It's no secret that I was not fond of Steve Jobs, nor Apple's business practices. But I can dislike someone and still acknowledge their accomplishments.
As the driving force behind Apple, the company created products that have been widely successful. It's my belief that Steve Jobs' passion for creating products that he wanted to use, not just sell, was what set him and Apple above the rest of the personal technology market.
The landscape of personal computing would be dramatically different if it hadn't been for Steve Jobs. We would still have computers and mp3 players and smartphones. But without that dynamic drive and marketing vision that Jobs brought to the table, there would have been less impetus to innovate and create.
I don't know if I would consider Steve Jobs a visionary for creating the future. But I do think that he was able to envision the broad spectrum of technology, and direct his engineers and designers to create products that would dominate the market. Steve was a man who could see the big picture, and also could focus on the smallest details of products until he was satisfied that he would be happy to use them.
Of course, there were times that Apple released products that Steve wasn't happy with. He certainly wasn't happy with MobileMe. The products he was happiest with were the ones where he had a direct hand in design and development.
Aesthetics were just as important as functionality. A product that was beautiful to look at as well as use was evident when he would present them at a conference. He could get the crowd excited about a product because he was excited about it.
I've said my piece elsewhere about the negative aspects of Steve's personality. This is not the time to go into them. This is a time for reflection upon the life of a man whose drive and passion made an indelible mark on technology and the world. At the very least, Steve Jobs should be remembered for this if nothing else.