First off I have been a bit sporadic recently on the old blog front. For that I am sorry and I hope to steer things back on track now that my home life is settling back down a bit. Plus I am working on a column with fellow board members, Bobby Bear, Mike's Pants and Don S. I warn you now it involves a subject very close to my heart.
So as you can tell from the title of the blog I wanted to talk a little bit about the passing of Steve Jobs. First off a little disclosure, both myself and my wife own and enjoy iPhones and on the whole I like the products that Apple put out. However, I have spent my whole working life working with and fixing Windows based systems and I (bizarrely perhaps) tend to prefer a PC to a Mac for my own personal use.
With that out of the way what facinates me most about the man is just how polarizing he became. Those that love him treat him like the second coming and those that hate him treat him like the root of all evil in the world. The reality is, however much more in the middle.
Steve Jobs was not an inventor or genius in the same way that say, Sinclair or Edison were. What he was good at however was seeing the potential in an idea and making it marketable to the masses. In short he took other peoples tech and made it shiny and sleek.
Which brings me to my main point.
There are many inventors and innovators I admire in the world and most of them have almost the polar opposite methodology to Jobs. They see a problem and solve it, or come up with an idea and make it work. He sees the best way to make something marketable and builds the product around that - sometimes at the expense of usability. Now i am not saying Apple products are style over substance but style is (in my opinion) the driving factor behind it.
By all accounts he was a difficult man to work for, but at the end of the day he was just a man. He had a family and died of a very human condition. In the end I think he should be respected for what he achieved, but not loved or hated with unhealthy amounts of passion.
And if nothing else be thankful for the fact that he helped give the world Pixar.