What were the Really Big Things?
Proving that user experience matters more than anything else in computer-based consumer products. Even more: that it matters more than everything else put together.
Building polished, world-beating products on a foundation of open-source software.
Bringing industrial-design values to the center of a traditionally specs-obsessed consumer-electronics universe.
Breaking the telephone companies’ stranglehold on the world of mobile-device software.
Breaking the media companies’ stranglehold on the world of retailing music and, well, anything whose value can be captured in a collection of bits.
No, I’m not claiming one human single-handedly did this stuff. But these are things that quite possibly wouldn’t have happened at least for a while without his contribution. Nobody, least of all Steve, claimed that anything significant in the business world is achieved by a single person.
In that list, #2 and #4 hit my life hardest, but then I’m a geek and proud of it. We won’t know which items loom largest in history’s rear-view for a while yet.
I’m sad, and touched by the open-hearted sorrow flowing around my tribe.