The Invention of Steve Jobs

David Byrd : Byrd's Eye View
David Byrd
Chief Marketing Officer for ANPI

The Invention of Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs changed the way we view computers and technology. Since his resignation I have heard him compared to Michelangelo, Edison and Ford. The accolades seem to increase in volume and intensity with each passing day. At first, I readily accepted the label of genius being applied to a man such as Steve Jobs. However, as I have allowed the days to pass perhaps he is more accurately described as a very special human being, an inventor and an incredible entrepreneur.

Jobs has approached the running of Apple, Pixar and even NeXT with passion and vision. He has not always made the correct decisions, his companies have not always built products that were embraced by the markets but his successes have far outweighed his failures. His positive impact on the world of computing, consumer electronics and entertainment (music and movies) is undeniable and for many enviable.

I was introduced to Apple early in my business career when I was a Director of Marketing for a small start up building SS7 based Service Control Points and a Service Management System. The Director of Product Management and I were to present to a potential client or investor. I no longer remember the specifics but what I took away from that day was my presentation built using a windows PC was blown away by his presentation using an Apple computer. I made the decision to switch to Apple then and there and from 1982 until around 1992, I was an Apple guy. I still have a functioning Apple II Plus prominently displayed in my home office. However, the acceptance of Microsoft Office by my employer forced the shift away from the Mac OS to Windows and I have not returned.

Until recently, Apple was not permitted the status of an approved device or standard operating system. Now as a result of their consumer electronics success, enterprises are allowing Apple products as approved business devices. The iPhone is the new standard for smartphones and the iPad is the potential standard for business tablets. If desired, this generation of Apple products may give them the foothold they need to succeed long term in selling an array of products to SMBs and enterprises. In fact, it is interesting to note that Apple enterprise sales are up 66% this year. Even Broadvox has accepted the iPhone and iPad as approved devices to interconnect with our business infrastructure.

Steve Jobs, more than likely, is finally feeling the effects of his pancreatic cancer. Indeed, he was “fortunate” to have a treatable version giving him and us the benefit of his skills and talents for another eight years. I performed some research to see what Apple’s influence has been on IP communications and found little. But Apple has impacted cloud computing with the deployment of iTunes and iCloud. Through close integration of its popular devices and cloud based storage and applications, Apple is removing the enigma of technology and improving the ease of use for consumers of its products. And that brings the discussion back to me. I am one of the few amongst my peers who do not own an iPhone, iPad, or iPod. It is not a statement of pride rather a simple fact.

So, back to the known geniuses. I wish I could afford a piece by Michelangelo, I have light bulbs and I own a car. Perhaps, in 2012, I’ll acquire something benefiting from the invention of Steve Jobs. In the meantime, I wish him well.

Due to vacation time and the holiday, I’ll be back next Wednesday.

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