Thank You, Steve Jobs

by prash on 05 Oct 2011

Steve Jobs

People use different words to describe the life and legacy of Steve Jobs:
Entrepreneurial.
Innovative.
Inventive.
Creative.
Genius.

But there’s a word Steve Jobs himself  used several times to describe himself and the company he co-founded:

Intuitive.

In May 1998, in response to a question about how consumer research affected the development of the iMac, Steve Jobs said:

“A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.”

Steve Jobs, 11 May 1998

In that one, subtle line lies the entire essence of Apple’s philosophy as envisioned by Steve Jobs: Don’t ask them what they want. Tell them what they want. Tell them in a way that is genuine and convincing.

In 2001 not many people knew they wanted a revolutionary, new music-player. In 2007 not many people knew that they needed “an iPod, a phone and an Internet communicator” all in one device. They did not know and they were not asked if they wanted one.

They were told they wanted one.

At the end of what has often been described as one of the best keynotes, the Macworld 2007 Keynote (when the iPhone was first unveiled), Jobs concluded with what he described as one of his favorite quotes – one from Canadian Ice Hockey Superstar, Wayne Gretzky:

“I skate to where the puck is going to be,
not where it has been.”

– Wayne Gretzky

As the news on TV showed images and scenes from the life and times of Steve Jobs, my son interrupts me. He wants my iPhone so he can play a game on it. As he nears me he is distracted by the pictures of the iPhone flashing on the TV followed by photos of Jobs.

“Who is that, daddy?”

“That is Steve Jobs. He made the iPhone.” (Simplifying, of course, but not that much.)

“Oh.”

And he was off with the phone.

Turning it on. Swiping. Gesturing. Flinging birds on pigs.

Intuitively.

I let him play for a few more minutes than usual.

For always skating to where the puck is going to be,

Thank You, Steve Jobs.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Achyuthan October 6, 2011 at 11:20

Awesome post sir. You could’ve written pages and pages of text about Steve Jobs. But you didn’t. A single quote is all enough to strike one in awe.

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prash October 18, 2011 at 20:34

Thanks Achyuthan – he was truly a person who understood that there is no good technology without good design.

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