Like many, I was profoundly saddened by the death of a man I never met, but who has affected my life – Steve Jobs.

A hundred years from now, the world will be very different than if Steve Jobs had never lived. However, it won’t be (directly) because he helped create the Mac, the iPod, the iPhone, and the iPad.

It will be because he fundamentally altered the intellectual and creative DNA of people who create technology.

I don’t just mean Apple; there are a large number of technologists outside of Apple whose views on design and engineering have been shaped by Jobs and Apple circa 1997 to 2011. This influence will result in small and large changes to the technical landscape as these people deliver technology and teach the next generation of technologists.

How will it be different? It’s impossible to capture precisely, so let me instead sketch a few examples (admittedly a caricature):

  • Don’t worry about speeds and feeds; focus on addressing everyday human needs
  • Design not as “how it looks”; design as “how it works”
  • Money not as end unto itself; money as both “fuel” and also the result of helping to improve the human condition
  • Not settling; striving for excellence
  • It’s possible for large organizations to do amazing things [1]

It will be subtle, slow, and sometimes invisible, but this DNA will alter the evolution of technology at a pretty deep level. In fact, it has already begun.

[1] From Josh Staiger’s comment below.