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Steve Jobs – iGenius

In the spring of 1984, I left Ziff-Davis’ Computer Publishing Division in New York and moved to Northern California to join IDG’s PCW Communications, handling advertising sales for PC World and this 2-issue old magazine called Macworld. I was fascinated from the beginning because of the back story on how the magazine was created, by the creative nature of how it was produced and by its larger trim size (we called it Fortune-size because it mirrored the trim size of Fortune Magazine at that time).

A couple of years later, I became CEO of Macworld Communications, and I had a front row seat for the many corporate twists and turns of Apple, including Steve Jobs ouster by his Board in 1985. While I had moved onto another IDG division when Steve returned to the company after the Amelio era, I have remained as much a Mac enthusiast today as I was back in the 1980’s. Virtually every Macintosh product has appeared in my home or my office throughout my post-Macworld life. Why? Because they work, they are fun and they are some of the best-looking products I’ve ever seen.

Steve Jobs’ death is NOT the death of Apple Computer. Steve’s legacy of building “insanely great” products will survive him. As long as Steve’s hand-chosen successor and the senior executive team he built all remain committed to Steve’s vision, and if they can execute great product design and the marketing buzz for which Apple is famous, I’ll still be at the Apple Store for each successive product roll-out…as will tens of millions of others just like me.

I am honored to have worked so closely with Apple Computer during my career at IDG and to have helped, in our own small way, in building a legion of worldwide enthusiasts through our network of local language Macworld magazines in over 25 countries, and in our build-out of international Macworld Expos. Whether I went to Macworld Expo at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, or in Tokyo, Frankfurt, London, Stockholm, Sydney, Auckland or other cities around the world, I met people who had the same passion for Apple products. The adoration of Steve and Apple had no language barrier. You could see it in how they queued up in Tokyo hours before the show would open just so they could get into the exhibition hall. When you’d speak with users, their eyes and their smiles spoke volumes.

Steve Jobs will go down in history as one of the world’s most imaginative entrepreneurs. Perhaps he’ll be #1 on everyone’s Top Ten list in 20, 50 or even 100 years. All I know is that Steve changed the world in ways many of us can appreciate today…while others will come to appreciate in the future.

Steve Jobs – iRIP.