the kdmcinfo weblog

Steve Jobs and change

Steve is leaving Apple for the second time. For the second time it is not by his choice. Health issues are more unavoidable than a vote of the Board. 

I was building custom homes in 1986 when the MacPlus hit. The MacPlus and PageMaker changed my life. Twenty-five years working with Steve's tools in several domains defines my professional career. 

Steve gave me the means to build successful—and unsuccessful—businesses. Providing me—and countless others—with powerful, easy-to-use tools created the digital tsunami of Desktop Publishing. The power of the press still belonged to those who owned one but Steve made the cost under $7,000 (including the LaserWriter). 

The explosion of creativity, information and jobs that have root in those early Macs is a social and technological marvel. Of course not all tech innovation has come from Apple. AppleTalk was not the basis for ethernet and e-World was not the predecessor to the Internet.

One of the most important aspects of our humanity is that we are storytellers.  Steve's impact on journalism is one of his "lesser" footprints. However I can tell you that much of the multimedia content, especially most of the great storytelling, comes from amazing journalists using Apple products.

I now work helping journalists and news organizations use digital tools to improve the information ecology of communities. Increasing the flow of information within communities has a tangible positive impact on people's lives—especially for people who are on the positive side of the digital divide.

Creative people are now forging digital tools to connect and engage communities in ways that go beyond sharing information. The usecase now is how will the reader take action on this information? Building frameworks for community action is a natural extension of the flow of information.  Leading community news organizations recognize the timing, technology and needs of readers requires that news organizations Think Different.

This Think Different spark gets my vote as Steve's greatest legacy. Actually accelerating the pace of change has moved our world forward.  I believe that Steve's spirit of innovation will live on at Apple... for a long while, just as Walt's inspiration carried Disney forward for a long time. If we're lucky, a new visionary  will appear to keep tech's innovation pedal pressed to the metal.

What do you think is Steve's greatest legacy at Apple?