Essay on Apple Success
Steve Jobs isn't an engineer or a designer. But he's one of the greatest users of technology of all time, and that made all the difference.
In the wake of Steve Jobs's resignation, let's consider the greatest decision he ever made. It didn't happen in a garage in Cupertino, sweating with Steve Wozniak as they dreamed up a computer for the common man. Or in a conference room, as managers told him that no one would ever pay $500 for a portable music player. Or in another conference room, as new managers told him no one would ever pay $400 for a cellphone. Rather, it was in a dusty basement of the Apple campus.
Jobs had just recently come back to the company, after a 12-year layoff working for two of …show more content…
Fast Company in 1999. "You know what they're used for.") And while it seems condescending to say that Jobs's greatest moment was finding someone else who was great, it's not. That single moment in the basement with Ive tells you a great deal about what made Steve Jobs the most influential innovator of our time. It shows you the ability to see a company from the outside, rather than inside as a line manager.
He didn't see the proto iMac as a liability or a boondoggle. He saw something that was simply better than what had preceded it, and he was willing to gamble based on that instinct.
That required an ability to think first and foremost as someone who lives with technology rather than produces it.
People often say that Jobs is, first and foremost, a great explainer of technology--a charismatic, plainspoken salesman who is able to bend those around him into a "reality distortion field." But charisma can be bent to all sorts of purposes. Those purposes may very well be asinine. So what gives his plain-speaking such force? He always talks about how wonderous it will be to use something, to actually live with it and hold it in your hands. If you listen to Steve Jobs's presentations over the years, he comes across not as the creator of a product so much as its very first fan--the first person to digest its possibilities.
Of course, when