It was around 10 years ago I watched a film, a pseudo documentary which introduced a guy that everyone knew and someone that they may not have; Steve Jobs.
The film was called Pirates of Silicon Valley and showed to the world the formation of the largest tech company in the world – Microsoft.
I point this out as Microsoft was once King, destroying anything that stood in its way, be it IBM licensing, or Netscape. At the end of the film, it shows how Microsoft ‘stole’ the UI concept from Apple (which in turn ‘stole’ from Xerox) and went on to create Windows 1.
What this film clearly showed was that Apple was on the way out, then they hit on the greatest marketing and company idea.
“Sell the product on what it can do, not what it is”
This concept was first used by Steve Jobs for the iPod, where Apple did not sell it on its Capacity, or Audio quality (something if you have tried their headphones, is clearly lacking) but on the ecosystem, you can download Music, play games, view album art, socialise.
“A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.”
— Steve Jobs, 1998
This use of marketing continued, accelerated by the Windows Beige box PCs that drained the life out of their users and the disaster that was Vista. The iPhone sold on its Apps not on making calls, their Laptops sold on their looks not their performance which was easily summed up in their ‘Im an Apple’ ad campaign.
But now we fast forward to today, Apple has become the King, the company they were fighting against so many years ago, suing anyone that gets in their way and stifling innovation.
“There are downsides to everything; there are unintended consequences to everything.”
— Steve Jobs, 2003
So hearing the news of Steve Jobs death I watched Pirates of the Silicon again, this time it seemed ironic, and seemed as though this film was correct in all but casting; they had Bill Gates and Steve Jobs switched.
This all leads me to my final point, Steve Jobs may have not realised all those years ago what Apple would become, or looking back may have like what had happened but there is no denying that he is a great man, a man that built the worlds most successful company, a man that never thought an idea was too crazy or too ambitious, with the never ending ability to think differently.
“When you first start off trying to solve a problem, the first solutions you come up with are very complex, and most people stop there. But if you keep going, and live with the problem and peel more layers of the onion off, you can often times arrive at some very elegant and simple solutions.”
— Steve Jobs, 2006
The best way I feel I can decide Steve and his impact on technology and the world is to use his own words, which he recorded as part of Apples ‘Think Different’ campaign.