That you are able to read this editorial today, no matter in what format you are reading it in, is a tribute to the work of Steve Jobs.
If you are reading the printed version, you are looking at a page that was designed on an Apple Mac Pro computer. If you are looking at an electronic version, chances are you are reading it on an iPhone or iPad.
In any case, you have access to the information thanks to the vision and drive of Jobs, who died Wednesday at the age of 56.
Few people in the history of our planet had the vision that Jobs had, and his death is cause for reflection.
Jobs founded Apple computers and invented gadgets that rocketed the technological era into warp speed. From the Macintosh computer to the iPod to the iPhone, Jobs changed society and altered the course of entire industries, especially the cell phone and music industries.
The man brilliantly turned Apple from a company he started in his garage into a global giant worth $351 billion. In his brilliance he purchased Pixar for $10 million and sold it for $7.4 billion.
Jobs did not invent the portable digital music player. He improved on it and gave us the iPod, a device that not only changed how we listen to music, it changed the entire music industry.
He did not invent the smart phone. He improved on it and gave us the iPhone, a device that has changed the way we interact with the world.
Jobs did not invent the the portable computer. He improved on it and gave us the iPad, the tablet with the touch screen that in just a short period of time has spawned countless imitators and will forever change the way we look at computers.
Each device took the concept of form following function to a new level. Jobs ensured that those who work for Apple take great pride in designing products that not only perform well, but look good and feel good in the hands of the user. The software that makes the products work, including iTunes and the App Store, is simple to access, aiding in the use of Apple products.
Jobs had a knack for taking the most complex of devices and designing them so the least tech-savvy among us could make them work and find pleasure in them. Apple products ship with only a rudimentary guide, a quick-start sheet if you will, and the understanding that their owners will intuitively know how to make the devices work.
The degree to which he changed the world can be likened to Thomas Edison, Andrew Carnegie and Henry Ford.
Appropriately, Jobs was mourned worldwide by people who held up pictures of candles on their iPads, researched his biography on Macintosh computers and tapped tributes on iPhones.
While his inventions serve as tools for people and businesses, his life should serve as a tool of a different sort for parents, teachers and mentors.
He's an inspiration, a model for young people to emulate.