Thursday, October 6, 2011

Steve Jobs

I have never owned an Apple product. The controlling, "we-know-what's-best-for-you" ethos that emanates from the Cupertino mother ship was not something with which I can deal. But that doesn't mean I can't recognize just how very good Steve Jobs was at what he did.

He was a unique amalgam of rare properties, combining the design genius of a Frank Lloyd Wright with the marketing savvy of a Lee Iacocca. Of the Jobs quotations that have been sloshing around the online world for the last 18 hours the one that goes to the heart of his brilliance is this:

"In most people's vocabularies, design means veneer. It's interior decorating. It's the fabric of the curtains, of the sofa. But to me, nothing could be further from the meaning of design. Design is the fundamental soul of a human-made creation that ends up expressing itself in successive outer layers of the product or service."
Looking at the phenomenon that is Apple, after sloughing off the non-essential, it is all about product design. In the beginning was the design and from the design all good things flowed. The designs are perfect, with nothing lacking that is needed and nothing present that is not necessary. They are like Hemingway's prose, like the music of Mozart, like a Frank Lloyd Wright house. That was Steve Jobs' genius – that he could so order life that such glorious artifacts emerged as a matter of course.

He did not save lives through his work, nor feed the hungry nor cure the sick. But through his art he taught us how to make our interaction with a technology-intensive world richer and more productive. For that he will long be remembered and honored. And his like will not be seen again in our time.


Gary said...

Excellent post.....He did manage to change the world in his own way.

Rahul said...

He is on of the great Icon in the world. His world will inspire and inspired to many not only to techies. He will be remembered ever. My deepest condolences to his family.

Shortfinals said...

Never owned an Apple product? Snap....

Well, that means there at least two of us, out there!