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Innovation over speculation: Steve Jobs' corporate legacy

By Rahul Venkit (Xinhua)

14:41, October 07, 2011

BRUSSELS, Oct. 6 (Xinhua) -- While the world mourns the loss of a visionary, what lessons can the ailing global economy learn from the life and achievements of Steve Jobs?

Tributes began pouring in from all corners of the globe within hours of the Apple co-founder losing his battle with pancreatic cancer at age 56.

From U.S. President Barack Obama to Microsoft chairman Bill Gates to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, political and business leaders -- including Apple's rivals -- saluted Jobs for "changing the world" with his groundbreaking technological advances.

The social media too has been brimming with messages of condolence for the charismatic American inventor who gave the world revolutionary products such as the Macintosh, iPod, iPhone and the iPad.

These hallmark creations forever changed the way people listen to music, browse the web and, on a fundamental level, interact with technology itself.

Even those who are not consumers of Jobs' gadgets and gizmos are mourning his death because they believe in the values he firmly stood for.

"I've never owned an Apple product. So, my love and respect for Steve is entirely based on the way he lived his life," said Hrishi Mittal, a London-based programmer and businessman.

"Money and power pale in comparison to the electric feeling of creating something new, something you dreamed up," he added.

Throughout his career, Jobs has been a maverick. He was famously successful in turning his dreams into reality. From modest beginnings in a California garage with high-school friend Steve Wozniak back in 1976, Apple today is the world's most valuable technology company with an estimated market value of 351 billion U.S. dollars.

Some industry watchers say that in a world where greed, fear and the culture of making money from money is rampant causing extreme volatility in markets, Jobs' strong entrepreneurial spirit and focus on cutting-edge creations are not only exemplary but also necessary.

While financial markets speculated and created bubbles, Apple innovated and created jobs and worldwide production networks. Today, Apple is said to have nearly 50,000 employees and over 320 retail stores around the world.

"Jobs fostered a culture of innovation not only among his tens of thousands of employees, but also drove competitors like Google and Microsoft to stretch their imagination," Singapore-based media commentator Rajesh Kannan told Xinhua.

"Let's not forget the manufacturing fillip Apple's many wonderful gadgets have provided to an entire ecosystem of factories and productions hubs in southern China and around the world," he said.

The best way to fix the fragile state of the global economy, feel experts, is by taking inspiration from Jobs. They say less speculation and more creation should be the mantra.

"We have suffered enough bankers rewarding themselves for moving around real or fictitious money. The only way the world can right itself again is by making real things that people use," remarked Kannan.

"Jobs' greatest legacy is that imagination and invention are the most powerful forces at our disposal, and it is a lesson our next set of innovators will be wise to heed."

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jhuni at 2011-10-0772.234.110.*
Steve Jobs was just another capitalist, he moved money around but he never created fundamental technology innovations like the touch-screen, that was done by the workers. Besides, like other capitalist produced computers Job"s products were infested with artificial scarcity and DRM. I miss Steve Jobs the person, but not Steve Jobs the capitalist.
  

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