He even pioneered a retail experience that was shanzhai'd in China.
Anyone who's held an iPod has no doubt pressed a mental pause button today to consider an Apple without Steve Jobs. And yet, Steve Jobs has made an impact not only on consumers the world over, but producers as well - producers of business plans, even producers of one hour news bulletins.
In 2009, a colleague and I threw out a question. "If Steve Jobs produced a news show, what would it look like?"
Bizarre? Yes. Highly unlikely? Of course.
But that simple question got me and my producer, Ravi Hiranand, fired up about how the smart use of technology can give our viewers a better understanding of the world. We asked ourselves questions about design, usability, and user experience. We approached technology as an enabler that would never overshadow or obscure the news.
As a news anchor, I started to think of myself as an interface. I merely take information from a variety of sources and deliver it to the viewer. But I would never "dictate the news" but rather guide the viewer by directing their attention to various elements.
The basic ethos here? If Steve Jobs was a TV news producer (or anchor), he would never use technology for technology's sake. He would use it to enhance and extend our storytelling.
All this eventually led us to News Stream, our show on CNN International where news and technology meet. Over the last year, I have talked much about Jobs' influence on CNN's News Stream both online and in person to various audiences. My admiration of “His Steveness” has even been animated by Taiwan's Next Media Animation.
To me and the News Stream team, Steve Jobs represents that high bar we constantly try to reach. In his 2005 Stanford commencement address, he closes with the advice, "Stay hungry, stay foolish."
Adopting those words, we stay hungry. We won't be satisfied with re-hashed updates. We consider a smarter, alternative approach to current events like:
- A single high-res photograph that symbolizes how quickly the Middle East and North Africa has changed since the Arab unrest first took hold in January.
- A color-coded system to categorize, and better understand, China's hacking culture.
- An outline of the 2010 Pakistan flood zone across a map of Europe to truly convey the scale of the disaster.
Earlier today, we spoke to Silicon Vally insider and Giga Om founder Om Malik for his thoughts and reaction to Steve Jobs stepping down as CEO.
Om said, "Steve is responsible for a whole generation of entrepreneurs, founders and CEOs for thinking a certain way. I think that is his true legacy. Not only did he make the customers very happy. His true legacy is that he makes a lot of us think differently about how we treat our customers and users. That is his profound legacy."
We couldn't agree more.