When news broke Wednesday that Steve Jobs would step down as Apple's CEO, it wasn't long before Twitter exploded with instant reactions from consumers, pundits, and developers. Responses ran the gamut from the monosyllabic (my own feed was packed with people saying "Wow," "Shocked," and "Whoa") to the nostalgic ("My favorite Jobs memories: attending the Boston NeXT launch, and spotting him at the back of a crowd at Pixar's '89 SIGGRAPH booth, beaming," Technologizer's Harry McCracken recalled).
If you're interested in reading some of the other consumer and pundit Twitter reactions to the news, Macworld put together a collection using Tweet Library; Manton Reese also assembled a collection, as did I.
But we're not just interested in pundit reaction: We wanted to know what Macworld readers thought about Jobs's resignation. Here's a collection of some of the letters and forum posts we've received.
His resignation will carry reverberations around the world. I so hope that it isn't because of any serious downgrade to his health. I hope he has just decided to go out on top. What an outstanding leader of technology, a man of tremendous vision.-- SomethingWicked, via Macworld Forums
Steve picked the perfect time to do this. In less than a month, iOS 5, iPhone 5, and iCloud are going to drop like a nuclear bomb on the phone/computer/consumer electronics world. After the panicky Wall Streeters who absolutely do not understand Apple sell off tomorrow and cause the stock to drop, it will rebound like a rocket over the next quarter. Too bad I can't afford to buy any of the stock.-- wolfandfox, via Macworld forums
It sounds like this makes the current temporary situation permanent: During his medical leave of absence, Tim Cook has been handling the day-to-day running of the company while Steve has provided oversight and direction.
Steve has been an incredible leader for this company and I wish the best for him, his health, his family, and his new job as Chairman. Back when he and Woz first founded Apple, he set out to do more than make computers. He said he wanted to change the world. Few people, and no other tech leader I know of, has done more to change the world.-- richcon, via Macworld forums
After suffering through what passed as personal computers in the early 1980s, I was elated when Jobs announced the Macintosh in 1984. I bought an original Mac and haven't looked back. It changed my life. It allowed me to make a living without working for a corporation. As Jobs once said, it was the equivalent of "a bicycle for our minds."
Jobs was always driven by far more than money. "Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn't matter to me," he once said. "Going to bed at night saying we've done something wonderful... that's what matters to me." How many modern CEOs would admit that?
I would like to think that Apple could continue to function as the genius company that it has been. But I know better. It will return to Earth, especially when it's time to invent that next great thing. Real genius is very, very rare--especially in today's world. Steve Jobs has it, while others don't. It's a sad fact that geniuses like him come very rarely.
Jobs has the moral compass of a man who came of age in the 60s. It's a proud legacy, and one I understand and admire. Others might learn from it, if they only could.-- Frank Beacham, via email
Cook's humility would prevent him in pointing out that he is also quite responsible for Apple's success over the years. Jobs is so important, it's simply a fact of life that he will be missed. But Cook's ability to manage the company so well has already been proven.-- leicaman, via Macworld forums
While Tim Cook may not have Jobs's charisma, he's proven repeatedly that he can get done whatever job he's given. There's no way I'll sell any of my Apple stock because I believe it will continue to appreciate, probably even faster than it has. Under Jobs & Cook, the creativity and productivity we've come to expect has continued, as has the basic corporate mentality throughout Apple. There's no reason to expect that it won't continue.-- CraigL303, via Macworld forums
Thank you, Steve
Steve gave us a lot of excitement during his stints with Apple. That he could captivate so many of us the way he did shows what a genius he is. If he was able to create a reality distortion field, it's because he so successfully communicated his vision of his products. I will miss him for his leadership and I am sad that such a career has to end this way. I wish him the best in his personal life. He's earned it.-- Dan, via Macworld forums
Thank you Steve Jobs for sharing your enthusiasm and talents with us. I, for one, will miss your presentations, but I trust that Apple is not one man, but a team. I am really new to Apple, yet the year that I have spent getting acquainted with the product has been an eye-opener! Glad you are able to stay on as Chairman, so you still have hard work to do.-- rodinka47, via Macworld forums
I would really like to tell Steve Jobs what a difference he has made to the world of learning. Thank you. -- Carol Robitschek, via Macworld forums
Wishing you and your family the best, Steve. You are leaving with Apple on top. Well done. Few of us imagined how great Apple would become when you came back to the helm in 1997. Thanks for your true leadership in creating the innovative products we all use everyday. And thanks for the iPod. Since the original 5GB I received on December 25th 2001, all of the iPods I have owned have made a HUGE impact in my life--here's to the music, something real and immutable that transcends this plane.-- bettercitizens, via Macworld forums
All the best to Steve in his new role as Chairman of the Board.
Apple is in good hands with Tim Cook.
Every ending is a beginning.-- Neil Anderson, via Macworld forums