Sunday, October 9, 2011

Steve Jobs

I mentioned about Steve Jobs in one of my earlier post last year. Even then, I decided to save off writing about him for later time. I wasn't really sure on how to capture all about him in a post. I have been fighting the same question in the last couple of days as well. Alas, I have decided to just list down all I think of him and leave it at that.

But, never did I think in my horrible thoughts that I will be writing about him after his passing away.iSad. Really, really really sad.

I didn't know much about Steve jobs before my college. Well, I didn't have a personal computer before college and so no clue of him. But, what I did come to know of Apple were the colorful machines and apple computer with their apple logo in colors. Thats all I ever knew then.

But later on my curiosity grew on apple, to know more that Macintosh is different from PC, it doesn't run on windows but on something much much better. But, thats all about Macintosh and me till I owned one myself. But, I become aware of iPod much more earlier and in detail than Mac, thanks to Music and what iPod meant for music. It was this mystical costly player that I could never own, alas I choose to spend a lot of money on it. Thankfully, I got the first generation iPod shuffle as a gift from my uncle and boy didn't I love it. stuffing in my pocket and flashing the white earpieces and the chord. Wow, I will stand out in a crowded bus where all used to have black ear pieces and chord. Though it didn't have any visual, I still loved the portability and the way in which I can throw it, and still nothing can happen to it. I throw my stuff - thats me. 

Then came the iPod Touch; a lucky break in a portal competition in bangalore. I was not the original winner, I was a close second. But they chose to give to me a prize coz they liked the way I designed that portal and also had a story to tell for that portal. Others only did the compliance check to showcase the portal. I actually chose to ignore few of the compliance thing coz it was too cumbersome to find and win that point to win the competition. Instead I designed what I liked and explained it in a way I liked. Well, they liked too :). Thats how iPod touch came to me. The first time I could pinch to zoom a picture - aaahhh. What a happy feeling to do what I saw Steve Jobs do in the iPhone presentation a year back. It was indeed magical to pinch a zoom a picture. Now, it has become a standard but boy isn't it a wonderful thing to have in a touch device. The technical side of it is one of so many things we should be thankful to apple for.

To touch a device and communicate - you need to have the following things working.

- touch capable screens, location mapping of your fingers, observing the action that you are doing (say you are scrolling swipe or pinch swipe), then pass this information to the OS which actually determines the swipe functionality I said above, then seeing what screen you are and doing corresponding action. Coz a picture pinch to zoom is different from the browser pinch to zoom, functionality same, app is different and OS has to determine that as well. All this and may be more may be happening just for the pinch to zoom. 

And, all of these have to happen simultaneously, so that you can see the picture zoom in front of your eyes, as you do it. Wow :)

Then came my mac - to have a PC that can boot fast is sufficient enough reason for a mac :). Enough said.

Steve Jobs - to me, he summed up one thing. Be yourself. At the core, he never really changed. He did things he wanted to do and did it well. Everything else, he didn't care. He just didn't care.

[There is a tonne of material out there in the net that talks about his visionary skills, drive and how he created things. Im not even going to touch upon those qualities with my writing skills and constrain them. ]

Apart from being oneself, he also symbolized what drive can do. He loved what he did and coz of that, did it well. He was brutally honest in some of his/apple's failures or shortcoming and didn't try to hide behind few good things. He wanted all of them to be good, even the minute details of anything apple, to be good.

A read of the below post by Vic of Google would say how much he cared for the tiniest of tiny things.

Or, what is the need for a CEO, to come down and explain his store to the world like he did? Explaining isle, products etc..

Everything apple meant to him - he was ready to do everything to anything of apple and knew everything of apple.

One of the very few people in the world who can solely claim their entire career is their own. And, the one of the only handful ceos who can do whatever they want with the company - coz it is theirs. Every other CEO in world is off late appointed for few years tenure and they have no connect with company as Steve did with Apple.

Apple has its fair share of questionable policy, platform initiatives, but off late, what I come to understand is that, they are excessively supremely controllable of anything that is apple, coz they love their products even beyond the sale. I dont like their restriction of iOS environment or OS, but they want to make sure that the device doesn't break once it reaches consumer hands. I dont agree with this stand, greatly. But, I have stopped questioning their intent off late.

And, only a person like Steve jobs can choose to be so outrageous with his demands and still pull it off. Who can ever forget the iPod deals?

Apart from being a successful product, iPod needed a legitimate way to download music to make sure that product is sale-able in the market. Till then, music industry refused to accept MP3 downloads as a valid way to get the music and even that format. iPod changed all that. He was famously quoted as saying to all the 6 big music labels, "If I can't sell a song for 99 cents in iTunes store, then there is no deal". Music labels agreed. And, now we have legitimate and easy music downloadable industry in the world.

Same applies with iPhone. Before iPhone, a phone's price, data plan, and the Tenure were all determined by Cellular carrier. When Steve Jobs launched iPhone, he had stuck a deal with AT&T to launch it at 199$ price, for two year contract and unlimited data plan. What you have to notice is that, Apple, a device manufacturer, is dictating a Carrier business when they are launching their product. The status quo till that time was other way around. 

A vegan.

And believer in heart and instincts, he did mistakes and corrections. Never one to be ashamed of his actions, he did one of the greatest comeback in history of the world business to turn a company on the verge of bankruptcy to be the most valuable company in 14 years time. Wow.

How respected would you have to be to have your competitors mourn your loss? Google paying tribute in the home page, blacking out its entire page. Google and samsung celling their own mobile event due to the untimely passing of Steve Jobs.

I still cannot believe he is gone - Im really pained and shocked.

[Im giving links to some of the most wonderful Steve Jobs video, article around now.]

A tribute to Steve Jobs below

Think different Ad with Steve Jobs own voice

Im not an apple fan boy, but of Steven P Jobs. iRespect. iLove. iMiss.