Essay

By Séamus Smyth

Steve Jobs was an intellectual thief.  It could be argued that he merely improved the creations of his predecessors and ensured that his own products entered the market at a reasonable price. This criticism, however, could only be maintained by a complete cynic; the majority of those that have had the pleasure of existing during the “i-generation,” will fondly remember Steve Jobs as one of the most ingenious CEOs the new millennium has witnessed. Jobs, who recently passed away, has completely revolutionized the way men, women and children interact with technology. The co-inventor of Apple will be regarded as one of the most celebrated CEOs of the modern era because of his innovation, his longevity and how his vision may very well have rescued the music industry.

Although it seems only recently that Steve Jobs became a true, house-hold name, Jobs has been a central figure in computer development since the mid-1970s.  Jobs, along with Stephen Wozniak introduced the second-ever personal computer called the Apple 1 in 1974. (Technology in Action, 2011, p.54).  They immediately looked to improve on their original system, and quickly built the Apple II that according to CNN, became popular in schools, allowing computers for the first time to reach impressionable children (Timeline: Steve Jobs career, 2011, p.2). While many great CEOs and leaders of organizations are often associated with a very specific time in history, Jobs’ impact on technology has spanned over a quarter of a century.

Furthermore, what will be Steve Jobs eternal legacy is how he never ceased to invent even when others would have been content with their contributions to society. “But Jobs has had not one, not two, but six of these breakthroughs, any one of which would have made for a magnificent career. In order: the Apple II, the Macintosh, the movie studio Pixar, the iPod, the iPhone and the iPad. This doesn’t even include the consistent, brilliant improvements to the Macintosh operating system, or the Apple retail store juggernaut,” wrote Steven Levy (Wired, 2011, para.7).  Jobs’ relentless pursuit of technological advancement elevated many aspects of society including the method in which one accesses music.

Thirdly, without the involvement of Steve Jobs in the music industry, artists may never again have been properly compensated for their art. According to Apple’s official website, in April 2007, the company had sold 100 million iPods, making the device the fastest selling music player in history (Apple, 2011, para.1).  The illegal downloading of music had become rampant in the early 2000s. It appeared artists my never again be validated for their art the way they had been in the past.  But along came Jobs who introduced the Apple music store, which encouraged music listeners to access their music online for a price of $0.99 a song.  “It really did remind an entire industry, and gave a cue to even a culture beyond the industry that if you provided music in a convenient, direct way and responded to the consumers’ interest and demands, they would in fact buy it, especially if it was priced appropriately,” said James Diener, CEO and President of A&M/Octone Records (Global News, 2011, para.6).

Ultimately, there are a plethora of innovations and gadgets to choose from when one wishes to fondly remember the impact Steve Jobs has had on society at large.  Jobs’ stunning ingenuity, his ability to evolve alongside his creations and his success in persuading audiences to purchase music through Apple has made him one of the most talented CEO’s of our generation. The day that Apple announced his death, Apple posted a statement that may be the greatest summary of all: “The world is immeasurably better because of Steve,” (Apple, 2011, p.1).

References

Apple, (2007). http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2007/04/09100-Million-iPods-Sold.html
Retrieved October 12, 2011

CNN, 2011, http://www.cnn.com/2011/TECH/innovation/10/05/steve.jobs.timeline/index.html?hpt=hp_t1 Retrieved October 12, 2011.

Evans, Allan & Martin, Kendell & Poatay, Mary Anne. (2010). Technology in Action. Retrieved from SAIT library.

Levy, Steven, (2011). http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2011/10/jobs/ Retrieved October 12, 2011.

Moody, Mumbi, Nekesa, (2011). Global News | The iTunes revolution was great for Apple and consumers – but what about the music industry? Retrieved October 12, 2011.

Advertisements