Following the announcement of the death of Steve Jobs on October 5, 2011, Apple customers, Apple fans, and Steve Jobs admirers piled notes, flowers, and gifts outside Apple stores. This was a worldwide phenomenon that didn’t happen for Walt Disney, Henry Ford, or Thomas Edison, and I believe may never happen again.
The day after Steve died, I was on a radio show on CNET for about three hours. During that time we received call after call from all over the world expressing sorrow at Steve’s passing.
A couple of the calls really stood out in my mind. One was from Iran, from a person who had a smuggled a Mac into the country, obviously at great risk. Yet he could still say, “It’s the best thing that ever happen to me.”
The other most memorable call was from the bayous of Louisiana, from a crocodile hunter who said he was really sad.
The talk show host asked if he was a big Apple user.
“No,” the man said.
“If you’re not an Apple user,” the host asked, “why are you sad?”
The man said, “Because I bought an iPhone and iPad for my children and they love the products and it is really helping in their education.”
For me, those two calls epitomize the true contribution of Steve Jobs, the model and best example we may ever have of how a dynamic leader can change the world, one person at a time.