I think Jobs was a one-off, a guy who was just uniquely talented and positioned to lead in an industry where geeks and engineers ruled supreme for decades. If someone is going to come along to mix things up the way he did, we don't know who that person is yet. He or she may only be 13 years old right now.
I think we've pretty much maxed out the possibilities of hardware, at any rate. It will get thinner, cheaper, and more powerful and eventually disappear altogether into the things we use every day (cars, houses, jewelry) or our own bodies.
Maybe the next Jobs is the guy who builds the chip that can store our memories, thoughts, and emotions after we die. Or maybe she's the gal who invents a form of artificial intelligence that's smarter than we are, a la the Singularity, then either saves humanity or destroys it for the sake of the planet.
Me, I have no idea. (Clearly, I'm not the next Steve Jobs.) But it's fun stuff to think about.
Who if anyone do you think will be the next Steve Jobs, and why? Post your thoughts below or email me: firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article, "In search of another Steve Jobs," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Follow the crazy twists and turns of the tech industry with Robert X. Cringely's Notes from the Field blog, and subscribe to Cringely's Notes from the Underground newsletter.