Steve Jobs’ Cool Was Contagious. Get Infected.

Jimmy Hsiao Jimmy's Corner

apple-logo-blackAs I stepped into our Irvine office last evening, I was told the very sad news that Steve Jobs passed away. It is hard to think of any great technology company without comparing it to Apple, and when you think of Apple, you think of Steve Jobs. Even when Steve Jobs was at his lowest, after being ousted by Apple’s board and subsequently failing to sell the NeXT computer well, I still told everyone that he is the greatest technologist ever. Looking back, I think I was right. When I came to the University of Michigan, I was very impressed by its pervasive use of Apple computers. The University implemented the then largest installation of Apple computers in the world. Prior to my time at Michigan, I used PCs with CPM and DOS operating systems. Those computers were not fun, but using Apple was fun. When I used the Apple Lisa the first time, I knew that user experience would become the game changer in the field. It was that experience in grad school that made me feel good about the computer industry, and I quietly switched my interests from electronics to computer software. Soon the cheap PCs and powerful workstations such as Apollo and Sun would take a larger presence on campus.Nobody could really turn down inexpensive PCs, especially with the vast amount of software applications available for them. That made Bill Gates the wealthiest person on the planet. But I still think Steve Jobs is the coolest: he once said that it is all right for Bill Gates to wake up feeling like the richest person in the world, but it is more important for him to wake up knowing that he created something great. Steve Jobs was a role model for many of us. He will continue to be the role model for me all my life. When I had a little bit of money after I worked professionally, I bought a NeXT computer for $6,000. It was a black and white computer with what was an unbelievable screen resolution at that time. NeXT used Postscript to display both on a computer and a printer, so it achieved consistency on both. That was unheard of at that time. Jobs was widely criticized for the attention to this detail, but would not compromise.   Of course, the younger generations all know how stubborn Steve was in managing iTunes, iPod, iPhone, iPad, and Pixar Studio. It was because of his stubbornness that everything he made turn out to be so great. I am so sorry to see that he is gone, but I think the best thing is for every technologist to do his or her part in carrying on Steve Jobs’ spirit of uncompromising innovation. At Logic, we are also moving into a new territory of product development. Our recent launch of Showcase made me wonder what we need to do to make Showcase a great product and Logic a great company. While in China, I told our tech leads that they must uphold their standard of quality and continue to be as innovative as possible. Steve Jobs’ greatness is not just in product development alone, but also in marketing, sales, strategy, etc. I feel that sometimes I repeat myself a lot when I often tell people that we need our presentation to be more like Apple’s, or we need our website to be more like Apple’s, or our user experience to be more like Apple’s. I just feel that coolness of Apple is contagious. And I like to be infected by that Apple’s cool and I like my staff to be infected by that Apple’s cool. When we are, we will all be very proud of it. bravo-steve