Jobs was not the easiest boss to work for. “My job is to not be easy on people,” he once said, summing up his management philosophy. “My job is to make them better.”
The devices that Jobs and the Apple designers came up with year after year had a sensuousness to them that attracted millions of customers, many of whom waited for days outside stores so they could be among the first to buy – as if they were waiting for tickets to the last Beatles concert.
For years now, iPhone and iPod owners have fiddled with their devices (sometime mindlessly) as if they were worry beads. As a Buddhist who once joined an ashram, Jobs no doubt was amused to learn that when the iPhone was launched in 2007 it was dubbed the “Jesus phone” for its seemingly miraculous features – cellphone, e-mail, Internet, camera, photo album, digital recorder, GPS, and apps too numerous to count – in a device so compact you could slip it into the back pocket of your jeans.
As news broke of his passing, mourners gathered at Apple stores around the world, placing flowers and candles. And from around the world, the tributes to Jobs came in, including one from another college dropout.
“Steve and I first met nearly 30 years ago, and have been colleagues, competitors and friends over the course of more than half our lives,” Microsoft founder Bill Gates tweeted. “The world rarely sees someone who has had the profound impact Steve has had, the effects of which will be felt for many generations to come. For those of us lucky enough to get to work with him, it’s been an insanely great honor. I will miss Steve immensely.”