Friday, 7 October 2011

3 Apples that changed the world

Someone highlighted to me that three Apples have changed the world...

  • Adam and Eve
  • Isaac Newton
  • Steve Jobs

A bit cheesy but food for thought none the less!!  So, with the passing of Steve Jobs this week I wanted to write about him and also the three apples that completely changed the world.

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.  


  1. You say that Adam is the the basis of two of the worlds great religions, by that I assume that you also mean Christianity and Judaism. But he is also the first prophet in Islam where he also ate of the forbiddden fruit and was banished from Allah's presence. So I make that three.

  2. Sorry Stephen - that is my ignorance of Islam. I will alter the text shortly. :)

  3. Much attention to Steve Job's vision and leadership in technology, but he also took Apple from near bankruptcy to being one of the top valued companies in the world - recently with more cash than the US government. And, Apple has grown in value and profits throughout the recession and credit crunch - how's that other than making products that people value!

  4. So... about first "apple" - it was the forbidden fruit, not the apple (in all 3 religions), second is a mith, a story that helped Newton explain his theory, and Steve... How can you compare Steve Jobs, creator of overpriced gadgets with Newton... Charles Babbage helped more than Steve the computer development, and I bet you don't know who he is. Everyone's a hero when he dies.

    1. Thanks for posting

      And yes I know who Charles Babbage is>

  5. I believe than is necessary to include the fourth apple... The Beatles´s apple.


  6. sir want to talk with you once..
    its mine.

  7. wonderful concept.......

  8. Will anyone be tell me that what is beatless apple?

  9. Your third assumption is totally wrong. Steve Jobs was a marketer and did not build anything!!!!!

  10. Eve didn't ate apple in the bible it only mentioned fruit,and the tree name has Tree of knowledge of good and evil

  11. It's awesome. I love it, thanks for that emotional story(true story).