From the Mac to iPad,
Jobs Rode Imagination to Power
Jobs, who died on the night of Wednesday, October 5, at the age of 56, was much
more than a great leader. …. He created turning points, each of them dates that
will endure in industrial history the same way as some of the greatest
Flowers in the night, candles
… and tears. All in front of the stores! Do we live in a world so mercantilist
that only the heroes of capitalism are able to generate such emotion in the
world? No. Steve Jobs, who died on the night of Wednesday, October 5, at the
age of 56, was much more than a great leader.
The co-founder of Apple
changed the world. More than many great heads of state, his actions transformed
the lives of hundreds of millions of people on the planet.
His passing provoked a frenzy
of official and anonymous reaction even more spectacular than if they concerned
a global rock star. Even in China, where nearly 35 million microblogs dedicated
to his memory were counted by midday Thursday on Sina Weibo, the Chinese
equivalent of Twitter. The genius of this American was to master technology so
as to insert it into our lives. While many computer groups were launched in a post-war
race for power, performance and technical prowess, the obsession of this
Silicon Valley man was to create simple and useful products.
The mouse wasn't invented by
Apple, but the Apple company was the first to have the idea of selling a
computer - in this case the Macintosh - with a mouse. That was in 1984.
Digital music players weren't
invented by Apple and more than online music was, but the launch in 2001 of the
iPod and iTunes recaptured generations that music companies were losing.
The mobile Internet, touch
screens and online services had existed for years, but it was the California
company that, with the iPhone in 2007, the App Store in 2008, and then the iPad
in 2010, made this universe accessible to Mr. Everyman.
Steve Jobs created turning points,
each of them dates that will endure in industrial history the same way as some
of the greatest inventions. His was a success all the more iconic as it
corresponded to the birth of Silicon Valley. At 21 years old and without a
college degree in his pocket, he founded Apple in 1976 with his Polish-American
friend Steve Wozniak.
Everything in his path would
make him an uncommon leader, notably on his 1977 return as head of
"his" company - from which he had been ousted by its shareholders twelve
Before becoming a global
star, he was a global leader. He took unlimited advantage of the force of
globalization. Taiwanese subcontractor Foxconn,
whose giant factories located in mainland China make the iPhone and other
iPads, is one of the instruments of his success. Foxconn employees - and even
of Apple, know something about that. Jobs' sometimes maddening demands were not
without damaging social implications.
He is one of the inventors of
today's world celebrated as few leaders will ever be. Hat's off.
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