Last Christmas after all the festivities and the big dinner –I settled down with my iPad and purchased Steve Job’s Biography. I was thinking how cool is it to buy and enjoy something on Christmas –without having to leave the house. Besides the only store opened on Christmas is the 7-11 and I didn’t need any batteries! So within seconds I was reading about the man who made this purchase possible.
Steve Jobs was a hippy turned computer geek, well soft of. He worked for Hewlett-Packard and Atari –then co-founded Apple with Steve Wozniak. It seems that Wozniak, aka Woz created the Apple I while working after hours at HP. They were in the “Home Brew Computer Club” and with Bill Gates of all people. Apparently back in the early days of Apple, Jobs and Gates were friends. However they differed on one big fundamental idea and this [idea] was a critical difference between Microsoft and Apple. Jobs controlled every aspect of the Apple, and Gates believed in openness (70’s style, this was before the open source movement). Gates wanted his software to run on every computer in the world.
This openness made Microsoft very successful, yet it made their software very complex and buggy. Jobs on the other hand wanted simplicity, not just in how a device looked –but how it behaved. He put products before profits, and before he died –he had both!
As I was reading this book, I felt I knew this man. Furthermore I understood why Apple was Apple and why the iPhone was the iPhone and so forth. After I finished the book, I felt like I lost a friend. You see, I can relate to Jobs and I want to take his mantra, “Simplicity” into the tech workplace. How can we simplify our tech mission and align it to the mission of the company/agency? How can we offer excellence and a complete trouble free end-user experience? At the end of my read I am left with more questions than answers – however it is a start right?
So who has read Steve’s Bio? What are your thoughts? Do you believe that we techies need to think differently – in regards to our end-users?