I’ve heard a lot of people talking about the massive impact Steve Jobs has had on the computing world since the news spread over Twitter and Facebook about his passing. I haven’t heard many talk about the quantum impact he’s had on our world as a whole. I’ll explain.
Steve Jobs is a rare individual — rare on a Jeffersonian scale. His push to make computers simpler, cleaner and more efficient began with a design that included a monitor and CPU all-in-one. The stout little original Macintosh Classic, with it’s unique graphical user interface (GUI), was a completely different way of looking at how we interacted with computers and how they fit into our lives. I learned design on a Mac Classic before there was anyone who could teach me about it.
Of course Jobs has had an impact on how computers function. I believe his impact extends beyond that into how we function. He’s impacted how we interact with each other. How we access information. How we learn. And that’s where his impact begins to compound on itself and grow exponentially — in a word, his impact becomes quantum.
Jobs heads up Apple, a company which creates tools that creative people use to create other things. Most creatives design, build, educate and inspire others from the the drawing table that is our Apple computers. From writers to designers to architects to chemists — so many of us start on a common platform which for so long seemed a little rogue — like an outsider’s alternative choice and even a physical identity (are you a Mac or a PC?).
It may sounds obvious, but to me it’s quite profound. For a creative, a computer is like a violin. It can be an object of beauty by itself, but in the right hands becomes a tool to create something amazing. A feeling. A desire. Something that can last a moment (like a website) or something that can last forever (a concept that takes hold of our collective imagination).
Many of us are remembering Steve Jobs today. For me, the best way I can remember Steve Jobs is to keep creating and inspiring others. That’s quantum.