Steve Jobs, Apple and His Influence on Our Lives

If you go to the local mall on, say, a Tuesday evening around 6PM, most stores will be doing a pretty slow trade — except one: Apple. . .  which is simply jammed with people old and young — especially the young — testing products, listening to the talks or performers, conferring with the numerous blue-shirted staffers, sitting at the “Genius” bar, and, always, buying more of the amazing gadgets.

I can actually remember life before Apple (whose new Shanghai store is shown here), when we teenagers hung around idly in downtown, dividing among sundry clothing and record stores, cafes and the video arcade. Who then could have imagined that a computer store would become  a glowing temple  on the high street that would be the hip hangout for teens!

His impact on the high street is just one of the multiple way in which Steve Jobs has been so extraordinarily influential in our lives (including of course on design, and designers, as Steven Heller explores here), so despite being long anticipated the news of his departure from the helm of his company comes as a great shock.

So much so that I find myself continually tearing up — which is strange, given Apple’s annoying traits (and sometimes questionable business practices). But Jobs represented the epic face of American innovation, especially inspiring at this time of economic gloom. Not to mention the ineffable beauty of his products (which of course owe much of their excellence to his top designer, Jonathan Ive). And his wonderfully mad personality (not that I ever met him). So sad to see him go.

Apple’s influence was examined on this DnA and will be discussed on an upcoming To The Point. If there’s anything you’d like to say about Apple or hear discussed on our show, please add a comment here, or write me at

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  • What was Steve Jobs’ greatest contribution to society? The amazing thing is that there are so many answers to choose from. Was it the insanely great Mac? Or perhaps the iPod and the MP3 music revolution? Or Pixar and Toy Story and all of the studio’s other animated wonders? Or the iPhone and the iPad and all the innovation they’ve uncorked in the mobile, software, and publishing businesses? Or maybe it’s simply Apple itself—the world’s most valuable company.