The death of Steve Jobs was quickly marked by an emotional overflow from luminaries, celebrities, and hordes of anonymous fans. From the mourning of the man who personalized computers and popularized technology came a clear and unsurprising theme—Steve Jobs influenced the lives of millions.
That’s not sentimental hyperbole when considered through the lens of corporate influence. The company he co-founded and resuscitated now employs 46,000. As well, the businesses that have flourished in the tech boom that he helped to mastermind—from the app creators to the software manufacturers to the mouse makers—employ hundreds of thousands more. With more than 927 million shares outstanding, plenty of investors have benefitted from Apple’s 30% average annual stock price growth since 2000. And then there are the consumers. Some 300 million iPods, 128 million iPhones, and 62 million iPads have been sold, in addition to the 18 billion apps and 10 billion downloads on iTunes.
Sure, as some have pointed out, Steve Jobs was not God. But, for better or worse, he was a cultural figurehead and one of the businessmen behind the design revolution in personal technology, the digital transformation in music and the transition to mobile computing. “He made creativity the centerpiece of corporate culture,” said Hartmut Esslinger, founder of the industrial design firm Frog Design, which worked on the first Apple laptop. “He made me a better person and I think he made a lot of people better people.”
To recognize his influence, The Daily Beast compiled a short list of some of the specific people, companies and innovations that flourished due to his work.