Among all the news coverage about Steve Jobs stepping down as Apple CEO, the most interesting to me was Piers Morgan’s interview with Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak. Remember him? (Oh, heck, some of you weren’t even born!)
Remember when you first heard the name Apple? Why on earth would someone name a company after a piece of fruit?
A self-professed engineering geek and without Jobs’s rock-star charisma, Wozniak had such clarity in describing what made the other Steve unique that I almost forgot he was an engineer. But what Wozniak said was only partly rocket science. He explained that Jobs had a laser focus—always—on the end-user benefit. Every new capability or gee-whiz feature Jobs interrogated accordingly.
It wasn’t engineering for engineering’s sake, and it wasn’t marketing for marketing’s sake, like much in the rest of the world. It was all about innovation that would make itself instantly, compellingly necessary to your life (my paraphrasing). Based on that standard, it’s easy to understand why Jobs—and Apple—are in a class by themselves.
Wozniak impressed me. He was an optimist, a class act (I haven’t read the books to know if there was ever bad blood between them) and forgiving of any moments where Jobs might have been harsh by his interrogation of ideas.
Apple. I get it now. It’s all about forbidden fruit. Polish. Sustenance. Flavor. Wisdom. And, sadly, with last week’s news, it’s now about being perishable as well.
Photo Credit: google/s.columbia.edu