Someone highlighted to me that three Apples have changed the world...
- Adam and Eve
- Isaac Newton
- Steve Jobs
Adam and Eve – the power of storytelling
The Biblical story of Adam and Eve eating the apple – the forbidden fruit - will be well known to you, whatever your religious viewpoint. In fact it is one of the best known stories in the entire world.
Adam and Eve is the story of creation and sets the tone for God’s relationship with human kind. It tells the story of our fall from Grace, is the basis for the Christian doctrine of Original Sin and forms the basis of not just one but three of the great religions of the world.
These are complex theological ideas but brilliantly delivered in a story (whatever your view of Biblical truth or allegory) and one of the best examples in history of the power of story-telling to get over complex ideas.
Isaac Newton – this is the modern world
Isaac Newton is widely considered to be the most influential scientist who has ever lived and his greatest theories – on which our entire understanding of the physical universe is based – are said to all be based on an apple falling on his head while he sat under a tree.
Newton laid the foundations for classical mechanics by describing universal gravitation and the three laws of motion which describes how we have understood the physical universe for over three centuries. His work forms the basis of the Physics we learn at school to this day.
He also proved the concept of planetary motion and established that the earth circles the sun – not the other way around.
He also takes the credit along with a guy named Leibniz for the development of differential and integral calculus.
He did a lot of other clever stuff, was a theologian, ran the Royal Mint and was an all round genius.
Put simply, he advanced the scientific revolution that created the entire modern world we live in to this day.
Steve Jobs – intuitive beauty
And so to Steve Jobs who sadly died this week. Steve Jobs is synonymous with Apple, the company he co-founded and the company he has led since 1996. In his innovative drive he has changed so much about technology and the way we live our lives today.
He developed one of the first commercially successful PCs – the Apple II
He created the MacIntosh because he saw the potential of a mouse driven graphical user interface – how crap and unintuitive was computing using the keypad and BBC Basic command prompts.
He set up Pixar out of Lucasfilm which lead to the re-birth of film animation and to films like Toy Story and a Bugs Life.
His revolutionary work at NeXT included a multi-media email system which could share voice, image, graphics and video in email for the first time.
He went back to Apple and turned in upside down, becoming the completely dominant figure.
He achieved enormous commercial success with the iMac based on beautiful design.
He developed the iPod and iTunes digital software which revolutionised the way we access, buy and listen to music. MP3s and digitally sourced music has all but killed CDs and high street record stores. You are more likely to listen to your iPod on the bus or out jogging than listening to music on the car CD player now.
He then developed the iPhone – the first smartphone – a multi touch display mobile phone.
Jobs was an inspirational, charismatic and highly energetic business leader – autocratic too. He was also something of a lifestyle guru. His foresight in setting trends and in innovations of style and intuitive usability has shaped much of our day to day living and the way we use technology in our lives.
Jobs didn’t do market research. He was a true market leader, knowing what the public wanted before they knew it – understanding the marriage of intuitive functionality and beautiful design.