Steve Jobs: An Online Retail Revolutionary

Just as I felt when I heard the news of Steve Jobs’ resignation from Apple back in August, I feel now that it would be remiss of a digital retail marketing blog to not discuss the man who revolutionized – and arguably created – the industry on the day after his passing.

It goes without saying that Jobs had an influence on the world of technology unlike no other. In this morning’s talk TV shows, reporters were referring to him as, “Among the Henry Fords and Thomas Edisons of our time.” Outside the Today Show, filmed live in NYC, an audience of mostly teenage women held up their iPhones as if to honor Jobs in a tangible way. Nearly all of the audience carried one, and if they weren’t watching the goings on inside the studio, they were watching their phones – surely posting photos to Facebook, live Tweeting or sending messages to their families and friends. President Obama summed it up most eloquently:

“The world has lost a visionary. And there may be no greater tribute to Steve’s success than the fact that much of the world learned of his passing on a device he invented.”

I found out about it on a Blackberry, for the record. But this morning I was listening to the radio on my iPod Nano, and that’s where I heard the discussions about his life and the stamp he left on technology. Jobs turned technology into something beautiful. Before him, that didn’t seem possible. As a man who loved art and fancied himself an artist, he was uniquely positioned to bring new technology to the world and find a sweet spot that people didn’t know they had. He also brought retail online with the advent of iTunes, and now his iPhone and iPad are ushering in the next wave of e-commerce as people consistently purchase things online via their mobile devices. Apple’s mobile devices are among the easiest with which to do just that – something retailers love.

Below are a few of my favorite Jobs quotes, along with a few of today’s best articles.

Steve Jobs: King of the Crazy Ones

Steve Jobs in his own words

Steve Jobs Death: Newspaper Front Pages Pay Tribute To Apple Icon (PHOTOS)

Apple’s Visionary Redefined Digital Age

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

“I’m sorry, it’s true. Having children really changes your view on these things. We’re born, we live for a brief instant, and we die. It’s been happening for a long time. Technology is not changing it much — if at all.”

“When you’re a carpenter making a beautiful chest of drawers, you’re not going to use a piece of plywood on the back, even though it faces the wall and nobody will ever see it. You’ll know it’s there, so you’re going to use a beautiful piece of wood on the back. For you to sleep well at night, the aesthetic, the quality, has to be carried all the way through.”

“Design is a funny word. Some people think design means how it looks. But of course, if you dig deeper, it’s really how it works. The design of the Mac wasn’t what it looked like, although that was part of it. Primarily, it was how it worked. To design something really well, you have to get it. You have to really grok what it’s all about. It takes a passionate commitment to really thoroughly understand something, chew it up, not just quickly swallow it. Most people don’t take the time to do that.”

“Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me … Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful… that’s what matters to me.”

– Steve Jobs, 1955 – 2011