Colleagues and competitors of Steve Jobs, including Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg, are reflecting on the passing of Apple’s co-founder and the effect his products had on the world.
Jobs, who passed away from complications with pancreatic cancer, is widely-regarded as one of the industry’s founding fathers, along with Microsoft founder Bill Gates.
Apple and Microsoft competed fiercely in the computer market over the years. But despite the rivalry, the two men became friends in recent times, each honouring the contributions the other had made to the field.
“Steve and I first met nearly 30 years ago, and have been colleagues, competitors and friends over the course of more than half our lives,” Gates said. “The world rarely sees someone who has had the profound impact Steve has had, the effects of which will be felt for many generations to come. For those of us lucky enough to get to work with him, it’s been an insanely great honour. I will miss Steve immensely.”
Google and Apple were allies in the search company’s early days, but as Google expanded beyond search into mobile devices, the two companies became rivals.
“Steve was a great man with incredible achievements and amazing brilliance,” said Larry Page, CEO of Google. “He always seemed to be able to say in very few words what you actually should have been thinking before you thought it. His focus on the user experience above all else has always been an inspiration to me.”
Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg also fondly remembered Jobs as “a mentor and a friend,” thanking him for “showing that what you build can change the world.”
Meanwhile, Apple co-founder and friend Steve Wozniak said hearing the news “felt a lot like you just heard that John Lennon got shot, or JFK, or Martin Luther King.” Recalling their early days together in the business, Wozniak said Jobs “was one of those cool guys. He knew technology. He understood it.”
Beyond technology, Jobs’ company and products impacted other areas, including business and entertainment, and across the globe, politicians and entertainment figures reflected on Jobs’ passion, determination, and spirit of discovery.
President Obama said Jobs is “among the greatest of American innovators,” who “changed the way each of us sees the world.”
Arnold Schwarzenegger added Jobs “lived the California Dream every day of his life and he changed the world and inspired all of us.”
The entertainment community also came together to praise Jobs for innovations that changed media, film and television. Spike Lee lauded Jobs’ ambitious spirit, stating, “Visionaries are always called crazy in the beginning. A visionary sees things that everybody else says is impossible, sees a world that people can’t envision–Mac, iPod, iPad, iPhone, iTunes, and Pixar. I have nothing but love for Mr. Jobs and Apple… peace and blessings to his family.”
Filmmaker Kevin Smith thanked Jobs for “Never settling for the way things were during a life you spent showing us how things could be. O Captain! My captain!”
Comedian Patton Oswalt put it simply: “Steve Jobs. Closest thing we had to Tony Stark.”