Last week, Apple CEO Steve Jobs died after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. Jobs certainly accomplished much during his tenure with Apple, but what will be his legacy?
Steve Jobs has been called many things: visionary, genius, charismatic marketer and inspirational, just to name a few. Job’s death resulted in an outpouring of affection from millions of people across the world, yet being well-liked was not his primary concern.
Jobs’ life and career has had its controversies. He was known for having an aggressive, almost tyrannical, management style where he would belittle and swear at his employees if they didn’t conform to what he wanted, according to gawker.com.
He was also known for being paranoid about leaked information, as the way he centralized the flow of Apple information intimidated many employees. According to gizmodo.com, the company’s Worldwide Loyalty Team – known by some employees as the “Apple Gestapo” – reported directly to Jobs and was tasked with “spying in headquarters and stores,” even searching employees’ phones and computers for suspicious behavior.
Apple has been accused of violating child labor laws in its Chinese factories, according to the U.K. Telegraph, and has been liberal in suing tech manufacturers who threaten its sphere of influence.
His actions have given Apple an image that contradicts the rebel culture Jobs encompassed when he first created the company with Steve Wozniak in 1976 – a time when he experimented with LSD and slept on friends’ floors because he didn’t have a dorm room, according to ABC News.
Nonetheless, Jobs’ tech savvy and knack for design led to the creation of the iPod, iPhone, iPad, Macbook and other Apple products that many college students use on a daily basis. His products have changed the way we live, work and communicate with one another. Jobs took technology that already existed and made it accessible, better and beautiful, though he undoubtedly struggled along the way.
Apple has now become a cultural symbol, as the white ear buds and iPhone combo are synonymous with cool. Yet, behind its minimalist design was a man who, like all humans, was rough around the edges. Despite the sleek legacy of his products, Jobs should be remembered in all his complexity, for both his accomplishments and shortcomings.
Jobs will be remembered as a man who wasn’t afraid to challenge the status quo. He was far from perfect, but Jobs never pretended to be a saint or preach things he didn’t follow. He was a man who wholly followed a vision, even when it caused him to butt heads with those who didn’t understand the reality of what he was trying to create.
Jobs’ legacy will be of a man who wasn’t afraid to follow the road less traveled – a road that all of us should follow when pursuing our own visions, no matter how bumpy it may be.
Frank Nuez is a senior majoring in accounting.