His vision was extraordinary, and it led to critics calling his ideas and products “crazy” and “wouldn’t work”. I’m actually guilty of that particular offense, and have called the iPad when it was initially launched as something completely unnecessary to people. Guess what? As of today, three quarters of tablets sold today are iPads. Jokes on me then.
But that’s what made Steve jobs so great – his vision was so far reaching, so extraordinary, that he’d know what people would need before they bought them. He was a man that was so focused on his work, and his attention to detail is legendary – Steve once called Google exec Vic Gundotra on a Sunday, and in Steve’s words “I’ve been looking at the Google logo on the iPhone and I’m not happy with the icon. The second O in Google doesn’t have the right yellow gradient. It’s just wrong and I’m going to have Greg fix it tomorrow. Is that okay with you?” That pretty much describes who Steve Jobs was, in a nutshell.
He’s not a great inventor (not until his final years, at least) but he was a master marketer. When the iPod launched back in 2001, there were plenty of other portable music devices in the market. But the iPod brought something new to the table, and epitomized the main appeal of Apple products moving forward – it just worked. Can you name a digital music player that’s sold as well as iPod?
Everything that followed since – the iPhone, Macs and the iPad delivered the same message – it just worked.
There are definitely Apple fan boys, and there are definitely Apple haters (I belong to the latter category, depending on my mood) but no one can take away what Steve has done for the world of computing. Even for non-Mac users, Apple’s influence is clear, in both the products that we use and the products that we want to have. He may not have pleased everyone, but Steve Jobs has undeniably changed our lives in a way that few have accomplished. I leave you with the words of Steve’s biggest competitor, and also one of the men that respected him most:
“The world rarely sees someone who has had the profound impact Steve has had, the effects of which will be felt for many generations to come. For those of us lucky enough to get to work with him, it’s been an insanely great honor. I will miss Steve immensely.” – Bill Gates