Steve Jobs: Tribute to a Visionary

The world has lost one of its greatest visionaries. Steve Jobs and his accomplishments will never be forgotten, as he has singlehandedly altered so many of our lives in such fundamental, personal ways. A tribute to the man who dared to think different.

a woman

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

The world has lost one of its greatest visionaries.

Steve Jobs and his accomplishments will never be forgotten, as he has singlehandedly altered so many of our lives in such fundamental ways that we will never be the same. Even though many of us were never fortunate enough to know him personally, somehow we all felt connected to him in some indescribable and intimate way.

He defied conventions of success. Born out of wedlock in California in 1955 to a Syrian immigrant and an American from Wisconsin, he was put up for adoption as his biological mother's father did not approve of the pair's union. Paul and Clara Jobs took him in as their own and vowed to give him an education. Despite dropping out of college, he rose to become one of the strongest pillars of American business.

After founding Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) in 1976 with Steve Wozniak, he was eventually ousted by the very CEO he had hired to run the company. Without him, Apple struggled and flirted with bankruptcy. With him, Apple flourished and will always be recognised as the greatest turnaround in corporate history, as Apple has become the largest company in the world by market cap.

The closest friend you've never met
One reason that might explain why we feel so close to him is that he had an uncanny ability to access the deepest recesses of our minds and imaginations, even without knowing us individually. He knew what we wanted even before we did. His visions have shaped technology and society in such profound ways that it's impossible to grasp how one man could achieve so much.

His insight into the future of technology allowed him to craft the world's most lustworthy devices and revolutionise every industry Apple touched. Apple didn't just touch those industries; it defined them under Jobs' guidance.

Defining moments and markets
Apple's computers began to incorporate unparalleled industrial design while proving that computers can be irresistible. It defined the MP3 player market with the iPod and the iTunes Music store that helped dampen the rampant piracy that had begun to plague the industry while redefining standards of digital distribution.

The iPhone raised the smartphone bar with the now-ubiquitous capacitive touchscreen and shot down the idea that technical specifications were all consumers cared about. Rather, ease of use and an integrated user experience trumped the fastest processor.

The newest market that is still unfolding under Apple's influence is the tablet market, whose standards have been set by the iPad, where Apple has yet to see a credible competitor.

Think different
During his absence from Apple, Jobs acquired the small computer-graphics division of Lucasfilm and created Pixar. In doing so, he contributed to creating some of the most timeless family movies that our children will be watching for decades to come, starting with the original Toy Story and including The Incredibles and Up.

Pixar practically pioneered entirely computer-generated movies, and the animation studio has yet to release an unsuccessful film. Eventually, Disney recognised its value and acquired Pixar in a deal that would make Steve Jobs Disney's largest individual shareholder.

Another company he started during his intermission at Apple was NeXT Computer, which served as the foundation to the Mac OS X operating system that all Macs run today. Apple inevitably acquired NeXT as it called on Jobs to return to the company during its darkest days.

Constant battle
In 2004, he went on medical leave to undergo surgery for pancreatic cancer. Then in 2009 he underwent a liver transplant. He nearly died while awaiting the operation, but eventually in Tennessee he received the liver of a mid-20s person who unfortunately died in a car crash but was generous enough to have been an organ donor. The experience made Jobs a staunch promoter of organ donation in California.

Earlier this year, he took his third medical leave as Tim Cook ran Apple's daily operations. Then in August, he sent a fateful letter to Apple's board, expressing that the day had come that he would no longer be able to meet his duties and expectations as Apple's CEO. He named Cook as his permanent successor.

Apple's core
Steve Jobs is survived by his wife of 20 years, Laurene, and four children. His last moments were described as peaceful, and he was surrounded by his family.

Jobs' legacy will forever reverberate through Apple's core. Although he has died, each of us who carries an iPhone with us every day, types articles on an iMac, or reads books on an iPad, immortalises his essence in doing so and represents the only way we can truly thank him for all he has done for us.

Here's to you, Steve.

Written by Evan Niu, this article was originally published on

More on ⏸️ Investing

A white and black robot in the form of a human being stands in front of a green graphic holding a laptop and discussing robotics and automation ASX shares
Technology Shares

Joining the revolution: How I'd invest in ASX AI shares right now

Advances in artificial intelligence (AI) could usher in a new industrial revolution. Here’s how you can invest in it.

Read more »

Close up of baby looking puzzled
Retail Shares

What has happened to the Baby Bunting (ASX:BBN) share price this year?

It's been a volatile year so far for the Aussie nursery retailer. We take a closer look

Read more »

woman holds sign saying 'we need change' at climate change protest

3 ASX ETFs that invest in companies fighting climate change

If you want to shift some of your investments into more ethical companies, exchange-traded funds can offer a good option

Read more »

a jewellery store attendant stands at a cabinet displaying opulent necklaces and earrings featuring diamonds and precious stones.
⏸️ Investing

The Michael Hill (ASX: MHJ) share price poised for growth

Investors will be keeping an eye on the Michael Hill International Limited (ASX: MHJ) share price today. The keen interest…

Read more »

ASX shares buy unstoppable asx share price represented by man in superman cape pointing skyward
⏸️ Investing

The Atomos (ASX:AMS) share price is up 15% in a week

The Atomos (ASX: AMS) share price has surged 15% this week. Let's look at what's ahead as the company build…

Read more »

Two people in suits arm wrestle on a black and white chess board.
Retail Shares

How does the Temple & Webster (ASX:TPW) share price stack up against Nick Scali (ASX:NCK)?

How does the Temple & Webster (ASX: TPW) share price stack up against rival furniture retailer Nick Scali Limited (ASX:…

Read more »

A medical researcher works on a bichip, indicating share price movement in ASX tech companies
Healthcare Shares

The Aroa (ASX:ARX) share price has surged 60% since its IPO

The Aroa (ASX:ARX) share price has surged 60% since the Polynovo (ASX: PNV) competitor listed on the ASX in July.…

Read more »

asx investor daydreaming about US shares
⏸️ How to Invest

How to buy US shares from Australia right now

If you have been wondering how to buy US shares from Australia to gain exposure from the highly topical market,…

Read more »