Tribute to a Man at the Intersection of Art and Technology

Vikas Joshi
October 6, 2011

Steve Jobs is no more.

'Think Different', proclaimed a proud and defiant campaign inspired by Apple, his tech company, that was struggling while stalwarts like Microsoft were stealing the limelight at the turn of the century. Apple really thought different and came up with one home run after another - first the iPod, then the iTunes store that revolutionized the music industry. Then, a wholly re-written OS that made the Macintosh line of computers compatible with Intel chipsets. This, followed by the iPhone - a revolutionary smart phone that left Blackberry and others in the space running for cover. And yet again the App store which sold millions of apps developed by thousands of third-party developers - generating a huge network effect. An again, the iPad which spawned the tablet computer industry. In a space of ten years, Apple not only surpassed Microsoft, it became the most valuable tech company in the world.

Steve was a designer at heart, and an unreasonable perfectionist. His products were the best-looking gadgets of his times, and sported the best usability amongst all their peers. If you wanted to be proud of your electronic gadget, you had to buy Apple. Such was his fanatic following, that every Apple conference in San Francisco was completely sold out, heavily talked about and widely  publicized. He was a master of publicity. His famous superbowl ad of the Mac is subject of marketing case studies. His product designs and package designs were epitomes of aesthetics - as were the Apple retail stores that he set up to own distribution. The model of Apple's proposed building in Cupertino has been subject of intrigued discussions in architectural circles.

An inspiring speaker, Jobs was a presenter par excellence. He was a great showman. There are pages after pages written on his presentation style. He prepared well, knew his audience and knew his subject only too well. Steve was a vegan, loved calligraphy, had traveled to India and walked through the Himalayas as a youth.

Steve Jobs was a great soul of our times - we've been lucky to have witnessed his stellar decade of achievements as he battled liver disease and pancreatic cancer. He worked till the end, and only resigned when he believed the time had come.

Leonardo Da Vinci was an artist and an engineer - and many other things. So was Steve Jobs. Such multi-faceted  talent is god's gift to mankind, and we must be grateful - even if he lived only 56 years on this planet.

May his soul rest in peace.