A random eulogy to Steve Jobs
I’ve never met Steve Jobs nor am I important enough for anyone in the media to seek a quote from on his passing. But I have as long of a history as anyone with Apple products. My first computer was an Apple II followed by the IIe, the IIc, then back to a IIe with a toaster sized 10mb external hard drive. I switched over to PCs in college and missed out on the iMac revolution but I was first in line for the iPod and iPod Touch. Never felt the need for an iPhone (I hate smart phones, ammo for a post down the line) but the iPad was a game-changer and the slavish copies are a tribute to Mr. Job’s almost unerring sense of what the market wants.
I’ve derived uncounted hours of entertainment, productivity, and profit from things that Mr. Jobs invented or inspired others to invent. His untimely passing leaves a hole in tech leadership that I doubt will be filled.
There are many quotes I could end with, but one of his older ones has always resonated with me.
“Design is a funny word. Some people think design means how it looks. But of course, if you dig deeper, it’s really how it works. The design of the Mac wasn’t what it looked like, although that was part of it. Primarily, it was how it worked. To design something really well, you have to get it. You have to really grok what it’s all about. It takes a passionate commitment to really thoroughly understand something, chew it up, not just quickly swallow it. Most people don’t take the time to do that.” – Wired magazine, 1994
It’s as true today as it was 17 years ago. The message (and implicit challenge) in his words are something that every company, not just tech companies, should bear in mind. It’s not enough to merely put out a product. That is why Apple has been successful where others have not.