“Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes… the ones who see things differently — they’re not fond of rules… You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things… they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.”
Steve Paul Jobs, founder of Apple Inc., Entrepreneur, Innovator, Inventor and above all a great Visionary.
The man would have turned 60 tomorrow on February 24th, had it not been for cancer which took him in 2011. Most of us who admire and loved him have had the pleasure to read about his life in the countless books written about him and watch him in a movie about his days in Apple. So much has been said about him that I cannot say anything new but just miss him like a mentor. A mentor who I never met (and sadly never will) but who has taught me the value of seeing things clearly, objectively and with a vision. The love for art merged with the technical expertise is what made Jobs’ and Apple’s product standout. Always striving to design products at the confluence of technology and art, he always said, “Design is how it works”.
Having followed his life pattern and read and re-read his biography did I realize that even though he created perfect products his life was full of ups & downs and far from perfect. He followed his instincts and never changed himself irrespective of what his competitors, customers or even the whole world thought. Jobs was a control freak, for the better, and Apple was a by-product of his eccentricities. The lesser known fact is that after being ousted from Apple in 1984, he made the company bounce back to the “most loved technology company of the world” after his return in 1997.
Never stop innovating, a line which he emphasized a lot and shouted out much more at Apple’s design meetings. His obsession with minimalist design and heated discussions with his employees & management were quite well known in closed quarters of Apple. People who worked with him were well aware of his “Reality Distortion Field” (reference Star Trek) which he created to achieve the impossible. Due to this obsession with giving his consumer innovative “workable” products, we got path-breaking products like the iMac, iPod, iPhone, and his last obsession the iPad. Apple was voted the most valuable company of 2012. Sadly, I hate to add in the same breath that his vision for Apple and the principles on which he ran the company seems to have gone with him. Apple products are becoming run of the mill and the in the last 4 years I have yet to see something which will whisk me away as Jobs’ products did.
A marketing genius in addition to this, Jobs never believed in doing it small and from his product launches to the companies he created (Apple, NeXT, Pixar), Jobs did them larger than life and gave us products and services that changed the world around us. He made his own rules and once told a journalist who asked him what market research did he do for the iPod, “You can’t ask customers what they want and then try to give that to them, by the time you get it built, they would want something new.”
Truly a man who put a “Dent in the Universe” and inspired me to “Think Different”. Leaving you with his famous Stanford Commencement Address in 2005.