How Steve Jobs Changed the World
Steve Jobs died this week, but his influence on technology and society will help to shape the coming century. His visionary welding of technology and design revolutionised the way we view them. Not only was he one of the greatest thinkers of our times he was also possibly it’s most successful business man. At the time of his death Apple was the most valuable company in the world.
It is difficult to summarise just how Steve jobs changed the world because his impact has been felt in so many areas. The introduction of the iPod and iTunes revolutionised not only the way music is delivered, but the entire music industry itself. The iPod meant for the first time the owner could take their entire music library with them where ever they went. It was iTunes that helped to kill off the already dying music megastores and forever changed the way people gather and distribute music. The music industry was already in trouble before Steve Jobs influence was felt. Piracy seemed a scourge with no answer. However iTunes produced the first viable model to monetise digital downloads. It also gave Jobs a huge amount of influence over the industry.
This was just one area in which Steve Jobs genius impacted the world. Another example was the introduction of the iPhone. Again this had a huge impact completely changing the telecommunications landscape. And this was not all, with the creation of his movie company Pixar he had a massive impact on the way modern films are made. Three major industries film, telecommunications and the music industry would never be the same again after Steve Jobs entered them.
Steve Jobs impact though is probably most acutely observed in the melding of design and technology. Steve Jobs was the first person to realise that aesthetics of personal technology was just as important as its functionality. Prior to him engineers held sway who had little interest in creating technology that was actually nice to look at. Steve Jobs changed all that and the impact was massive. Because iPhones, iPads and iMac are highly desirable based on their aesthetics people couldn’t get enough of them. Steve Jobs made it cool to like technology. No longer was it the sole domain of nerds now technology was for everyone. This gave apple a huge advantage over its competitors. People buy Apple products simply because they are made by Apple. Or perhaps it is more accurate to say the buy Apple products because they are made by Steve Jobs. His influence on apples products can be seen in every element of the design.
Steve Jobs was also a great business man. With some business leaders it is easy to say “He was lucky.” Or “He was there at the right time” But with Steve Jobs these throw away statements are not simple to declare. He was thrown out of the company he founded only to return to the company in 1997. The stock price tells the entire story. When he returned to the company the stock price was about $5 by the time of his death it was $375, and Steve Jobs had created the most valuable company in the world.
Steve Jobs influence on the world will be felt for many more years to come. While he maybe gone, his presence fundamentally changed the world we know.