With the announcement today that Steve Jobs has resigned as CEO of Apple, everybody in the technology world seems to feel compelled to give their opinions on the future of Apple. Fair enough, Steve was an incredible leader and visionary in our industry. But the future of Apple doesn't really interest me. It will go on, and it will inevitably be different than before, because that's what happens when a singular leader like Steve Jobs is no longer running the show. Ultimately the future of Apple will be driven by the strength of their culture and continued willingness to march to the beat of their own drummer.
I don't have any real insight into his personal life, other than what has been publicly written. The only shared connections we have are in personality types (ENTJ) and a deep appreciation for the things he built.
To me, the most lasting legacy of Steve Jobs' Apple will be that they were able to make technology so incredibly easy. Not only that, they figured out a way to integrate technology into our lives in such a way that we forgot it was there. I wrote this when the iPad was announced.
Throughout the history of Jobs' Apple, they lived by the philosophy that, "We built it for ourselves. We were the group of people who were going to judge whether it was great or not. We weren’t going to go out and do market research. We just wanted to build the best thing we could build." This approach has always fascinated me, especially in a world where so many companies can only act once a customer has told them where to go next. That just seems impossible when a company is trying to invent the future.