Steve Jobs: Father of the Digital Revolution
In his trademark attire of black turtleneck, jeans, and sneakers, Steve Jobs mirrored the simplicity of his designs. Apple’s sleek, minimalist, functionally beautiful tech gadgets are sought after with devotion. Although they were often more expensive than the competition, they made up for it in quality and style. Owning a Mac was a goal to aspire to, an entrance into the club of Cool. Jobs changed the way people thought about technology. A college dropout who dropped acid, backpacked through India and returned a Buddhist, Steve Jobs was a complex and creative man who revolutionized the tech world in ways no other figure can claim.
Once listed as one of the toughest bosses in America in Fortune magazine, Jobs demanded perfection. Those who fell short of his exacting demands would often be publicly berated and criticized. He drove himself just as hard. From humble beginnings when he and Steve Wozniak built the first computer called the Apple, Jobs helped to create an empire that undoubtedly shaped the future of personal computing. His vision of a personal computer that was accessible to everyday folks, not just businesses, was quickly realized, thanks in part to Jobs. He released the first personal computers to feature a graphical user interface with icons, drop-down menus, windows, and a mouse that replaced text and keyboard commands. Such user-friendly features are used in all personal computers today. The Mac was designed to enable users to create documents and draw; it played music and greeted the user with its robot voice and a smiley face. Although initially dismissed as a useless toy, the first Mac computers were the harbingers of the personal computer revolution to follow.
Innovation was what Steve Jobs was about. Touches such as a sleep indicator on the MacBook Pro that pulses to the rate of an average resting human’s breath set Apple products apart from all others. He didn’t stop with computers. After acquiring the digital imaging division of Lucasfilms, Jobs co-founded Pixar and stunned the world with the fabulously successful Toy Story, the first all-CGI animated film. Subsequent movies were top hits as well.
Jobs helped defeat piracy by ushering in the digital age of music and television with the iPod and iTunes. Pricing high-quality music downloads at .99 made it more convenient to download music legally. Today iTunes is the top seller of movies and TV shows as well. Jobs was instrumental in ushering in the digital age of entertainment, a model that other companies emulated.
The iPhone and iPad integrated all of the innovative technologies of previous endeavors and made them mobile. Fans eagerly await each new release with excitement, lining up to be the first to own the latest offering. The buzz begins long before the release date, increasing the hype and the profits that will soon follow.
In his short life Steve Jobs started many revolutions. To have done so much in such a short time is nothing short of remarkable. Having battled pancreatic cancer for years, Jobs was aware of the tenuousness of life.
Jobs lived a philosophy best summed up by his company’s ungrammatical, but succinct, motto: Think Different.
Leora Howells is an avid reader and loves to write articles on technology and world news. Recently she has written an article for Kanetix about how to save money on insurance by using online comparison services.