It's no secret that I'm not a fan of Apple's business practices, but Steve Jobs was a man who created an atmosphere of invention and innovation that has rarely been seen outside of Apple. Microsoft was such a place until the 90's when things seemed to slow down a bit before really picking up within the past two-three years, but Apple under Jobs' leadership was a place of wonder, creating products no-one knew they needed until being told so, and innovating in areas others had so miserably failed in or had neglected. Jobs had vision that allowed him to focus on something that was being done in a mediocre way and transform it into something magical. His leadership brought out the best in people and allowed them to flourish not only technically, but creatively. Engineers were allowed and encouraged to be creative, and the creative folks were encouraged to use engineering processes. Jobs didn't invent everything Apple did, but he gave the nudges in the right direction when needed and provided the guidance that the company needed to become a world leader in technology.
I had the opportunity to visit the Apple campus a few times, and the people there are all very excited all the time. Yeah, all the time. They really love what they're doing, and they put their hearts and souls into it. It's one of the things Jobs believed in most, and it's a quality that the people of Apple share. I believe that we spend so much time at work (more than we do at home!) that we should love what we do. I was not surprised to know that Jobs felt the same way. That makes me happy for him, in that he was not trudging along every day. He was doing something he loved, and that is a life well-lived.
Jobs was Apple. I hope they're able to continue with his vision of always innovating and thinking differently. It's good for the entire industry, and for consumers.