Sitting on my porch, as I was reading the epic ‘Jobs’ biography by Walter Issacson, one word kept recurring in my mind and that word was ‘Innovation’. Right from the time Apple was founded; Jobs epitomized innovation in everything he did. Starting from the name ‘Apple’, it’s logo, the products and ultimately Jobs’ working style; everything was innovative, something out of the blue, unpredictable in nature. It was this streak of innovation which left all its competitors dumbfounded and let Apple stay ahead of the curve (by a long shot) always.
So, what led to such profound innovations at Apple? Essentially, it was the charisma that Jobs radiated. His working style was unique, rudimentary at times, interspersed with spells of extreme loath or loves towards any concept or an idea. He was ruthless, straightforward and blatantly rude in his behavior. However, he had one trait which obscured his callous behavior; his ability to anticipate consumer needs. It was precisely this trait which led him to create innovative products at Apple. Jobs never believed in market research. He often said ‘People don’t know what they want until you show it to them’. Jobs never relied on consumers to learn about their needs. He introduced products which created new needs for consumers in the market.
Jobs’ necessity to innovate revolutionized the markets of personal computers, phones, tablets, music players, digital music, and digital publishing. Apple was the first to introduce compact, stylish computers during an era where eye hurting, ugly looking computing boxes were being sold. People did not know how a touch screen felt like until the IPhone was introduced. The knowledge of the average consumer was limited to the Moses’ stone tablet containing 10 commandments till the day the IPad came to be sold. Music players were chunky, clumsy devices largely adopted by only by techies. It took a small, yet sophisticated device like the IPod to put a thousand songs in people’s pockets. Piracy had left the bigwigs of the music industry bleeding money in millions, but thanks to ITunes store, illegal downloading stopped and people started buying songs legally. Nobody had thought that the hardcopy publishers needed to move to the internet if they needed to survive the oncoming digital age. Thanks to Jobs’ salesmanship and his persuading skills, today we can find most of them having digital publications and subscriptions.
Innovation can change the world and Steve Jobs proved that. The streak of innovation in Jobs caused him to create an impact of such magnitude that the world will witness for a long time from now. A great showman, a phenomenal leader and a true innovator; Jobs was truly a digital age revolutionary.