Steve Jobs, 56, co-founder and CEO of Apple Computer died on October 5th 2011. Today’s news is dominated by fears of corporate corruption and high unemployment. Now we have one more reason to talk about “Jobs”. His work with Apple pushed the boundaries of what a brand could mean to consumers. More than any other single person, Steve Jobs made the computer personal.
With Apple, Steve Jobs introduced the world to the Personal Computer (PC). Jobs followed it up with The Macintosh (the Mac). The Mac was the first successful computer with a Graphical User Interface (GUI) and the computer “mouse”. These innovations made computing more user-friendly and flexible.
Jobs left Apple’s helm in 1985. While Apple faltered, Steve Jobs started the company NeXT which contributed to the creation of the World Wide Web. He also developed the company PIXAR which has become a computer animation giant in the film industry.
Jobs returned to lead Apple in 1996 and it has since become one of history’s most profitable businesses. Apple became known for attractively designed, innovative, easy to use products. Steve Jobs put his own personal stamp on each one. The iPod, iTunes, the Apple store, the iPhone and the iPad all form an unprecedented string of personal computing “hits”. All tools that made computing “cool” for millions who would’ve never before thought so.
Through all of this success, Apple cemented a level of engagement with enthusiasts that is often compared to a religion. Every product, each unit, another touch point from CEO Steve Jobs and his Apple Brand.
We cannot forget that Steve Jobs was an adopted child. For a short time he lived at the very margins of America. Had he not grown up in Silicon Valley, he may have been successful in another field, or not. He may have never been adopted. He may have simply fallen through the cracks.
As Social Media has proven, our lives are built around circles. Examine these social circles and how they interlock. You will find that the great chain of society is as fragile as its weakest link.
Steve Jobs was not publicly known for charitable giving. But he created an experience that people did not want to leave. And we are all larger for it.
Steve Jobs connected consumers to himself and, through him, technology. Which has played no small role in both the world’s march to globalization, and movements like the recent “Arab Spring”. So like an alchemist of old, he did not teach us that mankind is the measure of all things. Jobs instead proved that the possibilities are only as limited as our minds.
As a small businessman, it is inspiring to know that Apple’s story started in a garage. The giants before them were IBM, XEROX, and Hewlett Packard. Microsoft focused on platform dominance. Apple, instead, concentrated on innovation and building their own brand.
However large or small your business, whether you have a store or just a phone, ask yourself a few questions. What are your goals? What is the purpose of your business? What are you really selling? Answer these questions for yourself, your team and your customers. Now focus on your strengths. Imagine the possibilities. Now, think differently. Thank you Steve Jobs.