CNBC is celebrating 25 years in business this year. To honor the occasion, the media giant created a list of the top 25 most influential business people of the past quarter century. The list is filled with names of CEOs, investors, and entrepreneurs. At the top sits former Apple CEO Steve Jobs. Taking the number one spot above the likes of Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, and Rupert Murdoch, Jobs was given the coveted spot due to his innovation and “creative genius.”
CNBC is the first to recognize that this list won’t make everyone happy, so there is no point in trying to argue against it. In the eyes of the broadcast network, Jobs is tops because of the way he revolutionized the tech industry, including the way we listen to music, the way we play games, and the way we take computing on the road. According to CNBC, Jobs “spurred changes far beyond his industry and put an indelible stamp on the wider culture.”
CNBC points out that Jobs’ influence on the world includes the early commercial potential for a mouse-driven graphical interface, which eventually put Apple on a “distinctively different road from other computer makers.”
Additionally, Jobs oversaw the development and execution of the iPhone, iPad, and iPod, as well as the digital music store, iTunes, and the hugely popular App Store. Basically, thanks to Apple’s deeply integrated digital ecosystem, overseen by Jobs, the whole world does everything differently.
We buy and listen to music differently. Our computing activities are now more convenient than ever thanks to Apple’s incredibly simple and useful mobile operating system. We play games in five-minute snacks thanks to the wide variety of apps we can download on the fly. Education is currently in the early stages of being completely revolutionized thanks to the advent of tablets, which were popularize by Apple’s iPad, Jobs’ last “one more thing.”
When Jobs passed to torch to current CEO Tim Cook, and subsequently passed on, he left a legacy that continues to grow today. The company’s stock price may not ever reach the height that it did in 2011, but Cook has already led the charge for social and environmental changes in the way giant corporations work that his contribution to the world will be even bigger before he passes the torch to someone new. One influence that Jobs had on the world didn’t get mentioned in CNBC’s summary; his effect on those around him who continue to carry on that same value to disrupt industries, spark change, and exercise an influence far beyond the company.