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Steve Jobs: I and i

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Steve Jobs reinvented both computing and entertainment. He made the letter ‚i‚ synonymous with cool technology, while unintentionally creating a cult of personality around himself. But he was so much more than that. Here are some of the tributes paid to him today, ranging from Bill Gates to Barack Obama.

Not since he death of Albert Einstein has the passing of a leading thinker in the fields of science and technology been so widely mourned. And not since Walt Disney has the passing of a leader in arts and entertainment been so deeply grieved.

Apple web site front page today

Here are some the tributes to Steve Jobs:

Apple CEO Tim Cook:

‚Apple has lost a visionary and creative genius, and the world has lost an amazing human being.‚

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak:

‚We’ve lost something we won’t get back. ‚The way I see it, though, the way people love products he put so much into creating means he brought a lot of life to the world.‚

US President Barack Obama:

‚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 grownups 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.‚

Bill Gates:

‚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. ‚

Bob Iger, CEO of Disney Corporation:

‚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.‚

Walt Mossberg, All Things D (Wall Street Journal):

‚That Steve Jobs was a genius, a giant influence on multiple industries and billions of lives, has been written many times since he retired as Apple’s CEO in August. He was a historical figure on the scale of a Thomas Edison or a Henry Ford, and set the mold for many other corporate leaders in many other industries‚Ķ. in my many conversations with him, the dominant tone he struck was optimism and certainty, both for Apple and for the digital revolution as a whole.‚

Google CEO Larry Page:

‚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.‚

Google’s minimalist tribute

Michael Bloomberg, mayor of New York City:

‚Steve Jobs saw the future and brought it to life.‚

Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook:

‚Thanks for showing that what you build can change the world.‚

Warren Buffett:

‚He was one of the most remarkable business managers and innovators in American business history.‚

Trent Reznor, Nine Inch Nails:

‚Thanks for the tools, the inspiration, the possibilities‚Ķ‚

Wired.com:

‚He was an innovator, a phenomenon of the personal computing revolution. Jobs was a driving force behind bringing the PC into the home, and became the man to shrink it down and make it portable. A true purist at his core, Jobs endlessly strove for product perfection in order to deliver exactly what consumers wanted. And as he once famously said, ‚People don’t know what they want until you show it to them’.‚

CBSNews.com:

‚Suddenly, the next version of the iPhone doesn’t seem so important. It’s time to mourn Steve Jobs, the Silicon Valley maestro who always seemed to hit the right note as he transformed Apple Inc. into technology’s greatest hits factory.‚

New York Times:

‚Steven P. Jobs helped usher in the era of the personal computer and led a cultural transformation in mobile communications and music for the digital age.‚

Finally, there can be no more fitting epitaph than his legendary 2005 Stanford Commencement Address (view it here). The core message of his address sums up his philosophy that we are all potentially great, that we can all be a capital ‚I‚ :

‚Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

* Follow Gadget on Twitter on @gadgetza

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