Hoosier entrepreneurs follow Steve Jobs' innovation legacy - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Hoosier entrepreneurs follow Steve Jobs' innovation legacy

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Steve Jobs in 1999 Steve Jobs in 1999
Aaron Aders and three friends came up with the idea for their company in high school. Aaron Aders and three friends came up with the idea for their company in high school.
Scott Jones, inventor of ChaCha and GraceNote Scott Jones, inventor of ChaCha and GraceNote

INDIANAPOLIS - Apple co-founder and CEO Steve Jobs is leaving behind an amazing legacy of revolutionizing computers, how we listen to music and so much more.

As entrepreneur Scott Jones looks at the tech empire he has built, thoughts of gratitude go to Steve Jobs and the trail he blazed, making Jones' dream possible.

"Steve Jobs has been a tremendous influence in my own life. In fact with an Apple II computer is where I did my first explorations with voice mail," said Jones.

The father of voice mail went on to develop software GraceNote which works in collaboration with iTunes before launching the search engine ChaCha. He says Jobs has always served as an inspiration.

"I can't think of a CEO who has had more of an impact on the world today. He's like this millennium's Thomas Edison," said Jones.

Jobs always pointed out that what set Apple apart from other computer companies was that he always tried to merge art and science. The original Mac team had backgrounds not just in computer science or information technology but in anthropology, art, history and poetry. He despised focus groups, and argued that customers don't always know what they want. Some people mocked the concept of Apple's tablet, but when the iPad launched, suddenly everyone had to have one - including plenty of the original naysayers.

"He's one of a kind, obviously," said Aaron Aders.

Aders and three friends came up with the idea for their company in high school. Now in their fifth year, Slingshot SEO, a search engine optimization start-up, is a growing success. Aders credits Steve Jobs for giving him a high mark to strive towards.

"Branch out, try new things, don't follow paradigms. Really break the mold of whatever you're doing. In our case, breaking the mold of marketing," he said.

Just as Apple products changed our world, Jobs changed the career paths for many people like Aders.

"If all the way in Indiana if three guys got together and were inspired, I would have to think there are thousands all over the country," said Aders.

Jobs left the world a more accessible place and as people mourn his death, they celebrate his life and contributions which will no doubt continue to spark inspiration for generations.

Jobs continues to transform the face of education as more and more iPads are deployed in classrooms. Just last year, Greenfield Central Schools purchased 80 iPads which are used from kindergarten to the administration.

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