" McNamee says that in addition to introducing us to desktop publishing and computer animated movies, Jobs should be credited with creating the first commercially successful computer.
"Any one of those would have qualified him as one of the great executives in American history," McNamee says, "the sum of which put him in a place where no one else has ever been before. To me he is of his era what Thomas Edison was to the beginning of the 20th century."
"Jobs was eventually fired in a 1985 boardroom coup led by John Sculley — the man Jobs himself had hired to be CEO of Apple. But Jobs was driven to make computers vehicles for creativity, and after he left Apple, he purchased a little-known division of Lucas film and renamed it Pixar.
In 1995, Pixar released the first animated feature to be done entirely on computers. That film, Toy Story, was a huge success, and Pixar followed it with other big hits including Monsters, Inc., The Incredibles and Finding Nemo."
"In 1998, as interim CEO of Apple, Jobs introduced the iMac and once again helped remake the computer industry. According to venture capitalist McNamee, the iMac was the first computer made to harness the creative potential of the Internet.
"The iMac reflected the transition of consumers from passive consumption of content to active creation of entertainment," McNamee says. "People could write their own blogs, make their own digital photographs and make their own movies. Apple made all the tools to make that easy and they did at a time when Microsoft just wasn't paying attention."
Three years after the iMac, Jobs announced Apple's expansion into the music industry with a breakthrough MP3 player — the iPod.
"This is not a speculative market," he said as he introduced the iPod in 2001. "It's a part of everyone's life. It's a very large target market all around the world."
The iPod was a classic Jobs product — easy to use and nice to look at. Apple sold tens of millions of iPods, and the iTunes store became the No. 1 music retailer.
Six years later, Apple released the iPhone — a device whose elegance and user friendliness blew other phone/music players out of the water.
In 2010, Apple created yet another groundbreaking device with the introduction of the iPad. With its color touch-screen, the tablet gave users the ability to surf the Web, send e-mail, watch videos and read e-books.
Book publishers weren't the only ones to embrace the new tablet. A host of magazines, newspapers and broadcast news organizations, including The New Yorker, The Wall Street Journal and NPR, created iPad-specific apps that helped showcase stories — and images — in a tabloid-style layout.
And in January 2011, Apple reached a milestone by surpassing 10 billion downloads from its App Store — a sign of just how popular the company's devices have become with consumers.
"Simplifying complexity is not simple," says Susan Rockrise, a creative director who worked with Jobs. "It is the greatest, greatest gift to have someone who has Steve's capabilities as an editor and a product designer edit the crap away so that you can focus on what you want to do."
Rockrise believes Jobs touched pretty much anyone who has ever clicked a mouse, sent a photo over the Internet, published a book from a home computer or enjoyed portable music or a computer-animated movie."