think about Apple products you somehow must also think 'Steve Jobs'. He's the spirit of the company, and it'll be interesting to see where they go from here....
 
+Robert Scoble I used to marvel at the atari 400 and 800 in the sears catalog. I may have typed on the pages once or twice, though I won't admit it.
 
Steve Jobs brought style and the concept of shipping software that works to the tech world. That forced all the others (MS particularly) to put their best foot forward. Just like G+ has done to FB. If you don't understand that, you should be flipping burgers somewhere and not posting in this thread. I'm no Apple fan but unlike some others in here... I'm not stupid!
 
+Robert Scoble Perhaps your prediction will come true -- that the rank and file will ask "What would Steve Jobs do?" as a guide to the company. But a popular church people mantra is "What would Jesus do?" but I see very few of them actually doing what Jesus did. Especially in church leadership.
 
+Robert Scoble I'm not really a Apple guy, I have a PC's and a HTC Thunderbolt, but any person who has been in tech at least 5+ years can see how almost "magical" Steve Jobs is. I think I would compare him to Walt Disney. Disney has turned into a great company and has a great legacy, but it just isn't the same as it was with Walt. I hope Apple continues to prosper and put out blockbuster products. I feel bad that so many people can't see how great he was and mock all that he's accomplished. Thank you Robert for all you do to help people understand the technology industry.
 
I am very sad about the Steve Jobs news. The one time I bumped into him (literally) when I lived in Palo Alto he was a charming and pleasant neighbour - and a healthy CEO rollerblading with his kids, compared to the figure he is today.

My first computer was an Apple II bought in 1982 - I still have it. It changed my life and in many ways set the path I followed. Sad day.
 
+Robert Scoble - put me in the 'cares about Steve Jobs' circle if you build one. The man in an inspiration. I agree with your view of the way he uses words very specifically and am trying to keep my hopes louder than my fears. You know him, I don't but he has been a part of all my adult life through his work - he's only two years older than me so way 'too young'...

I hope and hope that our fears are unfounded. I want him to see the new building land in Cupertino and to enjoy the orchards and wooded parkland that's going to grow around and within it. And to enjoy the love and company of his friends.

Hand to hold.
 
Not to mention NEXT and Pixar and an incredible ability to find, direct, and focus talented people.
 
I'm 44 and Steve Jobs has influenced my life in some small way and others great for the same amount of time. He is truly a titan among men. He is loved and despised but he will never be forgotten.

His mark on history seems to be truly indelible now. Deservedly so, in my opinion.
 
Where to begin?

While my first "hands on" computer experience was NOT at an Apple (an IMSAI 8080 and a time shared DEC PDP-10... seriously), I can honestly say that my life and later career were inexorably and irrevocably changed because of Apple computer.

I respected Jobs, and was there at Apple when, while we were pouring over the signs and portents that seemed to lead to BeOS being the next Mac OS, when Gil Amelio announced Steve's return. Despite the same board that ousted him in the first place still pretty much as it was, despite all common sense, I knew immediately that he would be in complete control of Apple again.

I was there in Boston when the torches and pitchforks came out (at least in spirit) as that Big Brother-like big screen flashed none other than Bill Gates to announce what many thought was the end... and even then, I knew Steve had pulled off one of the most brilliant hat-tricks in business history -- he got a RIVAL to help save the company.

It all seems so freaking obvious in hindsight, doesn't it? I didn't know how he was going to pull it off -- I just knew he would. He had already taken a 15 million purchase of Pixar and had turned it into a entertainment power house. Every step of the way people predicted his failure, doom, and destruction. And, missteps or no, here we are.

It was a brief pinnacle, but when Apple passed Exxon/Mobile as the world's largest company in terms of Market cap... well, if you were going to go out, wouldn't YOU want to go out at the top? WIth your hand-picked teams of designers, and with someone who truly shared your vision as CEO? Your company confusing and confounding competitors desperately trying to grok what you were doing, much less replicate it?

He knew his time was limited the millisecond they told him he would need organ transplants. He's planned his exit as intensely as he's done everything else, and regardless of how much time he has left, he'll likely be an influence at Apple until his last breath... and beyond.

And god, goddess, or whatever deity will great us after that moment will likely look him right in the eye and say "...one more thing".

Thank you, Steve. You scared the hell out of me once, but I always respected you.

'Nuff Said.
 
I wouldn't call him our Edison or Bell but I would definitely call him our Hearst or Carnegie. He was definitively NOT our Einstein, that would only be Stephen Hawking. We need to, shall we say, compare apples to apples. :)
 
I am glad to have lived thru his time at Apple. He changed my world and technology became somewhat simple, simple enough for kids in kindergarden use his products. I am sad to see him leave command :(
 
Robert...thank you for this post. I am anxious the read your article about Steve Jobs resigning. 
 
Steve J, Steve W, Bill and Paul are the equivalent to Edison, Ford, Sloan and others who dramatically changes the world during the last century. To lose any of them is a loss to their respective worlds.

We're lucky to live in a time where we got to witness these guys and others shape and change our society dramatically. I think the difference this time, is we GET it now, compared to back then when I imagine the game changers of the time were seen as industrial magnates.

Steve will keep on influencing the world as long as he's alive. Let's hope he stays with us much longer. 
 
+Robert Scoble : great article, I like how personal you made it.
 
I believe most of the western company do the same thing as Apple, setting factories outside of their country coz labour paid was far more cheaper. That's y unemployment rate in western country is higher than in Asia.
 
+Robert Scoble - great posts, both here and on thenextweb. יוסף מזלטוב בן אברהם‎, please keep your drivel on your own stream.
 
+יוסף מזלטוב בן אברהם your history is apparently rather short... Apple was one of the only major corporations who boycotted South Africa during Apartheid. Everything you mentioned is being done by virtually every company on the planet... when did Apple become some sort of world-wide patriarch? How about the rest of American Corporations, or for that matter Multinational corporations? Are they being the benevolent patriarchs that you expect Apple to be?
Good lord :( Where's the 'ignore' button?
 
Great men make great mistakes, and the nobodies of this world will always attack and be envious of the giants of any field. I have mixed feelings about Apple and Steve Jobs and the labor markets where his products are made. But to viciously attack the guy while he is sick and perhaps dying is like kicking a man when he's down.

If you can do a better job of "saving the world", let's see your product and your organization. Otherwise, STFU.
 
"Greatness is never appreciated in youth, called pride in midlife, dismissed in old age and reconsidered in death. Because we cannot tolerate greatness in our midst we do all that we can to destroy it."
– Lady Morella (Majel Barrett Roddenberry)
 
Never owned anything apple except an iPhone and now iPad. It's just computers. Not like he saved the world. I didn't know who he was probably until a year or so ago.

I don't get you Apple people and you're diehard dedication. It just a computer!

I do hope his cancer can be slowed down. My mom died of cancer 2 years ago at the age of 54. Cancer sucks. 
 
Correct, Scott. You just don't get it.
 
Robert, thanks for the story its great!

I came to discover Apple Computer and Steve Jobs in the early 80s, while rummaging through magazines in my college library and found a peculiar article in Fortune Magazine. There was a picture of the young bearded guy in blue jeans and boots sitting on top of the table, right under the picture it said something like “Steve Jobs from Apple new minted millionaire” in the technology business.

I was fascinated by that. I had never seen someone so young in Fortune magazine, dressed so casual being called a millionaire! And on top of that in something called personal computers!

That moment changed my career direction and decided to get into tech anyway I could. I started enrolling in FORTRAN courses (only language taught in school at that time). But there was something else growing in me and that was Steve's irreverence to the statues quo and focusing on details. I started to appreciate design and why some stuff did well and why others didn't. Design was crucial and he made me appreciate that more than anyone!

As soon as the first Mac came out, I landed a job at a computer store just so that I could touch and play with the Mac and later the Lisa. They where so expensive at that time around $5k to $7K for the Mac and around $10k for the Lisa! The PC came along and man the disparity in hardware and software was so immense! It was so obvious between good taste in design and bad taste. We all know what happened later but to those who appreciated the difference and saw the opportunity to be better would never go PC. I never did!
 
+וסף מזלטוב בן אברהם‎' - It's time for Mister Crankypants to stop hating on Apple and go create their own products and organization, and then change the world. Otherwise, STFU. You are kicking a man while he's down. Real heroic and ethical of you.
 
+Robert N. Lee Yeah, those of us who know the history would never apply Edison towards Jobs. Edison ripped off Tesla.
 
+יוסף מזלטוב בן אברהם Actually, we would need to stop buy all electronic products to be truly authentic in the way you suggest. This includes the computer you are using to create your comments. Every company is using these methods. You may be ultimately right, but you are as hypocritical as everyone else here in that case.

Putting pressure on a single company that has big influence can be useful way to get things done, but demonizing is a useless endeavor. See the pressure that was put on Nike as a way to change their activities in third world countries. This is the approach promoted by Mike Daisey in "The Agony and Ecstasy of Steve Jobs".
 
"Yeah, those of us who know the history would never apply Edison towards Jobs. Edison ripped off Tesla."

I'm sorry, you must be responding to a ghost in your head, and you should really read up on who else Edison ripped off and whose work he claimed as his own, and how much he loved fighting to control other people's work.

Just like Jobs, who can rest in hell along with Edison. Tesla and Wozniak can piss on them from heaven.
 
+Gary Etie And I'm ok with not getting it.. To me apple laptops and computers have always seemed confusing and hard to use. I only know a handful of people where I'm at that use them. But I come from a small town that didn't see a computer in schools until the early 90s either!
 
Probably not familiar with the term "flamebait", either, then, I assume.
 
See, Scott, if you'd gone to a wealthy suburban high school back in the eighties or nineties, Apple would have put free computers in so you'd be more likely to buy Apple forever when you grew up!

Which totally isn't evil or anything when Apple does it.
 
When I first read this post today, I thought he died. You should have mentioned that he resigned somewhere in the post!
 
I didn't realize that he's sick, "he" isn't saying he's sick, or is he?
 
"Why was the company doing so poorly in the mid 90s; Apple that is?"

A whole bunch of things. They totally thought they were going to drive Windows off the market with that hopeless IP lawsuit, that went almost completely against them. They invented the stylus-driven touchscreen PDA and completely blew that by releasing way too early - the Newton cost too much, did too little, and never worked right.

They tried for a while to compete with Windows boxes when they got wildly popular overnight in the early nineties by releasing scaled-down Macs that almost competed on cost and sold in regular big box stores. And they were horrible and nobody liked them. (That's when the "You're stupid if you bought a PC" ad campaigns started.)

Uh...they threw everything behind the PowerPC architecture, which was dog shit, and that's why they just make plain old PCs, now. They failed to develop a next gen OS (which is why they went with BSD after Jobs came back - for a while it was maybe going to be NEXT or BeOS or...), and the old Mac OS didn't get multitasking until after Windows did. And then didn't get preemptive multitasking until way after Windows did, either. And Macs still cost an arm and a leg more than Windows machines.

They decided to license the OS to other hardware vendors for a while, and completely botched that, too. (Got one of those sitting in the closet behind me, actually...) They failed to take the Internet seriously until near the end of the nineties, they didn't take gaming seriously at all until the iPod Touch, etc., etc.

Oh, and Jesus stepped away from the company for a while.
 
"And they were horrible and nobody liked them"

One of them, no shit...okay, you know how Apple has this weird stick up its butt about no physical buttons for disk/disc drives, so they put more expensive ones in that don't have eject buttons? (And you had to use a paper clip to get stuff out of them sometimes?)

Anyway, one of the lower-end Macs they introduced to sell to PC customers? It had its power button right next to the disk drive slot, where the eject button would be on a PC. So...people tried to eject their disks and turned their computers off instead. And returned them in droves after that happened.

Whoops.
 
+Robert Scoble It's a damned shame. Love Apple or hate it (and most of us are a bit of both), Steve Jobs is Apple. His vision and leadership will be sorely missed there. Does anyone know if Woz has weighed in publicly on this yet?

On the flip side, maybe Apple can finally make a mouse that anyone other than Steve likes? The Magic Touchpad (best pointing device ever) makes me hopeful.
 
I learned to love computers and programming on a TRS-80, circa 1981. But I learned about elegance in computers from an Apple II. Those were magical machines compared to the TRS-80. How many of us owe our careers, at least in part, to Jobs and Woz? I sure do.
 
I think it's safe to say that many of us reading this post share your emotion surrounding the departure of Steve Jobs. Even those not directly involves in the tech industry probably tapped their first few characters on a Macintosh, emblazoned with its' rainbow striped apple, in grade school. This is indeed a landmark event. 
 
Sad day indeed. great tributes to the man who has vision, drive and determination to do world class things. I celebrate what he achieved. I have built a career around the products his company created. I wish him all the happiness in the world for the time he has left. Respect.
 
+Robert Scoble After having more time to digest the news I completely and agree with you.

Some people have sports heroes, not me I have Tech heroes and he was one of them.

But beside that, he's a person, a son, a husband, and dad. Prayers for him and his family.
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