Patch Conversations: The Legacy of Steve Jobs

How did the Apple co-founder affect your life?

Apple announced yesterday that its former CEO Steve Jobs died after a battle with pancreatic cancer.

"Apple has lost a visionary and creative genius, and the world has lost an amazing human being," the message by Apple Inc. reads. "Those of us who have been fortunate enough to know and work with Steve have lost a dear friend and an inspiring mentor. Steve leaves behind a company that only he could have built, and his spirit will forever be the foundation of Apple." 

Jobs' impact on the world of computers, and the way people use them, is difficult to measure. Anyone who enjoys listening to music on their iPod while working or exercising or learning new things with iPods have to in part thank Jobs. The same is true for anyone who enjoys the versatility of their iPhones or all the interesting things that can be done on an iPad.

The outpouring of grief from Apple customers has been swift and social media has been abuzz with people talking about how Jobs' work affected their lives.

We want to know: How has Steve Jobs' work affected your life? Let us know in the comments section below.


Gina Fishman October 06, 2011 at 04:04 PM
My daughters and I love our iPods -- actually, I cannot imagine getting my music fix any other way. Whatever I want, when I want, as often as I want ... my own personal radio station. While I don't own other Apple products (yet....been itching to get an iPad) his impact is obvious (IMO).
Cheryl Kelley October 06, 2011 at 04:24 PM
He made innovations that change our lives everyday. In our house alone, we now do Everyday Math on our iPads, listen to podcasts and music on our iPods, homework is done with help from the iMac & Macbook, & AppleTV is another way to access slideshows, Netflix, iTunes. I think there is a little bit of Steve Jobs in every room in our house.
Josh Gray October 06, 2011 at 04:36 PM
As I look around my desk, just about everything on it is Mac or Mac compatible. I believe that the innovative and intuitive attributes of Mac products are a result of Jobs' genius. I am sure he was an inspiration to those he knew and worked with, and he will be missed by many more for his contributions to the world.
Kristen Nason October 06, 2011 at 05:00 PM
Music, through the ages, has brought people together and has helped cross generational and cultural divides. I have had many MORE opportunities to share different kinds of music with my children because of iTunes. I appreciate any chance to bond with my kids,at all of the various stages in their lives...even if I can't understand the lyrics. Thank you Steve Jobs!
MaryJo Kurtz October 06, 2011 at 05:00 PM
I just finished watching his commencement address to Stanford.... again. That, in itself, is a gift to a new generation. His contemplations, his advice, his view of his place in the world - it is inspiring, realistic and humbling. I highly recommend watching that speech.
Danielle Horn October 06, 2011 at 05:14 PM
MaryJo, I read the speech last night - the words, alone, were powerful: I'll have to watch it. When I learned last night that he died, I read everything I could about him...such an interesting journey he had. It feels a little strange mourning someone that I don't know personally...but there are signs of him all around me. I'm typing on my MacBook, texting on my iPhone, listening to my iPod...all the time.
Mary MacDonald (Editor) October 06, 2011 at 05:33 PM
Last weekend, my sister and I were lost, in my mother's old neighborhood in south Providence, trying to find a car repair shop. Out came the iPhone and its map ap. And the phone shows us where we are, and the garage... for those of us old enough to remember life without cell phones, Internet, computers, the transformation in the past few decades has been unbelievable. And a lot of that came from his company.
Alissa Letkowski October 06, 2011 at 05:52 PM
Pretty much every electronic device I own is an Apple product and I wouldn't have it any other way. Thanks to these products, people are creating things with ease that they may never have been able to create with any other tools.
Heidi Zizza October 06, 2011 at 05:55 PM
Its goes far beyond imagination. He was a pioneer and his legacy is HUGE! I just got my 1st Ipod (Im a late bloomer) and now it seems to have more impact.
Keith Regan October 06, 2011 at 06:26 PM
You don't have to own Apple products to have been impacted by Steve Jobs. As much as any other person, he's the one who put desktops on every desk (remember desktops!?) and computers in all of our hands, by knowing we would want them before we even knew we did. He is a true visionary. If that wasn't enough, he also gave us Pixar, which has made some of my--I mean my kids' - favorite movies of all time.
Chris Hodge October 06, 2011 at 07:35 PM
And let us not forget that Steve Jobs was the founder of Pixar. He was the pioneering force behind the popularization of computer generated animation. Not only did he forever change how we use technology in our daily lives, he also changed children’s entertainment. Humanity as a whole has suffered a loss of one of the greatest innovators of all time.
Cheryl Tully Stoll October 07, 2011 at 12:23 PM
We all know how much Steve Jobs’ Apple innovations changed how we live--and will live going forward. The iPod has completely changed the music industry and its business model. What people don't mention is the strong legacy left by Pixar, the innovative studio Mr. Jobs founded when he left Apple. Mickey Mouse has outlasted vinyl records in 78, 33 and 45 formats, 8-track tapes, cassette tapes and eventually the iPod. Buzz Lightyear will also outlast generations of technology--he's already buzzed through the Walkman (cassette and CD versions), CDs themselves and is on the umpteenth version of the iPod and four plus version of the iPhone. Technology will continue to evolve at a rapid pace because of Steve Jobs openness to possibility and characters like Buzz and Woody from Toy Story 1-3, and the characters in Cars, and many other films will still resonate for generations in their original incarnations due to the openness of children's minds. Twenty years from now we will mention an iPod to a high school student and get a blank stare, but when we mention Buzz Lightyear, that same student will say, I loved him as a kid. That’s a legacy.
Ray Salemi October 07, 2011 at 03:59 PM
Steve Jobs has been an inspiration to me for my entire high tech career. I can still remember where I was when I read about the Lisa and it's "windows" and a "mouse". I even spent a summer selling Macs in Westboro at ComputerTown. I was working at Sun Microsystems when we were considering buying the shell of a company that was Apple in 1996. This was back when they thought they were going to change the world with the failed Newton and their Performa Macs couldn't run for a hour without crashing. Even I had switched to a PC by then. Our CEO kept undercutting the current stock price in an attempt to get a bargain and the market kept dropping the price further. One of our VPs said, "Somebody is going to have to go over there with a calculator and a hatchet, and I hope it's not me." It turns out that the guy was Steve Jobs. He returned, killed the Newton, created the iMac, and pretty much turned Apple around singled handedly. I've never seen one person make such a huge impact to a single company. He was an inspirational business man.
Cappuccino October 07, 2011 at 04:19 PM
I got my first Apple computer & dot matrix printer nearly 30 years ago. I am on my sixth Apple computer system (all still work). I have an older iPod on an Apple speaker system in my studio. The sound is is good as Bose. I am on my second iPhone and will soon upgrade. I would be lost with out it. Jobs influenced my business & personal life by his vision. Jobs did not do this alone. He took ideas from other companies and people. He took credit for the output of his staff. He was unforgiving taskmaster. Steve Jobs must be credited, however, with putting it all together and producing a company unlike any other. He had a design sense and work ethic that did no entertain imperfection. I have had to call 1-800-MyApple & 1-800- MyIphone many times, as well as visit the Apple stores. I have ALWAYS been received by the most polite, knowledgeable and dedicated people who sincerely want to solve my problem. This is the Apple ethic. The products are not cheap, but they are excellent. I hope Apple continues what Jobs has started. It is possible, think of Disney after Walt Disney's passing. I will truly miss the most artistic genius of my time.


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