Yesterday, Steve Jobs announced his resignation as CEO of Apple. The man widely considered one of the greatest innovators of our time has left consumers with the iPod in all its iterations, the iPhone and the iPad not to mention a a host of optimized laptops and desktops.
In his resignation letter, Jobs wrote:
I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple’s CEO, I would be the first to let you know. Unfortunately, that day has come.
The news sent waves across the business world even though it had been expected for some time. Jobs, who struggled with a rare form of pancreatic cancer, had seen his health decline over the past years. Still, it is reported that Jobs worked a full last day at the company he loved on Wednesday, displaying the work ethic that made him an icon to techies and old souls alike.
In his famed commencement speech at Stanford in 2005 (a must see for those who haven’t already memorized every line), Jobs stressed following your intuition, advice that his life exemplified. It is not an overestimation to say that Jobs changed the way we buy music, how we use the phone and how we interact with technology. In many ways, he is this generation’s legendary mind: a entrepreneur with no formal engineering training but the creator of some of the most revolutionary devices on the market today.
Not only a creator, Jobs is a shrewd business man. While he founded Apple with then partner Steve Wozniak, Jobs left the company in 1985 after internal tumultuousness caused him to resign. In the years he was gone Apple, known for its Macintosh computers felt the wrath of Microsoft and was looked upon as the second fiddle that would never move ahead. All of which changed when Jobs returned prompting the company to its modern glory. Even the most avid Microsoft lovers will admit it: from the moment Steve Jobs stepped up on stage holding an iPhone, the world mentally relegated Bill Gates to the world of philanthropy forever.
Invention after invention, Jobs marketed technology to consumers in a way that was almost intrinsic. He didn’t attempt to sell, he simply presented in dramatic fashion what we all had been missing. The choice was obvious. Since his return Apple’s stock have skyrocketed from just over $5 dollars per share to its current $369.17 dollars per share.
Currently, Apple the company has more liquid assets than some countries (our own included) and is worth more than 45 days of global gas consumption. Just so we’re clear that is if every human, machine, government in the world that needed gas spending $7 billion dollars a day for 45 straight days.
In recent memory, there has not been an American mogul this successful since the days of Walt Disney and Henry Ford. As America ponders its place in the world it must consider its great innovators. And so the question has to be asked: is Steve Jobs the last great American mogul?
Tell us what you think Clutchettes and gents- let’s discuss!