Steve Jobs Left a Lasting Void in The IT Industry: 10 Reason Why

NEWS ANALYSIS: Apple co-founder Steve Jobs died a year ago. There have been no shortage of reasons why Apple, its customers and the IT industry have missed him.

It’s hard to believe that it’s already been one year since Steve Jobs passed away after a long battle with cancer. At just 56, Jobs was a man who should have had many more years ahead of him to guide the company he founded and develop amazing new products. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen.

Although it’s only been a year, all stakeholders in the IT industry are already feeling Steve Jobs’ death. Consumers wonder what might have been. Competitors are still wondering how they can match his level of insight, and there are some who question whether Apple is being led by a chief executive with sufficient creative vision to keep Apple at the forefront of its market.

Simply put, there are quite a few things to miss about Steve Jobs. And on the anniversary of his death, it’s a good time to take a retrospective look at his contributions to the industry and how his impact is still being felt to this day.

These are some of the things we miss about Steve Jobs:

1. His innovation

This is an obvious one, isn’t it? Steve Jobs was celebrated as the world’s most innovative chief executive and now he’s gone. His innovation transformed industries and created new ones. It’s a shame he didn’t get a chance to bring that innovation to other products and markets.

2. An incredible passion

If Steve Jobs had anything, it was a passion for technology. He loved that technology could solve problems in a person’s life and he was always looking for new ways and new technologies to do that. Passion is what’s often missing in an industry dominated by profits. But considering Steve Jobs’ success, maybe passion or the lack of it is what’s keeping certain companies from reaching the next level.

3. A desire to be the best

Although Jobs was often criticized for his air of superiority, there’s really nothing wrong with wanting to be the best. Too often, companies are content with mediocre products that will generate some cash. That wasn’t good enough for Jobs. He delivered special products because of that.

4. An end-to-end obsession with Apple products

After Steve Jobs died, it seemed as if Apple lost a bit of its vision. No longer does the company seem to care as much about those products that don’t sell as well. For instance, the iPod, Apple TV and Mac Pro are afterthoughts. And they’re in trouble because of it. Under Jobs, every product mattered. It showed in every device Apple launched.

5. A clear vision for the future

Steve Jobs was a master at determining what the future might hold and delivering products that would help his company stay ahead of the curve. Nowadays, though, Apple seems to be playing the “catch up” game, as evidenced by the new iPad and iPhone 5. Does Apple have a clear vision for the future? If so, it hasn’t proven so.

6. The excitement when he took the stage

There was something about Apple press events when Steve Jobs was leading them. The excitement around the room was palpable. And the anticipation for those events would often hit a tipping point. With Tim Cook now leading those events, the excitement is waning. It’s too bad.

7. The feeling that something special was coming

When Steve Jobs was running Apple, the company was unpredictable. One minute, his firm might offer up a nice refresh of iPods and the next, it might launch a tablet unlike anything the market had seen. Steve Jobs kept everyone on their toes. And there was always a sense that today could be the day that Apple reveals something special.

8. Industry protection

Although Apple and Steve Jobs were often called bullies, when it came to protecting the industry at large the company’s co-founder was actually quite active. Steve Jobs often spoke out on the value of protecting the industry and kept music and movie companies at bay. It was a welcome shield and it helped consumers.

9. His ability to inspire competitors to catch up

Although Jobs did a fine job of inspiring his employees and his legion of fans, he was also awfully good at inspiring competitors. When Jobs released a product, competitors worked hard to catch up. As a result there are more innovative and high-quality products vying for consumer's dollars.

10. His funny jabs at competitors

That said, Jobs was always willing to take some jabs at competitors. And whenever he had the chance, he would target companies like Microsoft and Google, saying that their products were sub-par. It was entertaining, if nothing else. And it brought a sense of competition and care to the industry that today, many companies seem to be lacking.

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Don Reisinger

Don Reisinger

Don Reisinger is a longtime freelance contributor to several technology and business publications. Over his career, Don has written about everything from geek-friendly gadgetry to issues of privacy...