Steve Jobs…

What a great article by Eric Schmidt on Steve Jobs.

What catches my attention is this bit:

I should tell you this story. We’re in a meeting at NeXT, before Steve went back to Apple. I’ve got my chief scientist. After the meeting, we leave and try to unravel the argument to figure out where Steve was wrong—because he was obviously wrong. And we couldn’t do it. We’re standing in the parking lot. He sees us from his office, and he comes back out to argue with us some more. It was over a technical issue involving Objective C, a computer language. Why he would care about this was beyond me. I’ve never seen that kind of passion.

At NeXT he built this platform—a powerful workstation platform for the kind of computing that I was doing, enterprise computing. When he came back to Apple, he was able to take the technology he invented at NeXT and sort of slide it underneath the Mac platform. So today, if I dig deep inside my Mac, I can find all of that NeXT technology. Now, this may not be of interest to users, but without the ability to do that the Mac would have died. I was surprised that he was able to do that. But he did it.

Most people tend to look at Jobs as a designer. He’s more than that. He’s an engineer/scientist. He has deep understanding of technology, and his design achieves scientific beauty to me. The greatest scientists are ones who are able to comprehend complexity and reduce it to elegant and simple equations. Perhaps, that’s how our world is–superficially complex but elegant and simplistic underneath. Jobs’ products, to me, are like beautiful equations that create an elegant balance among technology, user experience, and aesthetics.

The more I learn about Steve Jobs, the more I admire him. I am aware of human frailties, and I won’t put Jobs on a pedestal as an angelic being. Many have fallen into this foolish trap, only to be disappointed later on (think Tiger Woods). I think that type of admiration and glorification is false and fake. We have no need for that, as we can perfectly admire a man for being a good man, though flawed. For a human being, Steve Jobs has shown wonderful characters–passion, grit, love, intelligence, curiosity–and his impact on all of us–users and makers alike–is profound.


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