By Michael R. Czinkota
We mourn the death of the premier international marketer of our century. We see his influence daily on our field. We talk about consumer segments around the globe increasingly dancing together to the same music, and even singing the same tunes. But how did they get to that level? I –tunes let us become aware of each other’s music, learning from each other, downloading the tunes to our iPods, so that we could dance. And now we can travel the world and achieve a very rapid and close understanding in the local music culture. We also eat the same foods, sometimes with forks, but often also with chopsticks. Where did we learn that from? Remember, when computers were praised as a new tool to collect recipes? Seeing, preparing and sharing different kinds of foods was a clear outcome of Jobs’ efforts. We communicate with each other and are able to achieve overarching goals. For example, in recent times, many refer to the power of social media in bringing about political change. When we look at the ‘Arab Spring’, much of it occurs because of the new links between people, the ability to organize and join forces. In other words, these are i-Phone moments. Steve Jobs has not made the world flat – he has interconnected it, and given us all a new spin and better mobility. Brokers, Composers, Doctors, Professors and Students all do their working, thinking and talking different because of Jobs. For him, borders were no barriers, but merely points of information. His work focused on and benefited the broad masses rather than the limited elites. He was a true spirit of and for the world. In practical terms, he has brought much freedom to the world.
Steve Jobs has allowed smaller sized businesses to act like large ones, he has brought millions of new participants to the export table. His firm’s work alone has had a dramatic impact on our balance of trade. His innovations have transformed entire industries. He made us proud to be Americans – to be able to say this exceptional product was designed in America. He has enabled us all to obtain information which lets us react to changes and benefit from new opportunities. He has made investments possible through the increasing ability to develop and understand data, and given us the tools to predict shifts and get ready for them. He made us dance, he brought us closer together.
Today, some people have compared Steve Jobs to Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, Walt Disney, and Henry Ford. I would suggest that there was a little bit of each of these business leaders inside Steve Jobs. If we could carve out a symbol on some mountain top for industrial leaders, I am confident that a special space would be reserved for Steve Jobs.
Farewell and thank you for all your work to strengthen people, and improve markets and lives.