By Waqas Syed
(Oct 6, 2011) – My flight back home to Southern California from New York had just landed and as everyone were busy calling their friends and family to tell them they landed, I came across the sad news that Apple Inc. announced the death of Steve Jobs, our generation’s greatest technological visionary, just a few minutes ago. Thanks to my iPhone.
A lot of people have paid their respects to Jobs in the past 24 hours. They said they will miss him for being an inventor, a mentor, an entrepreneur, and a wonderful human being. But here I would add some real reasons why we will really miss him.
Steve never really “invented” any fundamental technologies that his company’s products relied on. For example, Apple brought us the mouse. But it was not really invented at Apple. It was invented by Xerox. But Xerox would have had no clue what to do with it. Let alone use it or market it in a way to maximize benefit to the consumers. So Steve used it to present the greatest user experience that has changed our lives: the graphical user interface or GUI. Now it’s a whole different story about how Microsoft finally used it to it’s Windows advantage. The lesson here is that Steve had the vision to see the ultimate benefit of this technology and how it should be used to help the consumers. A vision neither Xerox nor Microsoft had. Although one invented it and the other knew how to market it.
Fast forward to the iPod. Again, Apple did not invent the technology to make a portable device that can download and play digital music. But Steve had the vision to understand the future of music: it needs to be portable and simple to operate. This brought about a revolution in the music industry. So this is the same lesson as above: Steve had the vision that none of the software, electronics or the music giants had.
Then comes the iPhone: a phone that uses gravity, touch screen and internet to bring about the phone, PC, iPod, PDA and other gadgets together. A concept so unique that it took everyone in the communications and computer industry months if not years to catch up. None of these features were invented by Apple but as always, brought together by Steve’s vision. He observed that we needed something handy and portable to get our basic PC stuff done. Like all other Apple products, its use is so natural and seamless. It fills the gaps that we never knew existed in our lives.
Finally the same goes for the iPad. I still remember Steve sitting on the couch with the iPad during it’s release. Microsoft, Google or any of the technology giants would expect you to get up from your comfortable couch and walk up to the PC or the laptop to simply check your email, read an ebook, or listen to music. But not Steve. He demanded that technology should be brought to your couch. Or while you are traveling. Or waiting in line. This is the vision we will all miss. This is the vision none of the other technology giants have.
– Waqas Syed, This post can be re-posted with due credits.