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Letter from the i editor: He made a difference

I was home in bed for once by the time Apple announced Steve Jobs had died. The news came too late for yesterday’s i.

There are more eloquent assessments of his achievements on p6 and p16, but a sense of their magnitude can be tasted in this little anecdote.

I woke yesterday to the sound of my iPad pinging. My daughter had forgotten to log off Facebook. She showed me, so no exaggeration, perhaps 30 posts from her Facebook friends about Jobs’ death. In London and New York, 13 to 15-year-old girls and boys were writing “Steve Jobs RIP”. Many had attached a personal Apple experience. My own Facebook wall was similar – only the posters were older. Many waxed lyrical about the era when we all abandoned typewriter ribbons and Tippex in favour of that first Mac Classic. I remember it as if it was yesterday. That’s how I found out about Steve Jobs’ passing.

Which other businessperson would elicit the same spontaneity? Richard Branson, perhaps, among my friends, or Alan Sugar (but only because of The Apprentice) among the girls’. There are not many people whose life has so clearly enriched our own.

I told this story to the editors of The Times and The Daily Telegraph in a coffee break at the Leveson Inquiry seminar into media standards yesterday (that’s another column). The latter noted how odd it was that no one from Facebook (or Google) was present, then said there were four stories re Jobs’ death on the Telegraph website by 10am. I already knew. Sitting behind him in the conference, I’d already read them on my iPad. Steve Jobs. He made a difference.

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