The somber mood outside the San Francisco Apple store on Stockton Street wasn’t helped by the gray skies and the rain Thursday afternoon. People huddled together, pushing their iPhones and iPads through the crowd to document and add to the Steve Jobs memorial outside the store.
Apple announced the co-founder's death Wednesday night and remembered him as a "visionary and creative genius." The company announced no cause of death, but Jobs had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer seven years ago. He was 56.
Piles of Post-It notes and Sharpie pens, two of the few analog staples left in the office world, were on the sidewalk, allowing visitors to leave notes of reminisce.
“See you in the iCloud,” and “Goodbye Steve Jobs, the Thomas Edison of our time,” were two of the hundreds of poignant and personal notes making up the memorial mosaic stuck to the clear glass entrance of the store.
Peter Montgomery, a tech industry employee who lives in Berkeley and works in San Francisco, was one of the observers taking photographs at the memorial site.
“What made Jobs remarkable as a figure is that most capital industrialists, like Rockefeller, Carnegie and Vanderbilt, have been vilified, while Jobs is idolized,” Montgomery said. “What’s interesting is that there are many personal accounts that he was hard to work for, demanding and full of temper. To have someone of that nature be idolized is remarkable.”
Torben Markussen and Jesper Mortensen, two Danish visitors in town for a technology conference, paused in the middle of their day to take photographs.
“It’s a fantastic company, I spent a lot of my money on Apple products,” Markussen said with a beaming smile.
“Jobs knew that design and usability need to fit together,” Mortensen said. “The iPod took off because it appealed to all consumers.”
While consumers make up a large portion of Apple devotees, innovators are also in mourning. Apple could easily be credited with creating a new generation of start-ups, independent of the corporation but based on the principle of using Apple products, such as mobile phone applications.
“Jobs made it possible for my partner and me to follow our dream and start a mobile tech company together,” said Jean Miller, a mobile technology entrepreneur.
“He showed us how to create our dreams with perseverance, and an attention to detail that demonstrates passion,” Miller said. “His products stood out because his work exudes a level of care and detail that we’d never seen before. I’m sad we lost one of our most creative minds of today.”