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Steve Jobs didn't

  • Steve Jobs did not create products. He created an organization that predictably and reliably created emotionally resonant products.
  • Steve Jobs did not make movies. He made a company that predictably and reliably made blockbusters.
  • Steve Jobs did not wrest market share from competitors. He created new markets that attracted and sustained competitors.
  • Steve Jobs did not design anything. He gave others the freedom to think about what jobs products are hired to do.
  • Steve Jobs did not re-engineer processes. He brought engineering processes to works of creativity and the creative process to engineering.
  • Steve Jobs did not develop new management theories. He showed by example that innovation can be managed.
  • Steve Jobs was not a visionary. He put the dots together and saw where they led.
  • Steve Jobs was not a futurist. He just built the future one piece at a time.
  • Steve Jobs did not distort reality. He spoke what he believed would become reality at a time when those beliefs seemed far fetched.
  • Steve Jobs was not charismatic. He spoke from the heart compelling others to follow him.
  • Steve Jobs was not a gifted orator. He spoke plainly.
  • Steve Jobs was not a magician. He practiced, a lot.

He had taste.
He was curious.
He was patient.
He was foolish.
He was hungry.

These things many others can do. Maybe you can.

  • http://twitter.com/Moeskido Moeskido

    Lovely and precise. As usual.

    • publiclee

      he was discerning
      he was decisive
      he said no more often than yes

  • http://twitter.com/ivanhoe1982 ivanhoe1982

    Edison, Ford, Jobs

    • Ewan

      I prefer comparions to Leonardo da Vinci.

      He made products, they made products, but his products were art like .. and his artist flair separates him. Either way, an absolutely stunning life. Stand up applause stunning!

      Thank you Horace, what a fantastic description of the man. I never met him but I am better of for living in the world with him, even if it was for too short a time.

      • Anonymous

        i think it’s about the impact they had on people’s lives. Ford and his t-model, his assembly line, his focus. Very similar.

        I myself dont like Edison. Because of what he did to Tesla. A great man doesn’t stomp on genius and then buy his notes. Edison STROVE for technological monopoly with any means possible.

        The BEST people want to work for STEVE because Apple makes products the BEST ppl want to use. There’s really NOBODY out there like that. Where his philosophy is his company is the products.

      • Ringgo

        Then … Jobs : Gates :: Tesla : Edison?

      • Ewan

        Perhaps so. Many people have been impacted by Gates and Microsoft — lots of people make their living fixing broken MS systems. :-)

        What I find really interesting, and I love where Horace is going with this (I look forward to a deep, thoughtful and powerful book on the topic one day), is .. How much of Steve’s magic was innate, raw talent and genius — which cannot be learned — and how much of his success was based on hard life lessons, thinking and practice?

        It may just be that as people study Steve and try to understand, codify and reproduce his methods, he has the most influence of the bunch because today there is much more focus on the study and reproduction of success.

        Anyway, I guess this article was too soon for me.. I’m personally still mourning the loss and probably won’t for a long, long time, appreciate just how much he has left us and how much he still has to give us.

  • http://twitter.com/twotribes Michael Burgstahler

    I only take issue with filing this post under “Theory”. This would rather be “Undeniable facts” if this category exists. If not you should create it, maybe just for this one post.

  • David Gonzales

    he loved great
    thanks horace

  • http://twitter.com/nursegirlt Thea

    This post is everything I like about Jobs, and everything I like about Horace Dediu. Note perfect.

  • Jzlatic

    I thought it was odd that I felt so emotionally affected by the passing of a man I never met. Then, reading posts across the internet, I’ve noticed that Steve Jobs impacted so many others’ lives in ways very common to the influence he and his creations have had on me. I think, deep down, those who are acutely feeling this loss, we all want to help make the world a better place and are deeply saddened by the loss of this end’s greatest champion. He said he wanted to change the world, and he did… one life at at time. Add mine to the list!

    • David Pugsley

      Me too!

    • unhinged

      Thoreau: “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation”

      Steve found a way not to, and we are all affected.

  • http://www.facebook.com/nickgold2012 Nick Gold

    Well said, Horace.

  • http://www.intomobile.com/ Stefan Constantinescu
  • Michel

    About the visionary thing: One thing I have been wondering about is how much of the iPad’s realtity did Jobs see when he introduced the iPod. I hope the biography may answer that.

  • Andrew

    I appreciate your unique perspective Horace, thanks. Another part of why so many are saddened and feel loss, me included, is the selfish reason that Steve was so uniquely placed and empowered to bring these awesome, cool, pieces of the future to us. I think Steve Jobs has ingrained his way into Apple and that we will continue to get amazing, fun, quality products from the company and all of the extremely talented people there, it just won’t be as perfect and special without Steve leading them.

  • Stefan

    thank you Horace, a very nice and asymmetric tribute!

  • steve crandall

    He saw simplicity in the complex. I was fortuante enough to meet with him on several occassions and was struck by his ability to synthesize … my blog post on that

    http://tingilinde.typepad.com/omenti/2011/10/a-bike-for-the-mind.html

  • http://twitter.com/cornelln Noel Cornell

    Brilliant post! Thank you.

  • Anonymous

    Amazing post! Great work as always Horace!

  • Anonymous

    Thank you for reminding us why we are all here.

  • http://gamaganda.net Vlad Zotta

    the BEST post about Steve Jobs I’ve read all day. thanks!

  • Anonymous

    Great post! One thing bothers me though. I think Steve was very much like a magician. He was a master of misdirection and entertaining audiences. Also, magicians have to practice a lot.

  • Andrew Condon

    That’s very well said. Also, the black square is very, i dunno, exemplary.

  • http://aaplmodel.blogspot.com/ deagol

    He didn’t die. He lives inside Apple and all of us, and will continue touching all of our lives through the amazing products he conceived, as well as those he’ll continue to inspire others to do.

  • Russell

    There is some validity to this post, of course, but I think Jobs had more of a hand in some of these things than you give him credit for, so you end up selling him a bit short, whereas others may have built him up too much.

  • SteveLiu

    Well said.
    Thank you Steve for everything.

  • http://www.affenstunde.com James Barnes

    This is as great an obit as any I have read today. Thank you.

    Important to remember that when Steve Jobs said: ‘Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish’ he was referring to inspiration he received from this: http://www.wholeearth.com

  • http://diskgrinder.tumblr.com diskgrinder

    best

  • Bmcbride

    Brilliant Horace!!

  • wicked

    shouldn’t a tribute be something you came up with yourself?
    for someone who took bits and pieces from his 2005 stanford speech, you haven’t been listening very closely: “He put the dots together and saw where they led” & “Steve Jobs did not design anything”, just watch again and try to listen

    • Anonymous

      I’ve been seeing people like you in forums all day. What drives you? What compels a person to insult others no matter the surrounding events?

      I pity anyone who’s life is so empty, who has so little joy, that they must always assault.

      • http://www.facebook.com/ojavaid1 Omar Javaid

        This is in fact a profound tribute to Steve Jobs, not an insult.

      • Anonymous

        I hope you are not talking about wicked’s post. I am unsure how accusing someone of plagiarism and imploring them to “try to listen” is any kind of tribute, profound or otherwise, to Steve Jobs.

      • http://www.facebook.com/ojavaid1 Omar Javaid

        Not talking about wicked’s post. I didn’t follow the posts properly on my Android phone’s browser.

      • Anonymous

        Androoooidddd!! ;-)

    • http://www.asymco.com Horace Dediu

      If this had anything to do with the Stanford speech, it would have been cited.

  • http://twitter.com/ArturoRyes Arturo Ryes

    Truth be told. Finally.

  • Ballesta

    Beautiful. Thank you.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jean-Louis-Gassée/505720190 Jean-Louis Gassée

    Thanks, Horace, great tribute to the great Editor In Chief…

    • Anonymous

      Pretty amazing Jean-Louis Gassée himself gets such little recognition here :O

      • Anonymous

        I read his stuff every week!

  • Anonymous

    Correction: “He put the dots together and saw where they led.” – NOT TRUE… In fact he believed in the exact opposite…

    Listen to his Stanford speech…….

    • http://www.asymco.com Horace Dediu

      This does not have anything to do with the Stanford speech.

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  • guest

    Possibly, no most likely, the biggest business genius that ever lived.

    My guess, though, is that without Jobs, Apple will eventually end up exactly where it ended up after Jobs left the first time around; it will just take longer.

    • http://www.asymco.com Horace Dediu

      If your second paragraph is true then the first cannot be true. If your first paragraph is true then the second cannot be true.

      • Baku

        Yeah it is. Ever lived does not mean he was infallible. So maybe his legacy is not a perfect machine for the years to come. You (as all of us) simply don’t know.

      • guest

        I give it 5 years before symptoms of “corporitis” beging to show, and 10 to 15 years to end up exacty where Apple was in 1996.

        (The simple fact that Apple is operating in the type of markets that do require genius leadership, and he was the only one capable and empowered.)

      • Kizedek

        Doubt it. Most Apple users, even newbies (and yes, even you) can probably list or write much more about what makes Apple great than the top executives at Apple between ’84 and ’96.

        At that time, Steve had a vision for a particular product, one of many at Apple. That product was the Macintosh. He didn’t convince the leadership at the time, the kind of leadership that every other company had and that everyone, including Steve, thought Apple needed in order to grow.

        On his return, he didn’t just have a vision for a product (though he did kill every other Apple product). He also had a vision for Apple, and more importantly for “computing for the rest of us”. Apple is all about “what I can do with my product, and how intuitive it is to do it”. A salesman who just wants to sell more Apple products won’t pass the interview. Simply having a goal of world domination, such as “Windows everywhere” or “Doing no evil as the gateway to the entire Internet and arbiter for the personas of everyone on the planet” is not good enough.

        Apple has had it’s phase with a Salesman as CEO. Hopefully, MS is learning the same lesson. I don’t know about MS, but for Apple to go back to ’96, it would cease to be Apple. The execs would cash out, the staff would quit, and all of us would stop buying Apple products the day that happened. It’s as simple as that.

        With the volumes of material now on record, with the value in the brand, with the legacy it now has, the leadership would have to be pretty stupid and powerless to let it all slide away. It’s like Coca-Cola, with its 100-yr brand. They deviate from the formula, and their customers let them know its just not on…so they get right back to Classic Coke. If you think this wouldn’t happen with Apple, you are extremely cynical.

    • Anonymous

      Maybe Apple declines, everything goes in cycles, and in the end we’re all dead. But I think that donut-shaped campus will take more than 5 years to fully rise, mature, and eventually decline. So if there’s a slide in Apple’s future, it will play out over a longer than 5-year timeframe – and who’s to know what springs up from that fruit company in the meantime.

  • Baku

    The products He built did not change people life. The washing machine did. If the iPhone or the mac never existed, your life won’t be worse as if the washing machine or the polio vaccine or stuff like that never existed.

    This vision of Steve Jobs it’s really strange. iPhone and iPad and iPod are toys. I own some of them, but they are what they are: giving credit for these inventions as he was some sort of electronic gandhi is something that has more to do with your perception and feelings that with reality as it is.

    • Anonymous

      I have to disagree with this. Apple makes toys but they are toys for the mind. We can’t even guess how much progress has been generated because Apple invented the mass produced, easy to use, ubiquitous desktop personal computer in 1976. What if the market had been dominated by the hobbyist computer for 2 or 3 more years? Now the IBM PC doesn’t come out until the mid 80’s instead of 1981. How much more progress is now lost?

      That is just the innovation of the original Apple II. The original Mac comes to mind as another innovation that could have been delayed by years without Steve Jobs insight. More productivity lost. Much of the computing landscape was defined by Steve Jobs original insights. I can’t believe anyone thinks that modern computing has had no significant impact on human progress.

    • benwa02

      This place we call earth is vastly different from the past 30, 20, even 10 years because of technology. And Steve Jobs surely put that ding in the way this universe functions.

      To many they may be toys but for others they are workhorses. Also, who wants to live in a world without toys? Toys inspire and free your mind.

      Look at what you can do at any moment in time because of the current power of mobile devices. Compare that to just 10 years ago.

      You must not be seeing some of the crazy interesting, touching stuff happening with these devices beyond taking funny cat pictures.

    • benwa02

      Also, look at all of the jobs he has created outside of Apple. That alone is pretty great especially with such high unemployment in the US but while in the software industry it is near impossible to find talented designers or engineers to hire.

    • http://gamaganda.net Vlad Zotta

      reality is what your perception and feelings are telling you not some objective view that you can find in a dictionary or formula. that’s living. you see them as toys. another sees them as tools. another doesn’t see them at all. the beauty of everything he created is that everyone sees what he or she needs. a washing machine on the other hand will be a washing machine for everyone out there.

    • JamesW

      The washing machine can only mitigate the drudgery of labor, it can never inspire wonder.

      Being able to listen to my favorite song in a far and distant place, being able to take all your books with you wherever you go, being able to access the sum of human knowledge with a few taps of the finger, now that’s wonder.

    • Anonymous

      You think that a washing machine is more profound that a computer in your pocket? That statement says more about you, what you are, what you do, than about the devices.

      With a pocket computer, connected to internet, knowledge is at your fingertips. With the washing machine, you can clean underwear.

      • unhinged

        Let me know when your mother warns you to always have a computer with you instead of making sure you’re wearing clean underwear. :)

      • Anonymous

        My mother never had to warn me about underwear. But she did say “Knowledge is Power.”

      • Baku

        yeah, maybe she said that. probably she had the time gained not having to go washing clothes one by one.

      • Anonymous

        Or maybe she was smart enough to know that advances in computers technology trump advances in laundry technology.

        I mean, of what practical value was there to making computers smaller and mobile, right?

      • Baku

        honestly, for the common people, not that much. that’s the reason they are selling a lot of ipad. because people consume don’t create. for the large part.

      • Anonymous

        Sure, chief. Why do you just say “not for me” and leave it at that?

      • Anonymous

        A lot of household technology didnt free women to do less housework, it led them to meet higher standards, a pattern repeated with a lot of technologies.

        On the other hand, the iPhone was a phone that led people to talk on the phone less, while using their phone more.

        The results of technology adoption are rarely simple.

      • Baku

        i think you should pay attention to your words. using your phone more doesn’t really mean nothing: you just play a bit more, stay connected a bit more, do facebook a bit more.

        househoold technology, medical technology, the car vs walking for travelling, are all things that make our life better, in a certain way. view a movie on an ipad vs the cinema vs a monitor of a computer doesn’t produce better living. it’s just gadgetting. don’t compare scrabble with cancer cure.

      • http://www.asymco.com Horace Dediu

        I think everyone should watch this presentation on the magic of the washing machine: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BZoKfap4g4w

        It explains why both the washing machine and computers are important.

      • Anonymous

        I think that they are both important, but for my money, I’ll take the computer over the washing machine every day. I use a computer every day and it simply has more of an impact on my life. Worse case, I can do laundry in a tub.

      • Anonymous

        You need to pay more attention to my words, and your own.

        Read my first sentence again. The adoption of many household technologies hasn’t been transformative. Rear than freeing people from spending so much time cleaning, women spend as much time cleaning, they just clean things more often, or end up with larger spaces to clean.

        You choose to describe the iPhone and iPad (and iPod Touch) as toys, which seems to be blinding you to many of the things they extend or enable. If nothing else, they make the web more accessible through their portability, and accessible to more people by their cost and value. The iPod started out as an entertainment device, and entertainment may still provide people with part of the justification they need to purchase its offspring (the iPod Touch, iPhone, and iPad), but all are useful as web devices. Perhaps you don’t remember or never had to do research before the web; one spent a lot of time in libraries. If nothing else, such things reduce the amount of time one needs to spend using a car.

        Similarly, they can help find that cure to cancer. Foldit isn’t yet available on iOS devices, but it is a game, a way for people to learn some biochemistry and biophysics, and a way to crowd source the solution of protein folding problems, which are part of the work of finding cures to cancer and other diseases. Things like Foldit ride on the same infrastructure that enables Facebook and Netflix. Yet you seem to want to dismiss the whole thing simply because it CAN be used for entertainment. Such is the danger of oversimplifying complex phenomenon and technology, which you seem insistent on doing.

    • http://www.DianaKassir.com Diana Kassir

      I think that “for its’ time” the washing machine (may have been – was) to many, as inspirational as Steve’s “toys” are to us.
      So yes, it was profound for its time.
      Humanity can only build on its’ past.

      For OUR time, Steve Jobs imagined and had the drive to be more profound
      than anyone else that I have yet to meet or hear of.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jsugai Jonathan Sugai

    Absolutely brilliant. I love how you have save seen through the imagined truth most people see of Steve Jobs and brought forth the actual and ultimate truths of what he really did with his life. Thank you for sharing and I’m grateful I learned more about myself through your insight.

  • http://deviceconvergence.wordpress.com Nalini Kumar Muppala

    A poetic tribute to a poet. Thank you Horace.

  • Jiji

    Really curious how long it will take for Apple now to hit rock bottom.

    • The Cw

      I think, as with any object that has achieved orbit, it will follow a trajectory that is always falling but always missing that point.

    • Just Iain

      It depends on what’s in the pipes and if management can be as painfully picky as Steve was.

    • Jon T

      Always amazes me that in the face of good things, someone has to shit on it.

      • Anonymous

        They’ve been coming out all day. Bitter empty lives tinged with jealousy.

  • Anonymous

    Perfect Horace. As usual you have gone beneath the accepted wisdom and delivered the best, clearest assessment. A real antedote to the drivel I have read today from the mainstream news.

    And the ‘Critical Path’ broadcasts are great and getting better. You are very listenable. I’m turning into a Horace fanboy!

  • rusy88

    Thanks for a great tribute.
    It reflects what Steve achieved through his dream and passion to blend technology and liberal arts and live up to what he preached …….to”stay hungry, stay foolish”

  • Senator Gronk

    Thank you. Very well said. I posted something similar myself last night on Facebook. Steve Jobs is completely intangible. He will end up like Shakespeare. Famous for the wrong reasons, misunderstood (even erased) by academics, etc. But his genius will speak through in his work and reach the people that appreciate it and benefit from it.

    To all of those that I’ve that say he made toys, or focussed too much on the fashion… I’ll play your game. You’re absolutely right.

    He lit a fire in my soul in 1986 with my first Mac. I learned it inside and out. It taught me how to design, how to network, how to collaborate. Later in life I would work at an ad agency and oversee the production of ad campaigns that led to Fidelity divesting in companies that operated in Sudan, that put bed nets in Africa, that would publicize exactly how many millions of people in the US have no health insurance. You can debate the individual veracity or effectiveness of these causes, but I made them happen on a Mac, with a Mac server that I built and deployed myself because our IT staff was too stupid, too lazy, and too Microsoft to handle anything so simple, and I did it all with 10 other artists all using Macs.

    Distilled: You know that 46 million Americans don’t have health insurance because a Mac Plus was dropped in my lap in 1986. Dots connected.

    So yeah, he made toys. Toys that our creative minds mistook for tools and put them to good use changing the world around you.

    Exactly what toys have you made?

    • Chris

      Wonderful comment, second-to-last graph especially. Thx

  • http://www.informationworkshop.org Mark Hernandez

    Amazing. Thanks Horace. It’s suitable for framing!

  • Anonymous
  • http://twitter.com/t0yt0y Paul ‘Aga’ Namuag

    Thanks for this great article. Hope you don’t mind, I am copying your context my blog with your reference, because this is such truly inspirational. Thank you.

  • Walt French

    Others rightly call out Jobs as a visionary and perfectionist. I think the emotional resonance this blog cites is doubly worthy: not only did Jobs define himself by those products’ appeal, he made it possible for all of us to be more insightful, more creative, more playful, more focussed.

    I’ll never live my dreams the way that Jobs did, but his work made it possible for me to realize MY self more nonetheless.

    *THAT’S* emotional resonance.

    Long before I’d heard of Jobs (I’m older), I knew that computing would be a part of my life, and I have many others to thank. But nobody more than Jobs caught the spirit of making the Everyman side of me more open and alive. Wow. Just wow.

  • Mason

    Brutal. I hope there’s not people sitting around writing about all the things I didn’t actually do in this life. Karma’s a bitch. Good luck after writing up this bitter list of un-accomplishments. I doubt anyone will be has kind when it’s time to write your obituary.

    • Anonymous

      Mason:

      Interesting. I read Horace’s post and didn’t interpret the unique angle of his post as being derogatory or bitter, but rather, a continuation of what this site tries to do which is wrap the window dressing off of success and present it in a way that is more easily parsed and understood.

      • Relayman5C

        Mason strikes me as someone for whom English is a second language. There is some subtlety in Horace’s comments that takes a good of English to understand.

    • azulum

      where’s the dislike button? the fact that you would interpret this post as being a slam on steve jobs shows that you have no idea what his greatest accomplishments were. he built companies. not products. and he’s left apple in good hands. given that he had the worst kind of cancer, it’s a blessing that he was able to continue for 8 more years, making sure that he could get his houses in order—apple, pixar and family. steve jobs was a man, nothing more. but he did do something that very few in the world have the guts to do—he changed things. steve jobs didn’t do many things, and that’s why he did so much.

      • SSM

        “…he built companies. not products.”

        Agreed. Just like John Gruber said in one of his posts on his blog, Steve Jobs’ product was not the products we buy, it was Apple. You can add Pixar to that list too.

    • Anonymous

      Mason, you need to re-read this and apply some critical thinking to the words and meanings. This post is one of the most succinct and most insightful of the genius that was Steve Jobs. Rather than applying a label to Steve Jobs, the article explains what he *did*

    • Lolbus

      What a way to totally miss the point!

    • Anonymous

      This may well be about the most extreme case of misinterpretation on this site.

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  • Aditya Jain

    This post was really good. After reading and listening to all the hyperbolic statements about Steve, you almost feel like he was a god, and that made you think, “hey it was natural to him to do all this as a god”, somehow understating his essence. I think the real tribute to him should be, he was a normal person and yet managed to do all this. Horace’s post really capture this. Thanks

  • http://twitter.com/disc1979 Dirk Schmidt

    Brilliant!

  • Morten Jacobsen

    As the rektoren of furtent Business Week put it:
    Connecting the dots into a persona that can create a $350 billion empire out of technological desires the world never knew it had—that required something exceptional.

  • http://twitter.com/taotsu tautz philipp

    in short:

    thank you for this! it’s good to remember the roles how they where and will be in the future (which i see as bright as the past!)

  • Davel

    I will echo what others have already said.

    This is a great post.

    It elegantly captures what Steve brought to the table.

    It is poetic.

  • Azazello

    Text with perfect pitch.

    …and I keep thinking about the poignancy of the little red “number one” badge notification of the Phone app on the Let’s Talk iPhone” invitation—signifying possibly the anticipated lasting absence (a missed call) of Steve

  • Pentaxzs

    Good post. :)

  • Anonymous

    He was also a romantic in the way he says things right? Stay foolish, stay hungry? You’ll never see Steve Ballmer say that, not to bash Ballmer, he is a different sort of person, but if Ballmer says to stay hungry, you just sort of think he needs to lose some weight already, ok ok he may mean lets always make more money, but its not the sort of thing Ballmer would say to begin with.

    And to be honest, most people don’t even know what the dots are, let alone join them together. Steve was there at the very beginning of the rise of the personal computer, people know and respect him, that opens doors, but still, doors kept opening for him because he had the so called eye of the tiger and he had drive. Some things are hard to rationalize, if you are you are, if you aren’t, well, join the club bud, or try harder?

    I’d love to go on, but I won’t be able to do him any justice anyhow, can’t wait for his bio to come out.

  • Anonymous

    Horace, your litany form is great. Reminds me of the prayer of Saint Francis. I have no problem with a hagiographical moment; we should all be so lucky to receive at least a day of sainthood. Litanies get better as they get longer. So let me add some bits.

    My list is shaped by the fact that I worked in publishing. Nobody changed my career for the better more than did Steve Jobs. Publishing was the first to benefit from his work. His career could be seen as fulfilling the digital revolution he began with the Mac: Back in the eighties we began creating with electrons. Now publishers can deliver them. And this completes Gutenberg’s revolution as well. Now everybody can publish.

    He did not strive to impress more than he strove to express.
    He did not strive to inform more than he strove to communicate.
    He did not care about words more then he loved wisdom.
    He did not fondle facts more than he fidgeted with fonts.
    He did not assert himself more than he assisted others.

  • Doceangirl

    I’m going to work on doing these things more, ty Steve Jobs <3
    Darla

  • Anonymous

    Brilliant , simply brilliant !!!!

  • Anonymous

    while this post might sound great because of the seeming poetic nature it is factually wrong in quite a few respects. Jobs did not create Pixar. He bough it because of the potential that he saw in it. The company would have probably done more or less the same without Jobs although his guidance and belief in the people that work in the company probably did contribute a lot.

    Steve DID in fact invent quite a few things and his name is on a few Apple patents. The most notable of his recent contributions is the glass staircase in Apple’s chain of stores. He did also give the ultimate go ahead for all of Apple’s products making him the definitive tester and that is a lot more than just having good taste.

    There are no business processes that Steve brought to Apple and/or engineering. One things that he had always spoken about is heavy management and control. And yes he did indeed create a new style of management because Apple was and still is being run as the largest startup in the world. There were plenty of business processes before Steve and plenty remain after in the engineering world. None however, work as well as the simple premise of a startup. It is all about creating great products and striving for perfection.

    Oh and in regards to not taking market share from competitors and creating new market … are you mad? Never has Apple under Jobs entered a new market on their own. The one thing that you can learn from Job and Apple is that first mover advantage is a fool’s gold. Apple entered the computer market providing a better computer, the personal music player market providing a better product, the mobile and the tablet market providing a better than existing product. At no point did Apple create a new market however, in every one of these cases (PC sort of excluded) they went it with a blank slate and reinvented the product so that it is more natural to use and a lot more useful to the consumer. They saw a problem and found an elegant solution to that problem. And that is something that get’s ignored by a lot of people and especially analysts!

    • http://www.asymco.com Horace Dediu

      I am both mad _and_ uneducated.

    • Quinzinho

      Did you check out STEVE JOBS QUOTES AND TRIVIA APP for iPhone? :)

    • GeorgeS

      “Apple entered the computer market providing a better computer, ”

      Maybe you haven’t been around Apple products long enough. Actually, Apple essentially invented the “PC” with the Apple I, then the Apple II. Before the Apple I, computers were built from parts, sometimes kits. Apple created the first real “integrated” computer one could buy and just turn on.

  • JDSoCal

    “Steve Jobs did not design anything.”

    Great post, as always Horace, but in fairness, Jobs did hold over 300 design patents.

    • doopdeedoop

      you forgot to include
      “He gave others the freedom to think about what jobs products are hired to do.”

      If you pay people to think for you, their ideas are yours.

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  • Suvidhabisht

    i find your blog very creative & informative.
    jobs in India

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