Steve Jobs’s immeasurable impact cannot be denied

In the spate of innovators and entrepreneurs who have transformed the way people go about their lives, Apple co-founder Steve Jobs ranks among the most influential, talented and forward-looking thinkers of our generation.

Not only did he personally contribute to the founding of one of the world’s first commercially successful computers, but he also committed to developing technology that transformed the way we think about human interaction. From the iPhone to the iPod and now the iPad, Jobs’s first priority was ensuring that people were at the centre of this technology.

His brilliance and visionary approach rivaled that of the most transformative innovators of our time — arguably a Thomas Edison-like figure of the modern age. Regardless of one’s personal affinity for the company or its products, one cannot deny the revolutionary impact Jobs made.

In recent years, though, critics have suggested that Apple has engaged in questionable ethical and legal practices at its offshore factories, under Jobs’s leadership. One such instance is a company called Foxconn in Taiwan, one of Apple’s largest suppliers. The company has been accused of “militant and inhumane” treatment, using child labour, breaching China’s already-lax employment standards and the illegal dumping of hazardous materials.

The allegations leveled against Apple during Jobs’s tenure as CEO will likely have a negligible impact on his legacy. Perhaps it is easier to remember Jobs as the technological pioneer that he was.

And for now, that’s what we should do — we should pay homage to the man whose presence can easily be felt in our everyday lives. One need look no further than the sea of MacBooks and iPhones in every lecture hall to see that.

Yet, when the tributes are finished being penned and Apple moves into a post-Jobs era, one cannot help but wonder who will take the reigns of the next chapter of technological advancement. One can only hope that they capture the brilliance of Jobs while recognizing that he, like each and every one of us, was imperfect.

—The Cord Editorial Board

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