Larry Mantle

What will we miss without Steve Jobs?

The strong and in-depth response to Jobs’ death isn’t surprising, but the emotions elicited by his passing are stronger than I expected.

Jobs was far from a warm presence, yet many Americans took to him personally, regardless.  He was one of the most trusted men in the world, with millions immediately responding to his solicitations.  The lines down the block for new product debuts were testament to his relationship with consumers.

I wonder if people’s emotional attachment to Jobs is also rooted in our appreciation for how much he’s changed the way we do things.  Certainly it’s a mixed bag, with digital devices creating their own challenges to balanced lives.  Yet, few of us would want to go back.

As has been repeatedly noted, Jobs changed the way we relate to computers, phones, music, and entertainment.  He might not have been an inventor, but he was the full package visionary, hard-nosed businessman, design genius, and barker.  There is no one with whom to compare him.

His death leaves a significant void.  We’re left to wonder what his future breakthroughs would have been, and how our lives would’ve been affected by them, had he lived longer.

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