The world is now reacting to the very sad news of Steve Jobs’ death. We are collecting the thoughts and condolences of people like Bill Gates, Larry Page, Tim Cook, Mark Zuckerberg, Sergey Brin and President Barack Obama himself.
But perhaps the most important reaction is the one by Steve Wozniak. According to the LA Times, he was “overwhelmed and could not get in touch with his emotions”. His only words: “People sometimes have goals in life. Steve Jobs exceeded every goal he ever set for himself.”
Steve Jobs’s Family
Steve died peacefully today surrounded by his family.
In his public life, Steve was known as a visionary; in his private life, he cherished his family. We are thankful to the many people who have shared their wishes and prayers during the last year of Steve’s illness; a website will be provided for those who wish to offer tributes and memories.
We are grateful for the support and kindness of those who share our feelings for Steve. We know many of you will mourn with us, and we ask that you respect our privacy during our time of grief.
Apple Employee #8 Chris Espinosa, Macintosh Team
President Barack Obama
Michelle and I are saddened to learn of the passing of Steve Jobs. Steve was among the greatest of American innovators — brave enough to think differently, bold enough to believe he could change the world, and talented enough to do it.
By building one of the planet’s most successful companies from his garage, he exemplified the spirit of American ingenuity. By making computers personal and putting the internet in our pockets, he made the information revolution not only accessible, but intuitive and fun. And by turning his talents to storytelling, he has brought joy to millions of children and grown-ups alike. Steve was fond of saying that he lived every day like it was his last. Because he did, he transformed our lives, redefined entire industries and achieved one of the rarest feats in human history: he changed the way each of us sees the world.
The world has lost a visionary. And there may be no greater tribute to Steve’s success than the fact that much of the world learned of his passing on a device he invented. Michelle and I send our thoughts and prayers to Steve’s wife Laurene, his family, and all those who loved him.
Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates
I’m truly saddened to learn of Steve Jobs’s death. Melinda and I extend our sincere condolences to his family and friends, and to everyone Steve has touched through his work.
Steve and I first met nearly 30 years ago, and have been colleagues, competitors and friends over the course of more than half our lives. The world rarely sees someone who has had the profound impact Steve has had, the effects of which will be felt for many generations to come.
For those of us lucky enough to get to work with him, it’s been an insanely great honor. I will miss Steve immensely.
Apple CEO Tim Cook
I have some very sad news to share with all of you. Steve passed away earlier today.
Apple has lost a visionary and creative genius, and the world has lost an amazing human being. Those of us who have been fortunate enough to know and work with Steve have lost a dear friend and an inspiring mentor. Steve leaves behind a company that only he could have built, and his spirit will forever be the foundation of Apple.
We are planning a celebration of Steve’s extraordinary life for Apple employees that will take place soon. If you would like to share your thoughts, memories and condolences in the interim, you can simply email firstname.lastname@example.org.
No words can adequately express our sadness at Steve’s death or our gratitude for the opportunity to work with him. We will honour his memory by dedicating ourselves to continuing the work he loved so much.
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer
I want to express my deepest condolences at the passing of Steve Jobs, one of the founders of our industry and a true visionary. My heart goes out to his family, everyone at Apple and everyone who has been touched by his work.
Microsoft Co-Founder Paul Allen
My condolences to Steve Jobs’s family and friends. We’ve lost a unique tech pioneer and auteur who knew how to make amazingly great products. Steve fought a long battle against tough odds in a very brave way. He kept doing amazing things in the face of all that adversity. As someone who has had his own medical challenges, I couldn’t help but be encouraged by how he persevered.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg
Steve, thank you for being a mentor and a friend. Thanks for showing that what you build can change the world. I will miss you.
Google CEO Larry Page
I am very, very sad to hear the news about Steve. He was a great man with incredible achievements and amazing brilliance. He always seemed to be able to say in very few words what you actually should have been thinking before you thought it. His focus on the user experience above all else has always been an inspiration to me. He was very kind to reach out to me as I became CEO of Google and spend time offering his advice and knowledge even though he was not at all well. My thoughts and Google’s are with his family and the whole Apple family.
Google Co-founder Sergey Brin
On behalf of all of us at Google and more broadly in technology, you will be missed very much.
Disney CEO Bob Iger
Steve Jobs was a great friend as well as a trusted advisor. His legacy will extend far beyond the products he created or the businesses he built. It will be the millions of people he inspired, the lives he changed and the culture he defined. Steve was such an ‘original’, with a thoroughly creative, imaginative mind that defined an era. Despite all he accomplished, it feels like he was just getting started. With his passing the world has lost a rare original, Disney has lost a member of our family, and I have lost a great friend.
News Corp CEO Rupert Murdoch
Today, we lost one of the most influential thinkers, creators and entrepreneurs of all time. Steve Jobs was simply the greatest CEO of his generation. While I am deeply saddened by his passing, I’m reminded of the stunning impact he had in revolutionising the way people consume media and entertainment. My heart goes out to his family and to everyone who had the opportunity to work beside him in bringing his many visions to life.
Twitter CEO Dick Costolo
Once in a rare while, somebody comes along who doesnt just raise the bar, they create an entirely new standard of measurement.
Former Apple Evangelist Guy Kawasaki
May Steve rest in peace. My deepest sympathy to his loved ones. No CEO has done more for his customers, employees and shareholders than Steve.
He changed the world — my world, your world, the entire world. His words to live by: “There must be a better way.”
You changed our lives, Steve, and you showed us that there is a better way… we will miss you.
Om Malik explains why Steve Jobs was an icon:
For many of us who live and die for technology and the change it represents, he was an example of what was possible, no matter how the chips were stacked against you. Jobs put life and soul into inanimate objects. Everyone saw steel, silicon and software; he saw an opportunity to paint his Mona Lisa. People saw a phone; Steve saw a transporter of love. People saw a tablet; he saw smiles and wide-eyed amazement. They made computers; he made time machines that brought us all together through a camera, screen and a connection.
David Carr, on Jobs as showman and master publicist:
No one commanded the respect of the press like Mr. Jobs. I can remember a visit he made to The New York Times when the first iPad came out. The Times is a notoriously blasé place, where heads of state have been known to come and go without raising an eyebrow. But when Mr. Jobs came, the effect was electric. For three days, his advance team swept through our place, attending to every detail and making sure his time with a crew of reporters and editors would be seamless and glitch-free. We were all seated when he came in, in part because there were medical reasons for him to avoid grip and grins, but the whole rock star thing was in high effect. And then it was on. No one asks a casual question of Steve Jobs.
Walt Mossberg describes his impish nature:
Earlier in the day, before Gates arrived, I did a solo onstage interview with Jobs, and asked him what it was like to be a major Windows developer, since Apple’s iTunes program was by then installed on hundreds of millions of Windows PCs. He quipped: “It’s like giving a glass of ice water to someone in Hell.” When Gates later arrived and heard about the comment, he was, naturally, enraged, because my partner Kara Swisher and I had assured both men that we hoped to keep the joint session on a high plane.
What I remember thinking at the time is that you shouldn’t take a job unless you know how to win. I had no clue how to do what he did. When somebody tells you they’re going to do something and you say, “I don’t understand how you’re going to do that,” and they succeed? That is the ultimate humbling experience. My interactions with Steve were always like that. He was always ahead of me. When he started working on tablets, I said nobody really likes tablets. The tablets that existed were just not very good. Steve said: “No, we can build one.” One of the things about Steve is, he was always in the realm of possibility. There was a set of assumptions that Steve would make that were never crazy. They were just ahead of me.
The Onion is succinct and to the point:
Steve Jobs, the visionary co-founder of Apple Computers and the only American in the country who had any clue what the f**k he was doing, died Wednesday at the age of 56.
Tim Carmody on how Steve Jobs impacted his autistic son’s world:
These frail and fragile bodies don’t always work the way we want them to. Steve Jobs understood that. Steve Jobs succumbed to that. But he also left us things that make that easier, that let us touch people we might not otherwise. That will always touch me.
Tom Junod takes a dry-eyed approach:
Over the next few weeks, we may well discover that Apple made a frantic push to bring the iPhone 4S into existence, so that its progenitor could breathe a sigh of relief before breathing his last, and that the Moses marooned on the mountaintop could taste fruit from the Promised Land. But there will never be an iPhone 5, in the sense that there will never be an iPhone 5 introduced by Steve Jobs. There will never be an iPhone introduced by a man who always used his introductions to teach us that there is no Promised Land – and no mountaintop. There was only a relentless and remorseless American faith that we wanted what Steve Jobs wanted, and that if Steve Jobs liked something, so would we.
When we started Panic, we’d often daydream about Steve demoing one of our apps on stage. That says so much. “Let’s work hard to make this keynote-good!” We’re heartbroken to be in a world where that will never happen. But, if Steve has taught us one thing, it’s this: we will never stop working for it.
Chris Dixon (along with many others) describes his impact:
My entire life has been shaped by computers and from the Apple II to the iPhone it was always computers invented by Steve Jobs. Every technology entrepreneur looked up to him as the greatest innovator and entrepreneur we’d ever seen — and will likely ever see again. His passing is just an incredibly sad day for the tech world but most importantly his family and friends.
Mike Monteiro on Steve’s willingness to embrace the unknown:
Steve Jobs had an amazing life. Did amazing things. Touched an incredible amount of people. And, most assuredly changed the world. But for me, sitting in the audience that day, a little bit more afraid of the future than I was willing to admit to anyone at the time, Steve Jobs taught me that the things you didn’t know could be infinitely more exciting than the things you did know.
Pierre Omidyar on Jobs’ legacy:
For me, Steve’s legacy won’t be limited to these breakthrough products, however. More important than the products themselves, he changed the way we think – and how we think about something is often the hardest thing to change. This makes Steve’s successes all that much more remarkable.
Stephen Wolfram has personal remembrances of Jobs naming products, designing book covers, dating (and much more):
The conversation was going on, but he said he couldn’t go to dinner, and actually he was quite distracted, because he was going out on a date that evening-and he hadn’t been on a date for a long time. He explained that he’d just met the woman he was seeing a few days earlier, and was very nervous about his date. The Steve Jobs-so confident as a businessman and technologist-had melted away, and he was asking me-hardly a noted known authority on such things-about his date. As it turned out, the date apparently worked out-and within 18 months the woman he met became his wife, and remained so until the end.
Jonathan Schwartz on Jobs’ lasting impact in the Valley:
For Silicon Valley, he has, in many ways, been the star around which we all orbit. His absence is disorienting. I can’t think of a better way of describing it.
John Gruber on Steve Jobs’ grass-stained shoes:
Surely, my mind raced, surely he has more than one pair of those shoes. He could afford to buy the factory that made them. Why wear this grass-stained pair for the keynote, a rare and immeasurably high-profile public appearance?
Brian Lam describes an awkward phone call:
“Hi, this is Steve. I really want my phone back.”