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Updated: October 9, 2011 00:39 IST

Apple of the i-world

Tabish Azeem
Comment (5)   ·   print   ·   T  T  
AN INSPIRATION: A tribute to Apple founder Steve Jobs in Manila. Photo: AP
AP AN INSPIRATION: A tribute to Apple founder Steve Jobs in Manila. Photo: AP

The public reaction in India to Steve Jobs' death surprises me. India doesn't have a single ‘Apple Store' (stores we have are resellers), apple products in the country are ‘insanely' overpriced and most of us don't own an Apple product, yet we can feel a personal loss on his death.

This is the magic of legends for, ideas and inspirations know no boundaries. People relish seeking inspiration, and nothing triumphs like the one that with comes with a story. Steve's is an amazing story: born to an American college girl off a Syrian immigrant, adopted by working class parents, dropping out of college, ousted from the company he formed, only to come back and not only take Apple to unprecedented heights but also, and as he famously persuaded John Sculley, ‘Change the world'.

So much has been written about the genius whom we know so little. People like Steve are born one in a generation, and carry an aura with universal appeal. He may be dead now, but a part of him will live on through the invention he passed on to humanity, and Steve himself will live on through the inspiration he fills in the hearts of millions of his fans.

An inventor with more than 300 patents, ranging from those in software to screen technology to packaging, and even glass staircases; a leader, who transformed Apple into the world's most popular brand; a philosopher whose ideas have left a lasting impression and a visionary who dreamt, planned, executed and conquered.

Steve Jobs didn't ‘think different', he just thought from a ‘different perspective'. He did no market surveys or, for that matter, marketing stunts; all he did was, he saw from the eyes of the user. Sounds simple, yet so compelling, as is the case with the gadgets his company developed.

Critics say he was a ruthless boss. The best trait of great leaders is their ability to extract the best out of others, Steve exemplifies exactly that. Another remarkable thing was his professionalism. When Steve returned to an Apple in tatters, he went in for a major revamp. At the Boston MacWorld conference 1997, in his trademark spell-bounding ‘Stevenote,' Jobs surprised everyone when Bill Gates popped up on the giant screen, announcing Microsoft's collaboration with Apple. Many ridiculed him for that, but 14 years hence, you can't help but revel at his strategy. Steve knew Apple had to rise slowly and steadily, his partnership with Microsoft helped Mac Computers, which used Microsoft Office, Internet Explorer, and other Microsoft features, until Apple engineers developed platforms like Pages, and Safari which, of course, outperform the Microsoft counterparts.

Gift of choice

Steve's contributions extend much beyond the evident and acknowledged Apple products. In U.S. Vice-President Joe Biden's words, “He democratised technology.” Perhaps, this is his single biggest contribution. He gave us the power of choice, he led the competition in which the ultimate benefactor was the user. Mac did it for personal computers, iPhone ushered in a new era of the smartphone market, a domain which continues to show exponential growth, keeping on astounding us with products which keep getting better and better with each passing day. Of course, all of these, apart from adding newer segments like portable multimedia player and tablets to the electronic industry.

The chieftain from Cupertino came and changed the world for the better, through his innovation, and his ideas. The enigmatic wizard succumbed to what he called ‘the single best invention of life,' only to leave behind a story, which will inspire generations to come.

In Mir Saqib's immortal words:

Zamaana bade shauq se sun raha tha

Hum hi so gaye daastan kehte kehte

(The world was listening with great relish; I myself fell asleep while relating the tale).

(The writer, a student at the National Institute of Technology, Tiruchi, Tamil Nadu, can be contacted at tabazeem@gmail.com)

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"Much Ado About Nothing" If I use this adage to describe the hype sorrounding the angelization of Steve Jobs, many would disagree. But I would request people to take one step back and think from a realistic perspective. What this person did is not to empower the people in computing, but made his own wares sell and he kept a tight leash on that. If someone sees the way Macintoshes, iphones, ipods and ipads are made they can realize how much he was afraid of getting that box opened without damaging it. Whatever humanbeings achieved was only a collateral benefits and not a contribution made by stalwarts before him and made by people who invented/coined things like Linux.....

from:  Lakshminarayan
Posted on: Oct 12, 2011 at 15:22 IST

So here is the summary. The person who has more than 300 patent's greatest contrbution is that he democratised the technology! Patent (especially in software) and democrasy are paradoxical. As Eben moglen famously said in his article 'Anarchism Triumphant:Free software and death of copyright', & proprietary software is as ludicrous as having 'proprietary mathematics' or 'proprietary geometry

Sorry to say.... As far as knowledge is concerned, Steve jobes, Apple, Microsoft etc are the most unfortunate happenings of the 20th century.

from:  Ravishanker
Posted on: Oct 10, 2011 at 19:03 IST

It's unfortunate that Indian consumers do not have access to the great products launched
by Apple & Steve jobs. What Newton was for physics, Linus Pauling was for chemistry,
Gregory Mendel was for genetics, so will be Steve Jobs for mobile & personal computing.

As 7th century Tamil poet Kambhan said 'Death can do no harm to achiever of excellence.' May his atma attain shanthi.

from:  Venkata Krishnan Aiyer
Posted on: Oct 10, 2011 at 07:00 IST

Well said

from:  Srikanth P V B
Posted on: Oct 9, 2011 at 19:09 IST

Thank you.You said the real fact about an average Indian who like apple products.And some key information about Steve.

from:  DILEEP KUMAR DAS
Posted on: Oct 9, 2011 at 09:15 IST
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