Steve Jobs Feb. 24, 1955 – Oct 6, 2011
Entrepreneur, Reinventor, Stylist, Visionary
I was on the exhibition floor of SharePoint 2011 yesterday when someone gave me the news about Jobs’ passing. My first reaction, you have to be kidding. Sure he was ill, but he’d bounced back before. How can he be gone, he’s Steve Jobs? I was nonplused. My next reaction was to check out the news on IPhone. The report of his passing was true.
I am not an Applehead, I purchased an IPhone reluctantly as my wife thought other smartphones were too complicated to operate. It’s been several years now, I’m still using an IPhone 3G. I still prefer a Windows Laptop to a Mac though many of my relatives in creative industries are confirm Mac users. The one thing that differentiates my thoughts regarding Apple vs. Microsoft is that my decisions are not techno-religious in nature. I can point out the technical reasons why I prefer one over the other. These reasons are based upon attributes of the design philosophy of each. Sure there are some emotional aspects to that in regard to which attributes I prioritize higher. However, what I believe makes my thoughts on the topic different is making those explicit.
Jobs and Apple had been written off years ago when the Windows operating system and Microsoft Office took off. The company looked to collapse or at least fade off into history as a has been. Those that wrote the company and Steve off didn’t understand this wasn’t the end, nor was the future caving in to business pressures and become another PC clone. Steve had a design philosophy that he was sure would be successful in the long run. Fast forward a decade or two Apple has surpassed Microsoft in market capitalization. It has become an admired corporation again, though many would argue they’re not a PC or technology corporation.
I would say to those critics; you’re right. Apple is not a high tech firm, though they consume high technology. Apple through Jobs guidance has become an experience and stylist firm with technology. If Apple were in the food industry I would say they’d be Starbucks. Both focus on all the details of providing an intentional experience. As I sadly end this post and say good-by to an industry colleague and competitor by proxy with a modified quote by Steve: Where ever you are now I’m sure you’ll make it insanely great. Bless