With the passing of Apple founder Steve Jobs, one cannot help but wonder is it is also the passing of an era. The spirit of American Ingenuity begins with Ben Franklin, passes through Edison's Menlo Park laboratories and the garage of Wosniak and Jobs. In the midst of our American economic crisis and debts to other nations, Jobs' passing reminds us that something even larger may be dying. We Americans think of ourselves as inventors and innovators, and with good historical reason. Over the past day, our media commentators and social media friends have all rightly espoused the genius of Steve Jobs and Apple. Yet we are left to wonder if his influence and success were the last dying gasps of that American spirit of innovation. The Onion ponders this humorously, and perhaps offensively to some, but there is stinging truth behind the satire.
If we ask where the Steve Jobs of the future will come from, we fear the answer will be, "not here". There is an understandable frustration of emerging generations with the economy, corporations and government. Hearing their concerns, it is valid to ask if there even is the desire among younger generations to be the next Jobs, or dream up the next iPad.
Steve Jobs was heavily influenced by a counterculture, and became a countercultural icon himself. Ironically, he achieved this status through living out the narrative of American Innovation, creating and leading a capitalist success story. But he did so in unconventional and countercultural ways.
Is his story the last of its kind? Do upcoming generations even consider such an approach valid? What do you think, did the spirit of American Ingenuity pass away with Steve Jobs?