‘Making a ding in the universe:’ Saying goodbye to a visionary

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By Tressa Eckermann, Senior Staff Writer

It’s startling to reflect back on people who have changed our world. Henry Ford made the automobile available to everyday people. Thomas Edison gave us moving pictures and the light bulb.

We use their technology everyday, but they seem disconnected from our lives. We don’t see these men on our televisions, nor do we feel a bond with them or their work as we did wih former Apple CEO, Steve Jobs. His passing on Wednesday at the age of 56 from a long battle with pancreatic cancer makes everything raw and more present.

It’s difficult to argue that Jobs was the greatest innovator of our time. The ubiquitous image of Jobs pacing a stage with his black turtleneck and blue jeans became synonymous with technology and our ever-evolving society.

There was always something fascinating about the evolution of Apple and the story of its co-founder. He was a college drop-out, a California free-spirit with fierce passion and uncompromising vision.

Jobs was fearless, able to eerily predict what his public wanted.

“It’s really hard to design products by focus groups. A lot of times people don’t know what they want until you show it to them,” he told Business Week in 1998.

It’s the long-standing assumption that Jobs and Apple always know best that makes them the best. It was his dedication that gave us the iPhone, iPad, iPod and other Apple products. It was also that aspiration for greatness and his desire to ‘put a ding in the universe’ that were his driving forces.

He could sell us everything from the newest gadget to the newest way to buy music, and everything was all about style. He was created and sold, with complete and unquestionable authority.   

The stories of his brash and stubborn perfectionist streak are legendary.  By taking the complicated and making it accessible, Jobs was able to reinvent how we did things.

Looking back on Steve Jobs’ legacy, there is a lot to take in. His accomplishments, business acumen and vision changed the way we saw the world, and connected us in ways we never even dreamed possible.

So, for that and many other things, we all thank you, Steve Jobs.

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