When the world loses someone significant there always raises a question whether someone will come to fill the empty place left by him.
Steve Jobs was that kind of someone and now more than thousands of people are wondering whether there will ever be another Steve Jobs.
He changed the way we could imagine the phones, computers and music industry to be and changed them in a better way.
Mashable did a step forward and asked this same question to industry insiders and famous technologists to find the answer.
Will there ever be another Steve Jobs?
Stephen Wolfram, founder & CEO, Wolfram Research
“At the high end of innovative human achievement, the details never repeat; that’s what defines the innovation.
But history suggests that in at least a fair fraction of civilizations, people with these attributes will occasionally emerge.”
John Borthwick, founder & CEO, Betaworks
“Yes there will be. And no there won’t be.
The sensibility that Jobs brought to products — beautiful design, attention to simplicity — humanizes design and end-to-end coupling of hardware and software. These things are all very much part of the future we in this industry are building.
There is so much still to be built. Smart device-based devices and software, dumb devices and software. Social services. Beautiful services! The USA is well positioned to continue to lead in technology and web services. We are makers in this field — and I hope we will remain leaders and makers.
All that said, there won’t be another person who has such a singular influence on hardware and software and innovation. The market today tends to reward and focus people on quick hits versus deep investigation and commitment. Jobs spent the better part of his life thinking about the human/computer interface — from Newton to the sheet of glass I’m typing on now (iPhone). That kind of focus in one company, by one person covering hardware and software is a product of an era that was.
Kevin Koym, Founder, Tech Ranch Austin
“Will there be another Steve Jobs? At a different time, different place, and different focus, yes.
There are a very few people in the world that stand up to what Steve created. His willingness to be uncompromising, even in the face of great difficulty, and to have brilliant insight … these qualities are hard to find. Yet every once in a while, there are individuals that out of vision, or perhaps need, stand up, stand in an uncompromising place, and create.
As I reflect on the story that I have heard about Steve’s upbringing, I think that the conditions of his youth, more than anything else, are the source of what created him. Early struggle, with a family that cared for him, but still was in struggle … these things laid the foundation. Finding his way to Zen meditation practice gave him focus. Dropping in on classes (e.g. his insight about print because of the calligraphy classes that he took) gave him insight into other worlds that he brought to Apple. And Silicon Valley gave him a place to grow his dreams and vision.
Although I could never measure my own accomplishments against his, I do believe that I, and others, have followed a similar path — a path driven by uncompromisingly driving a great vision. Some of us will make it happen again.
Candidates. Sadly, at this note … this is not clear to me. Perhaps it’s because Steve’s passing happened quicker than I thought it would. I do believe, though, that with the events of this year, we’ll see others step forward.
Getting to work at NeXT changed my life … in Steve, I feel lucky to have had a hero that I got to learn from.”
Tim Westergren, founder & chief strategy officer, Pandora
“Speaking both as the founder of Pandora and as a longtime musician, I can say that no one brought more innovation and more opportunity to music than Steve and Apple.
His extraordinary vision and tenacity, and the artistry of the Apple products set a new standard for everyone.”
Matt Buchanan, deputy editor, Gizmodo
“It’s easy to say there won’t be. Largely because, well, there won’t be.
But people probably thought there would never be another Edison, either. And here we are, celebrating the life of Steve Jobs and every amazing thing he did.”
Phil Libin, CEO, Evernote
“Will there ever be another Steve Jobs? No.
The combination of genius and execution at his level is so singular that it is meaningless to compare it with others. Was there another Mozart? Shakespeare? Einstein? There will never be another Steve Jobs, but — exactly because his lifetime focus was on the very ideas of experience and design and perfection — he has inspired ten thousand people to come after him, and stand on his shoulders, and reach much further than he did.”
Adam Brotman, senior vice president, Starbucks Digital Ventures
“Steve Jobs’ passing has me both saddened, humbled and inspired all at the same time. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it. My heart goes out to his family, everyone at Apple and everyone affected by his amazing achievements.
Steve brought to light a unique combination of vision, design, performance, leadership and elegance that inspired and changed the world.”
Sachin Agarwal, founder & CEO, Posterous
“I don’t think there will be another Steve Jobs. Three main reasons:
Very few people have the sheer ability to produce products like Steve did. This has been discussed a lot. Steve was a product visionary: He thought years ahead to launch spectacular devices. He said “no” when something wasn’t right. People talk about the small stuff, like an icon’s color being slightly off. But more importantly was the big stuff, like not releasing a tablet for years until the hardware and software was ready. That takes patience.
You need to build an amazing team around you. Apple has this. From the executives to all the employees, Apple has the most spectacular set of engineers and designers in the world. You can’t do it alone, and you need people you can trust and who have the same passion you do.
There are other product geniuses out there, but the reason why none will match Steve is because Apple builds products that really touch people’s lives. Our phones help us communicate, iTunes for music, video chat, photos… These are very emotional things for us and that’s what Apple builds. They transcend generations and technology.”
Dmitry Shapiro, CEO & co-founder, Anybeat
“Steve Jobs was Willy Wonka — a brilliant, creative, determined, private man who made so many people believe his toys were magical!
It is amazing how his death has been elevated into a loss of such monumental proportions as one would expect with the death of Martin Luther King, Gandhi, or JFK. A good friend of mine said it best: “Perhaps in a world that is obsessed with ‘stuff’ and money, Steve Jobs was a messiah.”
Adam Cahan, Media Products Vice President, Yahoo
“I don’t think our generation will see another Steve Jobs, if by that we mean the combined impact on product and design, as well as the business world.
In short, what he did turning around Apple as a business is pretty much unheard of in the technology industry — to go from an existing, maturing business that was literally running out of cash, failing products in the face of a dominant competitor (Microsoft) to go on to be one of the most valuable companies in the world … I think that one is a no.
As a leader, taking big bets, inspiring, being visionary while risking a multi-billion dollar company, I can’t think of another example, and the world of business is rife with the other side of the coin.
On the other hand, his influence on the world of products and design will indeed lead to “another” Steve Jobs in terms of consumer impact.
In my mind, Steve Jobs represents a seismic shift from content to product. It’s hard to internalize but having been within large media organizations there’s always a belief that content alone will drive audiences, build platforms, determine winners.
What Steve did was to ignite our passions for products … from Google to Facebook these are entire organizations and businesses that have styled themselves after Apple placing a critical importance on product — information and user design, quality of experience, simplicity of form and function. Just take a look at any developer conference and suddenly you are seeing a different breed of young design-influenced, product-centric teams. I credit Steve with that shift.”
As for me, I share Kevin Koym’s opinion mostly “Will there be another Steve Jobs? At a different time, different place, and different focus, yes.”
I do believe that there will come others who will be able to make us wonder as much as Steve Jobs did. I want to believe.
And now what do YOU think? Will there be another Steve Jobs? Feel free to state your opinions.