DMN Editorial: Apple - and U.S. - Need Steve Jobs

I came across this article this morning while reading the paper. It’s no secret that I think Steve Jobs is a pretty amazing. He has had an extraordinary impact on the electronics industry, consumer electronics industry and the entertainment industry. While I believe it true, the editorial below not only illustrates it better than I.

Editorial: Apple - and U.S. - need Steve Jobs

Dallas Morning News - Editorial
05:02 AM CST on Sunday, January 18, 2009
One of us recently came across a 1982 issue of National Geographic, with a cover story heralding the dawn of the microchip revolution. Inside the article exploring a then-exotic locale called Silicon Valley was a photo of a hairy young computer company executive furiously pedaling his bike to work. His informality, his intensity and his manic creativity, the reader learned, symbolized the culture driving a booming new American industry that promised to change the world.

That man was Steve Jobs, who co-founded Apple in 1976. When a gaunt-looking Jobs stepped out of his CEO role last week amid a serious health scare, it jolted more than just the financial markets. It's hard to think of a contemporary business leader who has had as much influence on American culture as the 53-year-old Jobs. He is the core of Apple, and as such is as important a cultural figure as he is a corporate icon.

Think of what came out of that man's mind and heart. He more or less created the personal computer, and Apple's design innovations continue to set the industry standard. Apple didn't invent the MP3 player, but refined it so ingeniously that its iPod became one of the most successful consumer electronic products ever launched. Similarly, Apple didn't come up with the cellphone but, with its iPhone, made them beautiful and fun.

Jobs not only revolutionized personal high-tech electronics, but made himself a huge force in the entertainment industry. Under his leadership, Pixar, the animation studio he bought from George Lucas,
forever changed the way animated films were made (13 years on, Pixar's competition still can't touch it). And his iTunes online music distribution system is radically changing the way music is sold worldwide. Not bad for a college dropout. "He'll be for the beginning of the 21st century what Thomas Edison was to the beginning of the 20th," a technology investor told Forbes last week. Here's hoping that Jobs, who beat pancreatic cancer several years ago, returns to work healthy – and soon. It's not only Apple that needs him back at the helm. It's America.