An outpouring of emotion for Steve Jobs

The loss of Apple's co-founder at age 56 is deeply felt around the world.

By Kim Peterson Oct 6, 2011 12:38PM
Steve Jobs talked of making a "dent in the universe." He might have looked at the world Thursday and called the mission accomplished.

Apple (AAPL) fans mourned Jobs' death in an outpouring of grief unprecedented for a corporate executive. People who had never met the man choked up and placed flowers and handwritten messages at Apple stores. Others created makeshift memorials at Apple's Northern California headquarters.

In Tokyo, fans painted messages for Jobs on red apples. At a Hong Kong vigil, people displayed a flickering candle app on their iPhones. In China, Apple users posted millions of messages on microblogging sites.

The founder of a Chinese private education company said he cried upon hearing the news. "Because of him, the world has become different," Yu Minghong wrote. "Because of him, the boring world has become alive, the glum world has become creative, because of him a drab world has become colorful."

Others discuss Jobs' legacy in the following video.

Post continues below.
No other corporate chief executive could elicit this level of emotion. But perhaps no other CEO has given people such personal and enthusiastic connections with products. Jobs was responsible for the fierce loyalty people have to the MacBook, the iPhone, the iPod and the iPad.

He changed lives for the better. And with his death at age 56, many people feel a bright light has been extinguished far too soon.

"For good or for ill, he has probably had a greater influence on how I live than I even know," English professor Alan Jacobs wrote. "Of course his passing moves me. It would be absurd for me to claim otherwise."

Even the ruthlessly efficient stock market gave Apple a break Thursday. After an initial slight drop, Apple shares recovered and were essentially flat in midday trading.

"It was really sad news for us," said one visitor from Tokyo who visited the memorial outside of Apple's Fifth Avenue store, according to Reuters. "A lot of Japanese use the iPhone. We're here to thank him."

People rushed to order the upcoming authorized biography of Jobs. The book, "Steve Jobs" by Walter Isaacson, shot to the top of Amazon's (AMZN)best-seller list. Publisher Simon & Schuster moved up the release date to Oct. 24 from Nov. 21.

Other people went online to watch the video of Jobs' 2005 commencement address at Stanford University. By Thursday, the address had been viewed 6.5 million times.

Many created their own tributes to Jobs on websites and Twitter.

"Steve was my secret muse," technology pundit Om Malik wrote. "Trust me -- he is a secret muse to many of us in (Silicon) Valley." Malik added that there is a whole generation of entrepreneurs who ask themselves one question: What would Steve have done?

Google's (GOOG) engineering chief said he thought of Jobs when he saw his 12-year-old son working intently on his Macbook. "I suddenly was overwhelmed with emotion," Vic Gundotra wrote. "I was 12 when I also spent every waking moment with my Mac. Generations of influence. That's what Steve did."

Oct 6, 2011 1:21PM

He influenced how we think about technology and how we live our daily lives.  May he rest in peace and prayers for his family during this difficult time.

Oct 6, 2011 6:15PM
He made a believer out of me almost 5 years ago. Wish I had seen his wisdom sooner..... It's a great thing when someone like Jobs can influence the entire world around him so positively. I wish more CEO's would leave this kind of legacy.... RIP Mr. Jobs.
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