With the death of Steve Jobs yesterday, it was surprising to see so many negative comments aimed not only at the man himself, but also questioning the amount of praise heaped on the him. Why is this? What has he done to these people?
The thing I can’t understand is why people appear to begrudge him not only his success, but also fail to see the massive impact that he had, not just in the technology/media sectors, but also in the wider environs of society itself. Admittedly, he didn’t cure cancer (obviously) and Apple wasn’t without its own controversy, but you must be blind to not see how far he pushed the digital revolution and thus the way many of us live our lives today.
Steve Jobs gave us the iPod, the iPhone and the iPad; all of which became outright market leaders and the technology for others to emulate. These integral components are partly responsible for fuelling the digital revolution that we are so privileged to be living through today. Not to mention his role in the creation of Pixar, iTunes, the mouse and the Macintosh computer.
Some people were on facebook and twitter yesterday saying that all we have lost is a man who drove consumerism and just wanted to sell us stuff. Well, duh! Hello? That’s what businessmen do isn’t it? He wasn’t Ghandi or the Dalai Lama – he was out to make money and did so with diamond encrusted cherries on the top. What I find ironic here, though, is that many of these people were using their iPhones to post these messages.
Is this the end of the innovation? I hope not
A concern for me about Steve Job’s death is that we have lost a true visionary; a man who gave us what we wanted before we even knew we wanted it. His audacious decisions to hold back certain features on new products and his meticulous focus on exactly how he wanted things done were not only legendary among the industry, but also helped Apple make more money than the US government.
As far as IT is concerned, Apple’s biggest rival, Microsoft, only seems capable of copying Apple on everything that it does: Windows is still just playing catch-up with MacOS, and the Microsoft stores are exact copies of the Apple store model (with some extra comfy sofas admittedly). While there’s nothing wrong with this, I just hope that Job’s mantle at Apple can be carried forward by his team and we will continue to witness the originality in concept and design we’re now so used to from the Californian company – at least until someone else can step up to the plate and take us further forward.
Don’t get me wrong here; I love Apple products, but only because they work so well (and look so cool). If they are usurped by another company, I am not so much of an Apple loyalist that I won’t go for a better product if they do end up taking their eye off the ball. I just hope the new ideas will continue to flow from somewhere.
Apple is currently the second biggest company in the world, behind only Exxon-Mobile. This would never have been achieved without the charismatic, inventive, forward-looking CEO at their helm. Let’s hope we will continue to witness the levels of innovation we have seen over the last decade and are not entering a dark period of lack of imagination.
RIP Mr Jobs; you will be missed (but not too much I hope).
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