Looking back on the impact of Steve Jobs I must admit have mixed emotions. On the one hand, the guy was absolutely brilliant and insanely focused on delivering great products. I marvel at my iPad and miss my iPhone. iTunes changed music for me forever. And I don’t think that these things would have ever been brought to market without his leadership and demand of perfection. On the other hand, by insisting on closed marketplaces, technology and OS he drove a bunch of small upstarts out of business and I happened to work for one of those businesses that was stymied by not being allowed to be in the App Store. And I really lothe that his success at building a monopolistic businesses has resulted in business leaders and boardrooms across the world asking the question, why can’t we be Apple and close down our business to only those we “like”. I think it is 99.9% of the time a bad idea for customers, partners and the general goodness of being forced to fend off competition regularly.

So all in all, Steve’s parting thoughts upon his Death struck me as the best thing he ever did. Which is not a business message at all, but a personal one that I found to be extremely relevant and thought provoking.

“No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. 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.” – Steve Jobs

What do you think was Steve’s most important contribution to the world?

RIP Steve Jobs