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General Chat Thread, Steve Jobs : Visionary or not? in General; To save cluttering up the RIP thread, I thought it easier to start this here so the RIP thread doesn't ...
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    MK-2's Avatar
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    Steve Jobs : Visionary or not?

    To save cluttering up the RIP thread, I thought it easier to start this here so the RIP thread doesn't get too far distracted (partly because of me I admit) from the original topic that a man had died of pancreatic cancer and may he rest in peace (that, I can't disagree with).

    So, if you type into google "Steve Jobs visionary" you get page after page of results from news sites saying how a visionary has died and he changed the way the world works, his ideas have scuplted our society, etc etc.

    I came across a Daily Mail article which offered up some interesting points, and had it been on any tech site would probably have been taken seriously. The points made are valid I feel, and if people can look past the source of it, and actually read the article and see what they think:

    Steve Jobs dead: Brilliant, yes, but he wasn't an Einstein | Mail Online

    I also found this article offering info on the history of the iPod too:

    Steve Jobs is NOT a Visionary; Get Off the Bandwagon Cultists - Forbes


    Personally the way I see it, he took what was already there, polished it and made changes. The tech was already there, he just added to it and changed the way things happened.
    What do people see as more groundbreaking, the very first commercial fuel propelled aeroplane, or the one five years later that went a little bit faster and had comfier seats inside? You could argue the plane 5 years later set the standards for air travel comfort, etc....but does it make it a visionary tale?

    I know people will disagree with me, fair enough, I'm hoping this can actually lead to some sort of proper discussion, not just another "apple r rubbish/i heart apple" argument.

    Discuss....


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    Oaktech's Avatar
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    as i've said previously, what he did with apple, stimulated competition like very little else. Without Jobs and the IPhone, we would not have the competition/playing catchup from HTC and the like. Without Apple's aggressive marketing (and lets not be mistaken here, Apple IS mainly marketing) we would not have the choice NOT to use apple.

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    RabbieBurns's Avatar
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    He didnt even design the ipod, which was what sparked the whole apple back from the dead..

    It was some english guy called Jon Ives Jonathan Ive - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia who was the main reason apple did so well..

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    mattx (7th October 2011)

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    MK-2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oaktech View Post
    as i've said previously, what he did with apple, stimulated competition like very little else. Without Jobs and the IPhone, we would not have the competition/playing catchup from HTC and the like. Without Apple's aggressive marketing (and lets not be mistaken here, Apple IS mainly marketing) we would not have the choice NOT to use apple.
    But this is the point I'm making. Read the Forbes article. Jobs himself did not create the iPod/Pad/Phone himself, others done that. I'm not saying their products didn't change certain aspects of the game, but to proclaim one man as a visionary when all he done was own the company is a bit much.
    Some of the images being shown on the BBC etc are as if the second coming of Jesus has just ended with his death.

    @RabbieBurns : according to the Forbes article it is also attributed to Tony Fadell
    Fadell worked for Philips’ (NYSE: PHG) Strategy and Ventures Division and attempted to develop ‘digital audio strategies.’ After his time at Philips, he started his own company called Fuse to further develop his vision: the iPod.

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    Oaktech's Avatar
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    it's never the indians that get the credit, always the chiefs.

    Nobody argues that brunel was a great engineer, but he didn't rivet anything in his life...

    if the guy owns the company, essentially he is the company and everything that happens below him allows him to bask in the reflected glory of his unseen minions. He was a figurehead with the worlds attention focussed on him. he sold the world an ideal.

    I don't agree with it, i don't like the product, but as a business model it's pretty bloody good!
    Last edited by Oaktech; 7th October 2011 at 10:30 AM.

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    LosOjos's Avatar
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    I'm not a fan of Apple, but I will say that whether or not Jobs was a visionary depends what perspective you look at it. No, he wasn't a visionary based on developing ground breaking technology, however from a marketing point of view I'd say he may well have been.

    The fact is, yes, anybody could have made the iPod/iPhone/iWhatever as the tech was already there to do so, but they didn't. It has to start with someone and in this case, it started with Apple under Jobs' command.

    Aside from anything else, we're talking about a guy who managed to convince a large proportion of society to spend thousands of pounds on a PC that was often underpowered, under supported [in terms of software availability] and way over priced; now tell me he wasn't a marketing genius!

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    MK-2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oaktech View Post
    it's never the indians that get the credit, always the chiefs.

    Nobody argues that brunel was a great engineer, but he didn't rivet anything in his life...
    True, but there's no outpouring of near sainthood for Brunel.
    Quote Originally Posted by LosOjos View Post
    Aside from anything else, we're talking about a guy who managed to convince a large proportion of society to spend thousands of pounds on a PC that was often underpowered, under supported [in terms of software availability] and way over priced; now tell me he wasn't a marketing genius!
    He wasn't a genius, he could quite as easily have got a job in politics with the amount of spin he put on things in his keynotes. Things that bend the truth so wildly in favour of Apple in the same way governments will bend any statistic to suit them. So by that definition Alistair Campbell and Tony Blair are visionaries for the way they marketed the UK

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    NikChillin's Avatar
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    I think Bill Gates was more of a visionary..... then the fight started....

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    Hmmmm....I would yes.....yes he was. Along with others, but a visionary chap none the less.

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    LosOjos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MK-2 View Post
    He wasn't a genius, he could quite as easily have got a job in politics with the amount of spin he put on things in his keynotes. Things that bend the truth so wildly in favour of Apple in the same way governments will bend any statistic to suit them. So by that definition Alistair Campbell and Tony Blair are visionaries for the way they marketed the UK
    I should point out now that I'm using words like "visionary" and "genius" slightly tongue-in-cheek. Was he a genius by Einstein's standards? No, of course he wasn't! But he was damned well good at marketing a product - he had to be to sell the numbers he did! As an anti-Apple kind of person, it still amazes me how people rush out to buy every new "i" product, despite them rarely being more than a minor upgrade from the last iProduct - can you imagine if we did that every time HTC released a new phone?!

    No, Steve Jobs didn't have much to do with developing the hardware and in truth he probably didn't have much to do with the marketing either, but whichever way you look at it, the hype he managed to create in his keynote speeches have managed to create a huge community of die hard Apple fanboys - what more could any company want?

    I do agree that the press on his death is way over hyped, but I do think there is a little more to it than first meets the eye. Yes, there is a lot of hype around Apple products which means that rarely a day goes by without something being mentioned (BBC are particularly guilty of this) even if it's an unrelated story, but also we're talking about a guy who was very much in the public eye who died at a relatively young age of cancer. Lots of people can relate to losing someone to this vile disease and I think that has had a lot to do with the coverage (and the fact that the bad Apple press that usually goes hand in hand with any Apple press has been swept under the carpet for now).

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    Quote Originally Posted by LosOjos View Post
    I do agree that the press on his death is way over hyped, but I do think there is a little more to it than first meets the eye. Yes, there is a lot of hype around Apple products which means that rarely a day goes by without something being mentioned (BBC are particularly guilty of this) even if it's an unrelated story, but also we're talking about a guy who was very much in the public eye who died at a relatively young age of cancer. Lots of people can relate to losing someone to this vile disease and I think that has had a lot to do with the coverage (and the fact that the bad Apple press that usually goes hand in hand with any Apple press has been swept under the carpet for now).
    I do completely agree on that. Not sure how this sounds, but it's somewhat akin to Jade Goody. She died and all the press could do was show her funniest clips, show all the trashy pics etc. It was only months later someone thought "hang on, we should be concentrating on raising awareness for this type of cancer".
    It's a shame more isn't being done to raise awareness for pancreatic cancer and using Steve Jobs as a sort of headline for it. A successful person who died young because of it.

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Yup, he was definitely a visionary. No-one is claiming that he designed and built the devices Apple made. But he did take the scraps of technology that was available, and ensure that the outcome was a groundbreaking, game changing product. He did this time and time again. Why else would there be so many people who admire him so much?

    Your argument would also claim that Henry Ford wasn't a visionary. Or Rockefeller. Or Brunel. They all didn't do the work themselves, they were the people in control, they saw the whole picture and ensured the end result fitted the vision.

    Claiming otherwise makes me question what you think a visionary is.

  14. 2 Thanks to localzuk:

    Arthur (7th October 2011), Oaktech (7th October 2011)

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    mthomas08's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oaktech View Post
    as i've said previously, what he did with apple, stimulated competition like very little else. Without Jobs and the IPhone, we would not have the competition/playing catchup from HTC and the like. Without Apple's aggressive marketing (and lets not be mistaken here, Apple IS mainly marketing) we would not have the choice NOT to use apple.
    I did read a nice discussion on another forum, many things pointed out that the designs that Apple actually came up with MP3 players (ITunes) already existed but Apple created something accessible. They took something that already existed and made it brilliant. I am no Apple fan but my IPhone (last I checked portable phones have existed well before IPhone) and the same for ITunes - just IPOD/IPHONE mixed it all together and made it work and work well. Again they took something that existed and made it work, MP3 players were already being made but Apple released their kit at a time when everyone was getting involved in gadgets.

    So to me the choices would already exist, maybe not as cheap or accessible (or as good?) but they still would. On the other hand you really do not know how much things would be different without the existance of Steve Jobs. A lot of ideas for the past 100 years have usually existed and some one had just come along and made something better/different. And you also have to remember that Apple is not just Steve Jobs it's 1000's of employees contributing to the company.

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    MK-2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    Yup, he was definitely a visionary. No-one is claiming that he designed and built the devices Apple made. But he did take the scraps of technology that was available, and ensure that the outcome was a groundbreaking, game changing product. He did this time and time again. Why else would there be so many people who admire him so much?
    There seems to always be a difficulty in separating Steve Jobs and Apple. You have just said he didn't do X Y or Z yet then say "he did this time and time again".
    Apple did this time and time again, not Steve Jobs.

    And feel free to question what I think a visionary is, I'm allowed to have a different idea and viewpoint to others

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    Hightower's Avatar
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    I don't think he was a visionary, in the same way that I don't believe fashion designers are visionaries (that's all he was to me, a fashion designer). The products that came out of Apple might have been 'cutting edge', especially in the appearance area, but to me Apple haven't done anything ground breaking. If he cured cancer, discovered the meaning of life, introduced world peace - then yes, he would be a visionary. For creating a bit of eye candy that millions seem helpless without, I think of him as nothing more than a shrewd businessman.

    @localzuk - I could quite easily ask you the same question, "what do you think a visionary is", and that question will be closely followed by a second question, "are you living on this planet?"

  18. Thanks to Hightower from:

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