Steve Jobs the Man, the Myth, the Legend: How it began.

Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
Tom Keating
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Steve Jobs the Man, the Myth, the Legend: How it began.

I grew up as a computer geek in the late 70s through the 80s into the 90s admiring Bill Gates much more than Steve Jobs. Steve Jobs was just "that other computer guy" whose computers were used by less than 8% of the computing world. Microsoft was #1 and Apple was #2 and I liked a winner. Steve Jobs was an also ran to Bill Gates and Microsoft, especially after Windows 95, which arguably copied much of the Macintosh ideas. Microsoft took over the desktop PC world and Apple was relegated to Apple enthusiasts.

apple-ipod-original.jpgThen a funny thing happened. The Internet was born, the MP3 digital music file was created, which spawned Napster and the mp3 digital music player. I still remember my first mp3 player, a Creative Labs Nomad II. It did the job, but had limited 64MB flash memory, and didn't have the tactile scroll-wheel that the Apple iPod had for fast music scrolling. When the iPod came out, it not only allowed for thousands of songs, it made it easy to scroll artists, genres, or your entire music library. It was an instant hit and destroyed Creative Labs and other companies that were early mp3 player pioneers.

Apple went from making computers and software (like Microsoft) into consumer electronics. Their infamous white ear buds could be seen everywhere which helped build the Apple brand. Apple was no longer some computer company whose computers were used by graphics designers, journalists, and an esoteric by loyal fan base. They had now become part of the culture, like Microsoft had become with their dominating Windows 95/98/XP operating systems.

But Steve Jobs wasn't done. He was the leading force behind the creation of the iPhone, a.k.a. the "Jesus phone". Once again, he struck gold with a mobile device that had a slick UI that put others to shame. In one fell swoop, Apple's iPhone shamed Palm, RIM, and especially Microsoft with their kludgy and crash-prone Windows mobile OS.

Apple went on to become the most successful company (market capitalization wise) in the world today. In many ways, I underestimated Steve Jobs' brilliance. Partly because as a teenager you go with the popular "in thing" and back then it was the IBM PC / Microsoft platform. I still have found memories of learning MS-DOS and BASIC, but even then the Mac strived to have a user-friendly UI to abstract knowing DOS-like commands. I thought the Mac was for wusses who didn't know DOS. Perhaps Jobs greatest vision was his goal to make computers not just for computers geeks, but so simple anyone could use them and he kept that vision and mindset with every single product Apple created.

Steve Jobs introduces the Macintosh

It is worth a retrospective to see how it all started. Check out the original 1984 Macintosh introduction when Steve Jobs unveils the Macintosh when he takes it out of a bag. The video is titled "The Lost 1984 Video: young Steve Jobs introduces the Macintosh.":

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