Even when you’ve been watching the darkening sky assiduously, the lightning bolt still comes as a shock. So it was last Wednesday when Steven P. Jobs, CEO of Apple, submitted his resignation to Apple’s board of directors (see “Steve Jobs Resigns as Apple CEO,” 24 August 2011). Although we all knew it was coming — that it had to come, sooner or later, especially given Jobs’s medical leave of absence from Apple this year — it was still unexpected.
But, as the technology community always does, after a few moments of silence and deep breaths, it began to flood the Web with remembrances, tributes, and speculations evoked by the announcement. Here are just a few of the articles and posts that have caught our attention.
Vic Gundotra, a senior vice-president of engineering at Google who worked closely with Apple on mobile applications a few years ago, offered his “Icon Ambulance” memory of Jobs’s attention to detail, recounting the Sunday that Steve called him to discuss a small matter of a yellow gradient in a logo that would appear on the new iPhone.
David Cairns remembers his early love of Apple technology, and how it led to both a job and a polite encounter that he humorously estimates may have cost Apple a lot of money.
Princeton student Allen Paltrow relates his close encounter of the Jobsian kind, and provides the pictures to prove it.
Normally a politically oriented online publication, Talking Points Memo took a break from politics to collect some of the best tweets about Jobs’s resignation.
In 1999, after it was clear that Jobs’s return to Apple had returned the company to profitability, the inimitable David Pogue, now of the New York Times, crafted for Macworld a takeoff on the classic poem “Casey at the Bat” — “Steven Saves the Mac” is well worth the read.
The New York Times offers a fascinating interactive chart of the patents assigned to Jobs, including one for the ornamental design of the famous glass staircases in some Apple retail stores.
Also by way of the New York Times, Steven Heller collects the thoughts of ten designers on Jobs’s contributions to the design community.
For those who enjoy slideshows, there’s a short pictorial retrospective at Macworld of “Apple’s Greatest Hits under Steve Jobs.”
Long-time friend of TidBITS, Macworld’s Lex Friedman, never met Jobs, but that doesn’t mean that Jobs didn’t change his life for the better, as he explains in his essay, “Steve Jobs’s impact goes beyond technology.”
Last week, of course, was not the first time that Jobs left Apple, as Andy Hertzfeld, an early Apple employee, recounts in this article from Folklore.org.
It’s also interesting to look back at Jobs’s own words — in his 2005 commencement address at Stanford University — about his beginnings, how he was fired from Apple, and what it was like being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
Speaking of Jobs’s own words, All Things D has compiled a set of videos of Jobs’s appearances at various All Things Digital conferences, which include a few amusing-in-retrospect statements such as one from a 2003 appearance in which he said, “We looked at the tablet, and we think it’s gonna fail.” Did Jobs really believe that, or was it a case of misdirection?
Meanwhile, Jobs’s hand-picked successor to the CEO post, Tim Cook, has addressed the Apple staff with his thoughts on Apple’s future.
Finally, although we’ve never met Tim Cook, Michael Grothaus of TUAW (The Unofficial Apple Weblog) provides his personal remembrances of Apple’s new CEO to illustrate why he isn’t worried about Apple’s future.
As for us? We honor Steve Jobs, respect him for the work he has done, and offer him our best wishes for good health and a long tenure in his new role as chairman of Apple’s board of directors.