Steve Jobs leaves a daunting but inspiring legacy

US president Barack Obama hit the nail on the head when he said that Steve Jobs, who has died aged 56, was: “brave enough to think differently, bold enough to believe he could change the world and talented enough to do it.”

The former Apple founder and CEO can lay claim to be the biggest figure the digital world has so far produced. Who else can lay claim to have revolutionised three major business: music (with the iPod), telephony (the iPhone) and personal computing (the iPad)?

It’s a daunting legacy for his successor as CEO Tim Cook, Apple’s supply chain wizard. Cook will never have the charisma of Jobs and made a rather underwhelming debut as Apple pitch front man just two days ago.

This is Steve Jobs’ celebrated “stay hungry, stay foolish” address to Stanford University graduates in 2005. It’s funny, practical and inspiring. Sadly he wasn’t quite right about the few more decades he believed he had left.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.