Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Death of the Great Innovator

I walk into the grocery store and pick up a jar of peanut butter. Do I know who the CEO of that company is? Nope.  Not a clue.
What about the CEO of Coca-Cola or GM or Hewlett-Packard or countless other products?  Don't know the CEO there either.
Most of us do not have a clue who the CEO--let alone founder--of many of the companies that line the stores today.  Sure, we know Sam Walton started Wal-mart and Bill Gates started Microsoft, but most we are clueless.

What about Apple?  Steve Jobs, of course.
Ironically, I happen to be reading Start with Why by Simon Sinek, who goes in great detail as to why Apple is so recognizable nowadays (along with other great innovative companies such as Harley-Davidson and Southwest Airlines) and why people buy from them.
Steve Jobs was the Great Innovator, for lack of a better title. Someone tonight, after the announcement of his death, compared him to Thomas Edison. But I think Steve was much more than that. He transformed the way businesses operated and got people excited for their many products, even if there were flaws. Now, I have to say that I do not own an iPhone or an iPad . . . hell, I don't think I own one single Apple product (more for financial reasons than anything at this point in my life), but I'm boggled at how many people absolutely love their products. One day I will too, but at least I knew who Steve Jobs was. Do I know who the CEO of Ford or GE or 3M is? Not a chance.
What also brings this closer to home is that Steve Jobs had pancreatic cancer at one point, even though we may have died from a tumor.  My wife has acute myeloid leukemia, a blood cancer, so when I see such a young person like Steve Jobs (who was 56) die from cancer, I know that we have a long ways to fighting this awful disease.
Thanks, Steve, for the great innovation you've given the world. Rest in peace.

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