The Media Guru

Oct 10, 2011



Last Wednesday, when I read the iPhone 4S product page, I knew something was wrong. The descriptions, the captions & the text; it all felt wrong. Too many words, over-descriptive, focusing on specs; it felt un-Steve like. Knowing how pedantic Steve Jobs is, he wouldn't have allowed this even if he was sick.

The next day I found out why. He wasn't ailing, he was dying.


I remember the original iPhone. When it was first announced, I was absolutely blown away by the UX. I wanted one. But when it was released, I was utterly disappointed. It didn't have any of the features of a smartphone! I hated it. How could it not have apps?

It took me a while before I understood. The iPhone wasn't meant for me. It was meant for everyone. It was the first smartphone that kids, parents & grand-parents, all could use. One where they didn't have to worry about how to use it, but instead they fussed over what to do with it, what to create with it.


Making the world a better place.

That was Steve Jobs' philosophy. He achieved that by taking technology & making it not only usable, but loveable for everyone. An inventor, not of devices, but of experiences. Steve Jobs' products were tools with an emotional connection with their users.


Form is function.

Steve Jobs taught us that people loved simple beautiful things. He shaped John Ive's designs with his sense of aesthetics. Experimentation with new materials, bold colours & groundbreaking engineering processes all led to products that were works of art & art pieces that worked.
He designed user interfaces that weren't boring but a joy to use & behold. UIs where typefaces were respected & pixels cherished.


Tiny details matter.

Steve Jobs' greatest attribute was his ability to say NO. To much-demanded features, to minute imperfections & to designs "that'll just do."
Steve Jobs taught us that the only standard we should aim for is perfection. He made the choices so that the user didn't have to choose. The result was innovative products of outstanding build quality. Everything just works.


Everyone can connect the dots. Few people can connect the right dots. Only a handful can connect the right dots at the right time.
& Steve Jobs did it every time.

All of his products met with resounding successes because they were launched at the right time with the right technology. Steve Jobs set himself unusually high goals, worked relentlessly towards accomplishing them. He often waited for technology to mature before it could satisfy those goals. Only then did he launch a product. & then he got back to work on the next big thing. That is why he was the world's greatest tech entrepreneur.


No, not all his products were affordable. But they set the standards for competitors to follow. It's hard to find products that hasn't been influenced by Steve Jobs. The first Mac, iPod, iPhone & iPad revolutionised the computer, music, smartphone & tablet industry.

If we didn't have the Mac, we wouldn't have have Windows. No iPad, we wouldn't have Windows 8. No iPhone & we wouldn't have the modern touchscreen smartphone – Android, WP7, the Galaxy S2, the N9 & so on.


That's why when Steve Jobs died, I was really really sad. Steve Jobs was the torch bearer for technology. Without him, the devices we used would have been boring, ugly, uninspiring & too complex for people to use. The world wouldn't have been a better place.

Steve Jobs was a visionary & a tyrant. He wanted to impose his vision on the world. & what a vision it was - an ecosystem of beautiful devices seamlessly offering an experience that enthralled users. A perfect world where users could work creatively without worrying about the workings.


I'm glad that his legacy will live on, inspiring countless of followers to be leaders.

"The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it."

"Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary."


To sum up Steve Jobs, I couldn't find anything more appropriate than this line from a certain movie:

"If you make yourself more than just a man, if you devote yourself to an ideal and if they can't stop you, then you become something else entirely."

"A legend."



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Inf said...

A late tribute?

While I don't agree with everything the man did, for e.g. the walled-garden approach to apps, I still appreciate the man for what he was: a marketing genius and a perfectionist.

People have said it before me: Steve brought beauty to engineering. Agreed, he didn't invent many things that finally became successful. He didn't invent portable music player. He didn't invent touchscreen phones.

What he did was build upon those, scrapping the crappy parts and turning what remained into beautiful things that people would want. In doing that, he changed whole markets.

Mobile phones shrunk from thick-as-bricks eyesores into refined panes of glass. Laptops became thinner than ever, and the Macbook Air is still unmatched.

Granted, most of these devices are under-spec'd when compared to the competition, but that's not the point. As you said, you have to consider who they are marketed at: the general public. They don't care about the particulars of the processor, or how much memory they have.

They want a simple-to-use device, that allows them to easily listen to music, make calls and take photos. That's about it. Steve gave them beauty+simplicity. It's that simple.

IMHO, that's why he became a legend. He infused creativity and beauty in an industry who only pursued features and performance, without considering usability.

For that, we thank you Steve.

carrotmadman6 said...

I couldn't post this earlier because my My.T is down since 4 days now... :(

Kavish Annia8 said...

Nice tribute!

Written from my iPad;)

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