Steve Jobs’ achievements (and every computer manufacturer’s lack thereof)
Indulge me for a moment in commenting on what Steve Jobs did to the computing industry, and what that says about every senior industry executive who isn’t him.
Steve Jobs’ real impact on the computing industry was to decide to sell computers based on (1) good industrial design generally (2) user interfaces which are pleasant for users, and do so quite successfully. Without Apple delivering products that don’t systematically violate all principles of design, the rest of the industry would still be giving us ugly, and far more difficult to use products. For that we should be very grateful to him.
Now, the really sad thing is that there is an identifiable person who did this - good design should be a no-brainer for any product, because designers are not very expensive, and the overhead is amortized over a huge number of units (of which many more should be sold than would be otherwise). Simply put, even companies that avoided innovation as too expensive should have invested in design without being prompted.
The question now is who, if anyone, will step up and fill the same role in the computing economy.