Steve Jobs was perhaps one of the greatest leaders of our time when he finally succumbed to health issues that began with a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer several years ago.
Jobs was not an inventor, engineer or even a designer. However, he had an incredible ability to recognize great ideas and talents and then refine them to a level that made them tremendously appealing to a mass audience.
Jobs didn't invent the personal computer, digital animated movie, portable digital music player, smartphone or tablet. Every one of those items was produced by someone else first. But until he and the designers, artists and engineers he gathered around him imprinted his personal design aesthetic on those devices they were strictly niche items for geeks.
Computers were around for decades before Jobs and Steve Wozniak started Apple. There were even some "personal" computers before the Apple I. But Jobs and Wozniak made computer technology totally accessible to ordinary humans.
Similarly at Pixar, Jobs worked with John Lasseter and the rest of the team to take state of the art digital rendering and meld it with amazing story telling.
Companies like Creative and Diamond had built portable MP3 players prior to the September 2001 introduction of the iPod but they were either too limited in capacity or too clunky to use. Jobs brought Apple's software and hardware engineering talent together with the design chops of Jonathan Ive to create a device with simple controls and an intuitive user interface that would dominate its market segment for a decade.
The first touch-screen phone based on the Palm OS debuted in 1998 and it was followed by various Treos and Windows Mobile phones for the next nine years. It wasn't until 2007 that Jobs and his team created a much more refined and intuitive interpretation that has transformed mobile communications. Today, that design philosophy has infiltrated everything from phones to tablets infotainment systems in cars.
Throughout all of this, he always kept his eye on the horizon. Rather than go for short term revenue gains by cutting prices to maximize volume so that Wall St would be happy, he made sure that Apple created great products and provided outstanding customer service. The result is dedicated customer base that keeps coming back for more and is willing to pay premium prices. Apple is now the most profitable technology company in the world, with the highest market capitalization, despite having only a small sliver of the overall computer market.
Jobs rarely did anything first, but he had the vision to recognize what could actually be useful to people in their everyday lives and bring together the right people to make it reality. Jobs influence extends far beyond the personal computer to communications, transportation and entertainment.
This was all achieved through amazing leadership and thinking differently.
Google+: View post on Google+
Post imported by Google+Blog. Created By Daniel Treadwell.