At the sad occasion of the announcement of his death, we at Popdose thought it was appropriate to recount the many “failures” of Steve Jobs, founder of Apple and the creative gatekeeper by which everything had to pass if it was to receive the company’s blessing.
1. One of the first computer geeks, Jobs started Apple and dropped the concept of home computing on a stunned world. While the first machines seem primitive now, the effect was seismic. The public just didn’t know it at the time. It took awhile for this contraption to become one of the dominant communication mediums of our age, but when it did, it was inescapable. The Macintosh, or Mac, is today the preferred platform for creative types. Yet in the late 1970’s, this sort of behavior likely meant you were up to your eyeballs in time because, think about it, do chicks really dig computer geeks?
2. Apple was huge, and then it wasn’t. His company was failing and on the verge of petering out entirely. Through dogged and relentless faith in his brand and a bit of savvy remarketing, the logo, the name, the aesthetic are now undeniable icons. Jobs engineered something few companies ever can; a full recovery.
3. Lucasfilm had this little side unit that was doing interesting animations, but there didn’t seem to be much of a future for an offshoot making shorts. Jobs bought it. That company is now known as Pixar, one of the most respected movie-making entities in the industry.
4. People would never, ever trade physical audio product for digital packets. Where were the sleeves? The jewel case? What did this music look like? In the end, it didn’t matter. iTunes is the #1 portal for the purchase of music, much to the chagrin of longtime physical media proponents. This change also affected the look of music (through direct designs versus intricate ones) and its sound (with bigger bass to cut through tiny earbuds).
5. The iPhone was an unqualified success from the start, but the iPad? Would people really buy into a product with a name like that, and all the double entendre it suggests? Well, actually yes they would. The iPad was the item people didn’t know they ever wanted until it was right in their faces, and subsequently it created yet another tether in our ever-connected world. It also started all other electronics companies scrambling to compete.
On October 5, Steve Jobs had his final loss; this time it was his life. He had been sick a long time, and people could guess, from his resigning from the company he put so much blood and faith into, that he was walking a road that had only one destination left. Even in this, he won because, even though he won’t be here to see it, Jobs leaves behind a massive legacy that may never be surpassed, certainly not in our lifetime.