Steve Jobs

Will There Ever Be Another Steve Jobs?

Are we likely to see another human being in our lifetime wield as great an influence?

Mashable contacted industry insiders, entrepreneurs and celebrated technologists to get their perspectives. Could there ever be another person capable of profoundly changing the world through software and hardware design as Jobs has done?

History Suggests People With These Attributes Will Occasionally Emerge

– Stephen Wolfram, founder & CEO, Wolfram Research

A Product Of An Era That Was

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.

– John Borthwick, founder & CEO, Betaworks

Some Of Us Will Make It Happen Again

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 simliar 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.

– Kevin Koym, Founder, Tech Ranch Austin

Jobs Set a New Standard

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.

– Tim Westergren, founder & chief strategy officer, Pandora

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