Goodbye to a Great American Genius: Steve Jobs (1955-2011)

“Form follows function,” Louis Sullivan famously said; he was the architectural genius who brought us the skyscraper around the turn of the last century. Today, we mourn the passing of another great American genius: Steve Jobs, the visionary co-founder of Apple Computers, who showed that form and function, distilled to their essence, can be both simple and beautiful.

The consummate American entrepreneur, Jobs was a risk-taker relentlessly driven to please his customers. But he was not content only to please us; he imbued his inventions with the capacity to surprise and delight. His creativity gave birth to entirely new industries that transformed the way we live. The wired world we now occupy he helped to create, making the tools of high technology accessible and affordable to average people – something we take for granted, even though, in recent memory, computers were room-sized capital equipment that only governments, corporations, and universities could afford. Jobs changed all that, bringing high tech to the broad masses in an appealing, easy-to-use package.

We admire Jobs for his originality and entrepreneurial drive, to be sure – but especially for his uncanny ability to understand his customers – to intuit our needs, so that he could build products that serve us better. He succeeded because he never lost focus – meeting our needs before we understood what they were. Making the experience easy, beautiful, and nothing short of delightful. A goal for which all entrepreneurs should strive.

Today we say goodbye to one of the great creative spirits of our time – safe to say that we are all richer for his having been a part of our world. He will be missed.

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