Steve Jobs – Think Different

by Joe B on August 25, 2011

Steve JobsSteve Jobs resignation as Apple CEO got me thinking about how he and Apple have influenced our lives. I’ve followed Steve’s career over the years. You could call me an Apple Fan. I was first introduced to Apple and the Apple ][ while earning my MBA in the late 1970s. My first computer was an Apple /// which I purchased in the early 1980s. I have used Macs almost exclusively since the original 128K in 1984.

While Apple did not invent most of the items they sell, they did perfect them. Here is a list of some of the things we use that Apple has influenced:

  1. The Personal Computer (1977)- Before the Apple ][, most personal computers were sold in kits to hobbyists. With the Apple ][, there was nothing to assemble.
  2. The Graphical User Interface for the masses (1984)- Before the Mac, GUI was only available on $10,000+ computers. It took Microsoft another 11 years to come out with a halfway decent GUI in Windows 95. Steve Jobs saw the work done by the engineers at XEROX PARC, got XEROX to invest in Apple and hired some of their engineers to work on the Mac.
  3. iPod (2001)- Before the iPod, MP3 players were difficult to use. Apple came up with a different interface and iTunes. The iPod still owns 75% of the market.
  4. iTunes (2002)- Before iTunes, people were stealing music on the internet. Apple got with the Music Industry and convinced them to let Apple sell music over the internet. It has change the way we buy music. iTunes has an almost 80% market share in the digital music industry.
  5. iPhone (2007)- Before the iPhone, SmartPhones were not nearly as smart. You had to listen to all previous messages before listening to the one you wanted to hear. Browsing the internet was archaic. Apple changed that with (you guessed it) a new user interface. And while Apple’s iOS doesn’t have the greatest market share, it does own 67% of the profits in the smartphone market.
  6. iPad (2010)- Before the iPad, tablet computers weren’t much smaller than laptops. One of the reasons was previous tablets tried to use operating systems from laptops which required more horsepower to run thus bigger motherboards and batteries. Apple decided to use the operating system from its iPhone (iOS) to run its iPad. And once again, they changed the user interface so that a keyboard and mouse were not necessary. Apple currently owns 80-90% of the Tablet Market.

All of the devices I have mentioned were created while Steve Jobs was at Apple. There was a 10 year period from 1987 to 1997 when Jobs was not there, and nothing great came out of Apple. Steve Jobs’ genius is his ability to take a device and make it easier for us, the consumer, to use.

How are you making your product or service easier for your customers to use? Let us know.

By the way, if you had bought 100 shares of Apple stock when Steve Jobs rejoined Apple in 1997, it would have cost you around $1,300 and today would be worth around $150,000.

 

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