Yesterday saw the death of Steve Jobs, taken tragically young but, as the copious pages of tribute both on the web and in print this morning (five pages alone in ‘The Independent’) Steve Jobs was more than just the founder and head of an IT company.
To anybody in the IT industry it’s one of those death of JFK/Elvis/Lennon/Diana (delete as applicable) moments.
Words like ‘visionary’ are being bandied around, along with comparisons with both Henry Ford and Thomas Edison all of which are, in my humble opinion, valid.
I’m not an Apple™ fan-boy, but I do have rather more Apple kit than is probably healthy… it works, faultlessly and intuitively and it’s just so darn sexy (I read an article a few months ago that described the ‘swipe’ needed to unlock an iPod or iPhone as ‘digital foreplay’).
Part of that tech-sexiness must be attributed to Jonathan Ives who has steered their design for some years, but also attributed to Steve Jobs’ personal obsessions.
Jobs’ fondness for typefaces and fonts virtually invented the concept of WYSIWYG and ‘desk-top publishing’. And famously his dislike for visible screws means that there are none on my iPad, iPod or iPhone and, if I recall correctly, only about four on the underside of my Macbook Air (see I do have too much Apple kit).
Compare and contrast to the back of your average PC which is just plain industrial, and not in a good way.
And two years on, while my Macbook Air is hardly ‘bleeding edge’ it still draws (virtual) gasps when I whip it out from my bag in meetings; when was the last time your Dell or Acer laptop ever did that?
One can only hope that Apple have plans in place to continue in Steve Jobs’ spirit; I’m sure he left them in the best state he could, and the company will continue to develop in his image.
I doubt we will see his like again.