Trajectory - How Steve Jobs Changed Everything

by Randy Murray on October 6, 2011

When I read the news of Steve Jobs passing last night, read it, in fact, on Twitter, I sighed, then put my iPhone away. I’d expected to hear of Steve Jobs passing at any time, but I was still surprised at the depth of my feelings at his passing. I never met the man, but yet, he had an impact on my life that is rivaled by few. I’ve stood just a few feet away from him, heard him speak, and now, he’s gone. He belongs to the ages.

There are few people that change history, change life, the way that Steve Jobs did. What makes it even more surprising is that he was a businessman, a CEO, not a political or religious leader. It’s very difficult to understate the impact that this man had and will continue to have for generations.

What was the big change? It’s more subtle than you might think and so much more important because of it. He changed the trajectory of modern life and reshaped the entire future.

If there had never been a Steve Jobs, if he’d stayed in school and gotten his degree and gone on to an ordinary life, we’d still have computers. We’d still have cell phones. We’d still have the Internet. But they would all be very different.

They’d be cold. They’d be things about numbers, calculations, hard edges, and beige boxes. The course was set long before he came on the scene. Computers were for calculating.

But Steve saw things differently.

He saw the beauty in life. He understood the wonder of careful, considered design. He knew the wonder of a precisely kerned font, of precise layout and execution. He saw how the world of things and the digital didn’t have to be completely separate and how music could be central to everything. How story was more important than technology.

And how we didn’t have to put up with “good enough.”

Steve Jobs invented very little, but he bent the line of history, of the possible. And because he did, I, and virtually everyone I know, now have an example of how the best, the amazing, and, yes, the special, can be wildly successful. He gave us a clear, undeniable example that the best can win over the cheaper.

And for that, I am forever in his debt.


A few weeks ago I had this to say about Steve Jobs and the Foundation of the Future.

The Trajectory - How Steve Jobs Changed Everything by Randy Murray, unless otherwise expressly stated, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Ian October 9, 2011 at 2:52 pm

Nice perspective, but to counter your statement that Steve Jobs “invented very little”; here is a nicely made overview of over 300 patents which list Mr. Jobs:

Ten percent of those patents even cite him as first (principal) inventor.

Here are two other links which offer even more information.’-patents-a-vital-lesson-for-ceos/


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