Feb. 24, 1955 - Oct. 5, 2011. Highly-influential innovator in early personal computing (the personal computing era is still young as of 2011). Co-founder of AppleComputer
. Contributed to design and development of notable computing products: AppleOne?
A professional entertainer (or slave driver) of software engineers.
- floppy disks
- He only abhorred them after realizing they were utterly obsolete; but before others started abhoring them too. How many PCs ship these days with a 3 1/2" floppy installed?
- fans in computers
- I don't think anybody likes them; they are noisy, collect dust, and prone to failure. A workable alternative would be nice. Hydraulic loops?
- [Fluid cooling is popular amongst the overclocking set, and of course, it's what various Cray supercomputers used. I've got an older rackmount computer with no fans, just a vast slab of finned aluminium heatsink.]
- (IBM "big iron" mainframes were (are?) water-cooled, too.)
- the point is Apple mindlessly obeys Steve's supercilious predilections, no matter how inconvenient they make things for users
- Because he's right more often than he's wrong.
- CRT displays
- See comment on floppy disks above. CRTs are also obsolete these days for most applications.
- multi-button mice (He can't hate them too much; NeXT machines had two-button mice.)
- Enter MightyMouse?! Seems that he doesn't abhor them anymore.
- keyboards with more than the alpha pad
- the forward delete key, and the Home & End keys
- the strongest RealityDistortionField yet recorded
- What is the unit of measurement for this field?
- BSCPS - Bullshit chips per second.
He had a "nose" for what consumers wanted. He sensed in the late 70's that the future was in GUI's even though they would be tricky to implement on the desktop hardware of the time.
He improved and standardized digital font handling.
He was involved in early Pixar, which sparked the whole 3D animation revolution with Toy Story.
He started the general translucent craze with the iMac, a look that spread to irons and electric toothbrushes. The "Daisy" iMac was a true piece of industrial art.
The iPod found a convenient UI where others had tried before with mixed results, and the iPhone which made everything go through a touchscreen and changed the look and feel of cell-phones forever. It may seem obvious now, but that's because Jobs had a nose for what "should be" obvious but wasn't yet around.
He was the Forrest Gump of consumer technology in that he always seemed to be involved in the formation of trends.
He's one of the few CEO's who obtains success primarily from the "stick" instead of the "carrot". Excessive use of the stick almost always fails in management. He's one of the rare exceptions. However, he often does it by inspiring people so intensely that they feel like they actually deserve to be punished. It is somewhat comparable to a religious cult. It may also be that his company filters for a certain personality that is susceptible to his technique. It may work in certain niches, but is probably not universal. If Steve was in charge of making Model T's, they'd be 3 years late and cost twice as much. (However, perhaps Cadillac could have made use of him.)
The Stick in action:
Was Jobs "Greedy"?
I read the Isaacson biography, and it was pretty clear that money was NOT Job's main motivator; it was a means to an end to him. He really wanted to build "insanely great" things and see his ideas transform the future.
He almost went broke in some cases by funneling his own money into projects. Somebody who values money wouldn't part with it that long for a gamble.
He was driven to see his concepts turn into products people wanted badly. In his mind, the future was his orchestra to conduct his way.
One can arguably compare him to great movie directors who drive those around them insane trying to put their vision on screen in careful detail. It gave us masterpieces like 'Odyssey 2001, but many of the project "minions" used up their Excedrin (or 60's equiv).
"Greed" is not quite the right word. "Obsession" is more like it. Maybe there is a word or phrase that means "obsession to the point of harming others"?
Perhaps in his mind, progress is more important than comfort, a kind of social darwinism where struggle for survival is a "necessary evil" to be a viable species. Or it may merely be narcissism, or a combo: those who don't aggressively scrape to be at the very top spot "deserve" to be stepped on: A+ or death. Oddly, he got both. -t
He can be compared to Jimi Hendrix
in many ways. They both started out as kind of roaming gypsies, drifting from gig to gig, absorbing bits and pieces along the way, and ticking off some with their impatience and stubbornness. Jimi, like Steve, didn't invent most of the technology he used (although both helped shape it working with inventors & technicians), but knew how to take new tools of the day and put them together in ways nobody yet imagined or tried that caught people's attention and set the standard for the next decade. And they ultimately destroyed themselves.
Related to AppleComputer
. Partied with SteveWozniak
. The flawed hero in PiratesOfSiliconValley
See also: DoEngineersNeedOpportunists
(death as a weapon), AynRandDesignPhilosophy