Thursday, October 6, 2011
Ever since 2003, one had the feeling Steve Jobs' days were numbered, and the recent announcement that he had stepped down as Chairman of Apple carried a very ominous ring to it. His long battle with pancreatic cancer is over.
Walter Isaacson is the latest biographer to tackle the story of Steve Jobs. The book is due out late next month. It was tentatively titled iSteve, but it seems the publishers wanted to give Jobs full respect.
Listening to the CNN memorial this morning, I heard "genius" and "visionary" tossed around a lot, but it struck me that Steve was first and foremost a good businessman. He knew the value of good packaging, good advertising and cultivating a strong and committed market for his product. What started out as an everyman's personal computer became a highly successful niche industry, as Apple computers became prized possessions. The long waiting lines in front of his Apple stores for the latest igadget are testimony to his great marketing skills. The store fronts became symbolic in themselves.
But, one certainly can't deny the tremendous impact this man had on the personal computer industry, portable music and the fully loaded telephone. He was also instrumental in developing Pixar into the multi-billion dollar animated feature company it became, even if he was ready to jettison the project when the best it could initially produce were a few commercials and award-winning short features.
He will be missed.