By Tressa Eckerman, Senior Staff Writer
Some of my earliest memories about a computer involve sitting in my grade school library in front of the old school Apple computer.
I’m sure I’m not the only who has this memory. We are, after all, the first generation truly raised on computers and that Apple logo is easily one of the most iconic images of all time. I don’t think you’d get much of an argument from many people if you’d say that Steve Jobs, Apple’s co-founder, is probably the best businessman of the past twenty years.
So when he announced late Wednesday night that he would be stepping down as Apple’s CEO, many people were stunned. Jobs had been diagnosed in 2004 with a rare form of pancreatic cancer but was in remission until he needed a liver transplant in 2009. Since January 2011, Jobs has been on medical leave from the company he worked so hard to create.
Jobs’ resignation signals the end of an era for a lot of people, myself included. I’m a regular viewer of CNBC (yes, you can call me a nerd if you want to), and I’ve seen Jobs many times in that signature black turtleneck and silver wire-rimmed glasses telling us what gadget we’ll all be obsessing over in a few months.
Jobs once famously said that people don’t know what they want until you show it to them. He became a master at that, developing a sixth sense of sorts and knowing exactly how to play to his audience. People have already begun asking the question, “Can Apple survive without Steve Jobs?”
I believe it can, but will it ever regain that spark of creativity that Jobs brought to the table? That’s where I start to wonder. Part of what has made the Apple company so successful was the innovation and sense of excitement. That’s where Jobs’ genius has always lain. So with him gone, will some of that glee go with him?
Apple will always be around, with or without Steve Jobs. And for those of us who care, I don’t think there will be much of an obvious change. If you think of the sheer magnitude of products that he was able to produce and the genius behind them, it’s staggering.
I don’t really expect things to change. But deep down, I think it’s knowing that the man who helped shape so much of the world that we know today won’t be at the helm of a ship that’s been in so many of our lives for so long. If anything could be described as the end of an era, it is Steve Jobs’ walking away from Apple.