Steve Jobs 1955 – 2011
I woke today to the sad news that Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple inc. had died. He’d been ill for a while and had had major surgery as a result of pancreatic cancer but it was still a shock. I never met him and by all accounts he was tricky to work with; a ferocious attention to detail and demand for perfection made him as feared as he was respected. I think on balance, I respected him. Immensely.
Apple was his company, it grew from his vision and his desire to make good, useful, life-enriching things and to keep on making them better – software and hardware. I like that, I can connect with that. When I fiddle around with the colouring, sizing, kerning, leading or font, it’s not because my client has often even noticed, it’s because I care that it’s right. I think most creative people will be able to understand that philosophy, regardless of which discipline they work in. And when things can be improved, they should be. It feels right that it’s done right.
Apple has received criticism over the years for constantly updating things. In my opinion they only do this when things can be improved. The iPhone 4S looks the same as the iPhone 4 because there’s no point in changing the design, right now that aspect can’t be improved. Yes, they make a lot of money, but having worked for the company I am aware that genuinely, revenue isn’t at the top of decision making at Apple. It was always about QUALITY.
I think the company will survive and even continue to grow, but the world has lost a true innovator, a man who thought differently and believed in what he did 100%. If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, Mr Jobs can rest in peace feeling very flattered as his legacy lives on across the globe. Did he make a dent in the universe as he wanted to? Who knows, but he was a great influence to many and without his products my work and life would not be as much fun.
To infinity and beyond…
There’s a really nice piece by Yves Béhar here, that sums it up rather nicely too: