Steve Jobs’ Secret Formula: How He Won Over Critics, Scored 317 Patents & Changed the World

Mashable OP-ED: This post reflects the opinions of the author and not necessarily those of Mashable as a publication.

I arrived at Apple’s headquarters a little before 9 a.m. after a beautiful drive down the 280 from San Francisco on a sunny July day. This wasn’t any ordinary trip to One Infinite Loop. Steve Jobs was on stage, but he wasn’t going to announce any products.

Just two days earlier, Apple hastily called for a press conference to address the growing rumors and complaints surrounding the company’s newest product, the iPhone 4. It was a terrible couple of weeks for Apple. You may remember it better as Antennagate.

As I listened to Jobs speak about the antenna issues of other smartphones during his press conference at Apple Town Hall, it was clear he was far from nervous, panicked or upset. Rather he was poignant, focused and even humorous as he took question after question from the press.

He took the whole controversy in stride. He even opened the press conference with the hilarious iPhone antenna song. In the end, Antennagate proved to be just a bump in the road; the iPhone 4 became the world’s best-selling smartphone.

What I remember the most from that press conference was something he said. I think it exemplified everything that made Steve Jobs who he is:

“We care about every user, and we’re not going to stop until every one of them is happy.”

The Many Faces of Steve Jobs

I have had the honor, on several occasions, to see Jobs captivate an audience with his showmanship and his passion for the products he was showing off to the world.

I’ve also had the chance to chat with many people who have seen him work his magic in person. In some cases, Jobs ripped them apart for not reaching his incredibly high standards. But every single person I’ve talked to has been impressed by his ability to see the future in his mind and launch innovations that would bring the world closer to it.

Steve Jobs was many things: an innovator of ideas, an inventor of products, an entrepreneur who knew how to build a multi-billion dollar business, and a rare individual with the capability to see the future.

SEE ALSO: Memories of Steve Jobs: Interviews & Inspiration

Did you know that Steve Jobs has 317 patents to his name? His name appears on the patent for the first iPod design. His name is on the patents of various laptop designs. He even holds 13 different patents for the unique packaging of iPhones and iPods.

What made him excel in all of these areas wasn’t his genius or some magical formula. There were plenty of times he missed the mark.

What made him successful, and made up for any qualities he lacked, was that he kept trying. “I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance,” Jobs once said in an interview in 1995.

It’s that rare combination of passion and skill that changed the world and made Jobs a legend. It’s that rare combination that helped him change the world by making our lives easier and connecting us in ways we never knew was possible.

Here’s to Steve Jobs, the world-changer.

The Social Analyst is a column by Mashable Editor-at-Large Ben Parr, where he digs into social media trends and how they are affecting companies in the space.

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