Steve Jobs (1955-2011)

Steve Jobs, Prince of Capitalism

Paddy Manning

Steve Jobs, the man that proved capitalism works & makes people lives better, is no more.

We didn’t, shouldn’t, need that proof but Jobs supplied it, not in spades but in a million boxes of lovely, envy-making consumer products, lovely sleek magic things that people bought, not because Government decreed but because they WANTED those beautiful things.

They were beautiful, always that perfect combination of form & content, utility & style that made you look again & want. Hard to remember the late 70’s world of hobby computing, the Atari, Amiga,Commodore, Sinclair, a plethora of brands inciting holy wars but little else. Only Apple Survived the arrival of Microsoft/IBM.

Only Apple had Steve Jobs but even Apple stumbled & badly. Lisa cost a fortune & its designer’s ambition outstripped what technology of the time could do. Flying a pirate flag over his building Jobs & his team produced the Mac . The iconic Mac, (& using icons & mouse in a commercially successful computer ) changed computing. Can you ever forget that grey box, green on black tiny screen, the urge to write with it? The Jobs magic, the reality distortion field as it was called worked even at a distance.

What makes a man? Was it adoption? College drop out? LSD? or none of the above? Those close enough to know may one day tell us more but what does it matter? Steve Jobs himself said
“If I had never dropped in on that single calligraphy course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts”.

Jobs would leave & return to Apple, co-founding Pixar in the interim, as if to show that his golden touch extended into mutiple fields. His return, the iMac, Ipod Iphone & Ipad releases are now the stuff of legend & Apple a company of vast fortune. Each “i” revolutionised goods consumers wanted. Pads did not work, no one would buy them. Steve made them, and they do now!I have never owned a single Apple product, my admiration was never matched by my budget, but Steve Jobs impact was industry wide, not just on Apple products but on those of every competing company.

Money was not his sole end, merely a signal that he was doing the right thing well. He loved design, loved producing, loved working with the team of stellar talents he had assembled. He showed by his own example that working to produce what people want & will buy is laudable, money making & satisfying. He made the world better by making things better & we loved him for it.

It seems an appropriate dichotomy that in the week the economically ignorant “occupy” & call for trade tariffs & massive taxation to snuff out capitalism that capitalism’s own prince, the great Steve Jobs should, by slipping quietly from this world, upstage their ugly clamour.

Steve Jobs is no more but his inspiration, the message of his life that two guys in a garage with enough skill hunger & chutzpah could change the world one box at a time, lives on.

Steve Jobs is no more & our thoughts & prayers should be with his family friends & co-workers who have lost a father, husband, friend & star. Ar dheis de, go raibh a h-ainim usuail

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