Steve Jobs: the anti-technocrat

Steve Jobs: the anti-technocrat

Summary: Steve Jobs put a dent in the enterprise IT universe.

TOPICS: Emerging Tech, Apple, CXO

“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”

-Arthur C. Clarke

Magic is something that tech visionary Steve Jobs delivered to us, time and time again. When he launched Apple in the mid-1970s, it was at a time of great disillusionment and distrust with "Big Science" and the market system in general. The future seemed to belong to faceless technocrats -- running monster systems at large, bureaucratic corporations that systematically stamped out new products to cater to every scientifically studied need.

Steve Jobs proved them all wrong. He was the anti-technocrat -- an artist, entrepreneur, dreamer, revolutionary. He shook the business world out of its coma and made business fun. And made technology fun as well.

For those on the enterprise IT side of things, Apple has always been an outside force, producing well-designed and well-tuned machines for the graphic arts set or for tech-shy consumers. But Jobs reshaped the enterprise IT space in profound ways as well.

In the 1980s, he pushed the PC to transition from a techie's hobbycraft into a user-friendly platform. The success of the Mac prompted Microsoft to get Windows out to the market, boosting the client graphical user interface as the interface of choice across enterprises.

In the mobile space, the iPhone and iPad finally brought about the sea change that had been talked and talked and talked about for years, but with little happening. Analysts and pundits and vendors and everyone else talked about how the mobile-phone-as-computer revolution was always just around the corner. The iPhone finally made mobile clients worth thinking about.

While the computer industry is famous for running as a herd from one fad to another, Steve Jobs was never one to buy into conventional wisdom. Consider, for example, the matter of software and hardware. For years, any self-respecting computer industry leader ran away from hardware as fast as he or she could in the belief that software should run on any kind of commodity hardware. Steve Jobs, on the other hand, strongly believed that elegant software needs to go hand in hand with elegant hardware to deliver the most profound user experience. To this day, few in the industry think that way.

Steve Jobs made computing “hip.” He was cool and he has cool visions for using technology to reshape the world in a positive way (putting a “dent in the universe,” as he once put it). The back room  “geeks” of yesteryear became the visionaries, the movers and shakers, of today's world.

In the process, Steve Jobs' vision that technology should be accessible to everyone regardless of technical competence has almost become a reality.

Topics: Emerging Tech, Apple, CXO

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  • RE: Steve Jobs: the anti-technocrat

    Absolutely. The genius of Jobs was making devices that did complex things in a very simple way. He made them sleek and elegant and desirable. He realised that what people wanted wasn't a tablet that could be rooted and equipped with a dozen different OS's, running a host of dodgy apps that you needed a degree in computing to get running properly. What people wanted was something that you switched on, it worked and looked really cool while it was doing it.

    A man who will be sadly missed, my thoughts go out to his family friends and colleagues at this sad and difficult time for them.
  • We'll miss him

    He has brought us alot. He made computing fun. All the devices he brought us and made our lives easier. He helped shape the movie animation industry with Pixar. I can't live without a smart phone now.

    I did not think this would happen so soon. I knew he was sick but had no idea it was pancreatic cancer. May he rest in peace !
  • RE: Steve Jobs: the anti-technocrat

    Pretty much right on target. Steve will be sorely missed. The PC market still lacks the "appliance" usability and simplicity it needs. For those not wanting to constantly twiddle with their PCs, Apple is the only real choice. The downfall of the Microsoft platform is still the need to practically be an IT and A+ certified geek to keep it running correctly. Steve simply did a much better job of putting bleeding edge technology in the hands of the average Joe. I dearly hope there is a worthy successor to pick up the baton and run with it. RIP Steve, your legacy will endure.