Wow, not even a couple of minutes after my last post on this blog about Apple and Adobe, I read that Adobe has filed a complaint at Federal Trade Commission because at this moment, Apple has banned any kind of recompiled software technologies. So, also programs like the Flash iPhone-app builder or even Opera Mobile for Iphone will be banned. Believe me, this will be an interesting bit of reading ahead of us the next couple of weeks.
Anyway. While I was writing my last piece, I do wanted to write one thing, and actually a praise, about Steve Jobs. And although I dislike so many of his decisions, things he says, and the way of portraying himself and Apple as the next thing to worship, this is probably at this moment the most influential identity in IT and the media world.
You might want to disagree with that last part, but compared to Rupert Murdoch, the owner of FOX, Steve Jobs is a much bigger player:
Steve Jobs actually became interesting to me the moment Apple had fallen down in the end of the ’90s and was crawling back up so slowly but crawling back up anyway with the iMac, and they had just released the iPod when Steve Jobs was b(r)ought back at Apple to become the face of Apple once more. But in the meanwhile, Steve Jobs had another wonderful endeavor going on, in a at that moment up and coming animation studio called Pixar.
Steve Jobs was one of the investors in Pixar when it was still a company selling the Pixar computer which was made for medical imaging. The fact that it was too pricey and there were cheaper (but worse) alternatives out there made Pixar perform hopelessly. In some downtime one of the design employees, an still unknown John Lasseter, now one of the world’s biggest movie producers, found ways to use the graphic capacities of the Pixar computer to create animations. And with approval and some finance from Steve Jobs, John started to create his animations, tweaking the Pixar computer… and laying the pavement for the animation studio it would become. Of course, with the increasing interest of the people in the studio, Steve, as a major shareholder in Pixar, did do very well, while at the same moment Apple started to do very well with it’s iPod too.
Then one major event took place; the collaboration contract between Disney and Pixar ran out. Disney, being the king of animation for so long, lost it’s power in the animation in the cinema, where Pixar now ruled. It could not allow to have this mighty ally turn into a competitor. So Disney decided to buy Pixar. Not with money, but with shares. A lot of shared in Disney. So many, as a matter of face, that Steve Job is the major share holder of Disney nowadays.
So, here we have Steve Jobs, practically owning the world’s most desired media devices and being the major influence in Disney and Pixar, and owning the Mac computer line and its operating system. If Safari would be a major browser player, he would control in a massive way any kind of media distribution and creation in the world.
Steve Jobs. You have to hand it to him. Like him or hate him, he is an incredible succesful business man. Maybe with a lot of luck, but successfuly nonetheless. And, as a designer I am glad that he allowed Apple to invent OS-X, and the iPod/iPhone for showing the world things need to be graphically more attractive, and not let programmers rule the world.
So, Steve, I don’t like you (business wise, I don’t know you personally of course), but with all respect I take my hat off for you.