What Can Steve Jobs Teach Us About Legacy?

Steve Jobs, one of the founders of Apple, has passed away. He was 56. Writing these words is probably one the most surreal experiences for any tech writer, and certainly for any former Apple employee. Bottom line: Steve Jobs was a remarkable individual, and he leaves behind a legacy that includes some of the most important technological advances in history.

The personal computer, a project started by his close friend Steve Wozniak, went from being a hobbyist endeavor to the foundation of what would become arguably the most important single invention in modern history.

There should be an image here!Several other key advances were made during his term with Apple, including a portable music device that laid the foundation for future advances in technology including the iPhone and the iPad. While he may not have been the hands-on developer who created these breakthrough devices, Steve Jobs was a critical force in each step of the design and development process. Steve was known for his critical eye, and high expectations of each and every product Apple has created.

In addition, Steve Jobs could be credited for changing the music industry for the better. By fighting the music industry on subjects like digital rights management (DRM), and driving for the creation of what is the largest music store in the world today, he has arguably done more to save the music industry and make it better for consumers than any other single person in history.

This article isn’t intended to play up the accomplishments of a businessman, but to explain exactly what kind of a legacy Steve Jobs left behind. The butterfly effect of minor decisions made by someone with constructive input in any product used around the world is quite significant. The iPhone helped pave the way for Android, Windows Phone 7, and other devices that have changed the way we, as a global community, communicate with one another.

The passing of Steve Jobs, especially at such a young age, should serve as a reminder to us all that life is short, and every day should be lived as if was your last. What legacy will you leave behind?

Your time is limited. Don’t waste it living someone else’s life.” – Steve Jobs

CC licensed Flickr photo of Steve Jobs shared by Abode of Chaos.