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Gone but not forgotten: Steve Jobs is still part of the furniture at Apple


Though he died in 2011, the legacy of Steve Jobs within Apple remains visibly prominent.

In the reception area of Town Hall, the small theatre where the technology giant hosts some of its events, there are large portraits of Jobs on the wall with the Macintosh and the MacBook Air. A piano he presented as a gift to developers at the company sits beneath them, while a quote of his is emblazoned on the wall.

Steve Jobs piano
The piano Jobs gave to developers (Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP)

“If you do something and it turns our pretty good, then you should go do something else wonderful, not dwell on it for too long. Just figure out what’s next,” it reads.

The late co-founder’s words still ring true at Apple, with the company sticking to a policy of updating its core hardware and software products annually – the focus is always “what’s next?” His desire to keep design simple influenced not only Apple, but the wider technology world, through several decades and generations of products.

Though his successor Tim Cook has tried to make the workplace a friendlier and more social environment – Jobs was notorious for his hostility and unwillingness to compromise – most of the other principles he installed remain.

Steve Jobs
The App Store is worth billions of pounds (Myung Jung Kim/PA)

It was Jobs’s decision to move to a graphics-led interface of icons and windows in the early 1980s that has created the look of every modern computer today, while music downloading, smartphones, tablets and even digital publishing have all been deeply affected by his way of presenting things.

Touchscreen devices came to prominence with the iPhone and then iPad, changing websites and how they are consumed, while the launch of the App Store created a new platform that is now one of the biggest platforms around, worth billions of pounds annually.

tim cook
Apple chief executive Tim Cook (Niall Carson/PA)

Though he died more than four years ago, two of his closest allies now sit at the top of Apple. Chief executive Cook was a trusted deputy, while chief design officer Jony Ive had the same principles for clean, simple design as Jobs.

His influence has now grown to having control over the look of Apple’s retail stores, as well as the new headquarters currently under construction.

Jobs’s office remains at Apple’s current HQ in Cupertino, his name plaque still next to the door. The co-founder’s influence is far from dulling.