CUPERTINO, Calif. ( TheStreet) -- Apple ( AAPL) investors added their voice to the tributes flooding in for Steve Jobs on Thursday, hailing the phenomenal impact of the man behind the Mac, iPhone and iPad. "I can say without reservation that Steve Jobs was one of the most influential persons in my life," said Ernie Varitimos, who runs the Apple Investor Web site. "He touched the lives of so many people, but not by reaching out to them, instead he touched lives through example, through his vision, creativity and action."
For Varitimos, Jobs' impact was both professional and personal. "My career and much of my life was directly influenced by Steve Jobs," he explained, in an email to TheStreet. "I started programming on Apple computers -- I was so smitten with the design and quality that I worked with them, I played with them, I sold them, I evangelized them into companies -- I met my wife because of Apple products." Jobs, who co-founded Apple with Steve Wozniak and Ron Wayne in 1976, leaves behind a formidable legacy. In addition to the many millions of Macs, iPods, iPhones and iPods enjoyed by consumers, there is also Apple itself, which has grown into one of the world's most influential companies. The Cupertino, Calif.-based company surpassed $300 billion in market cap earlier this year, making it the world's second-most valuable company after Exxon Mobil ( XOM). Apple's market cap is now a whopping $349.86 billion. Justifiably, comparisons are already being made between Jobs and other greats in the pantheon of American business and innovation, from Thomas Edison to Henry Ford. "He will almost certainly go down as the greatest entrepreneur and technology visionary the country has ever seen," explained Chad Brand, president of Peridot Capital Management and author of the Peridot Capitalist blog. Apple investor Scott Grannis, who writes the Calafia Beach Pundit blog, told TheStreet that, while deeply saddened by Jobs' passing, he finds solace in the recognition received by the former Apple chief. "I am comforted knowing that Steve Jobs' greatness was fully recognized in his lifetime," he said. "He changed the world, and the world acknowledged that fact before his untimely passing." Within minutes of the announcement of Jobs' death, tributes started pouring in, led by President Obama, who hailed the former Apple CEO as "among the greatest of American innovators."
For Apple investor Michael Yoshikami, CEO of YCMNET Advisors, one of Jobs' biggest legacies will be his design philosophy, which fused cutting edge aesthetic with legendary functionality. "Steve Jobs focused on making technology usable and easy to embrace by consumers," he said, in an email. "His ability to design products that were both useful and simple to use opened the door for millions of consumers to embrace technology as way to improve their life -- his legacy will be lasting." Grannis, though, believes that Jobs' rise from humble beginnings to become tech's biggest innovator will be his biggest inspiration. "Steve Jobs' legacy will be this: That any person, anywhere, at any time, no matter how humble, can aspire to change the world if they follow their heart, pursue beauty, and are willing to work tirelessly to achieve their vision of a more perfect world," he said. --Written by James Rogers in New York. >To follow the writer on Twitter, go to http://twitter.com/jamesjrogers. >To submit a news tip, send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.