When I woke up this morning in my hotel room in Amsterdam the first thing I saw on Twitter was that Steve Jobs had passed away. Although I knew he was very sick, the news was still a shock to me. I only met Steve Jobs once, so I don’t know really know him, but I read most of the books and many of the articles written about him. My feeling is that he was not an easy person to have around, but that everybody respected him and listened to him because he was such a visionary.
He has been a source of inspiration to me and I admire how he managed to turn Apple around and make it the biggest company in the world. And looking at what’s happening on Facebook today, where many of my friends are changing their profile picture to Steve Jobs or one related to him, I am not the only one.
He changed my world, literally: All my laptops, phones and tablets are Apple products, and will likely be Apple products for the foreseeable future. Each time Steve went on stage for his keynotes I knew I had to get my credit card ready for another product that I just had to buy. There is no other brand that has this impact on me and it is hard to imagine there will ever be one.
Even in China, where Apple is still a small (but very well-known) brand, his death is a major event. When I logged into Weibo (Chinese Twitter) this morning I noticed that there was a banner commemorating Steve Jobs above my Weibo stream. Many of the messages are about Steve Jobs as well. I don’t think Steve has every visited China, but he was a role model to many ambitious Chinese as well.