Since his death on October 5, 2011, Steve Jobs has remained a beloved figure in Silicon Valley and comparable tech and innovation hubs around the world. His story — professional and personal — left a John Hancock-sized signature on the modern world’s ever-changing realization of the American Dream.
The technological legacy of Mr. Jobs, if required to be simplified in an industry defined by complication, was his gift for welcoming people into his vision of us connected and empowered through our own individualism. And his vision was first a revolutionary kind of personal computer (Macintosh), which evolved into a revolutionary personal music player (iPod) to a revolutionary phone (iPhone) and so on. Mr. Jobs knew that in order for people to buy into his vision — literally and figuratively — he would need his technological innovations to say something this evolving tech had never said before — literally and figuratively:
The following video clip is from the beginning of the critically-acclaimed film ‘Steve Jobs’ directed by Oscar-winner Danny Boyle and starring Michael Fassbender and Oscar-winner Kate Winslet that recreates the morning-of struggle to fix a malfunctioning Macintosh computer before its big reveal to the world in 1984. The source material for this 2015 movie was based on the critically-acclaimed and biographical book Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson.
(FYI – There is one f-word spoken in the following video clip)
Now watch the real-life Macintosh reveal by the real Steve Jobs from 1984.
Why write a blog post about this Steve Jobs presentation from 35 years ago?
As Silicon Valley giants (cough cough Facebook) continue to face increasingly serious questions about its “supposed” commitment to privacy concerning user data, which most of us access through Apple product(s), it’s important to remember — for all of us — why we were so excited to welcome groundbreaking personal technology into our homes and lives more than three decades ago. These devices have transformed us for better and for worse to varying degrees. Jimmy’s Daily Planet has covered this subject matter and specifically how Apple CEO Tim Cook has targeted privacy and transparency as a cornerstone of his tenure leading the company. Mr. Cook’s privacy priority is admirable in this day and age for such a major, transformative player to take a reassuring stand in an industry with social media companies that are actively being confronted with user data issues.
How can tech giants return to the days of the mid-1980s shown above that were filled with optimism about the future by plugging into personal technology?
Like when Steve Jobs’ NeXT company failed spectacularly after getting fired by Apple’s board in 1985 in part because of the original Macintosh computer’s failure in the market, tech giants will likely stumble for a few years before righting the ship. But let’s remember that Steve Jobs ultimately rebounded for a comeback of a lifetime that came (after) NeXT. Mark Zuckerberg is not Steve Jobs, but he better take inspiration from him quickly to find a resolution in the same vein as Mr. Jobs with the same success and consumer support. The hope is the solution to the aforementioned problem will arrive sooner rather than later, but we’ll just have to wait and see on this critical societal concern.
For now, the public should be looking at personal technology and its apps with the excitable possibilities of Apple’s “hello” circa 1984 instead of a particular social media giant causing public concern with “goodbye personal privacy and security?” circa, well, today.
P.S. Facebook launching a cryptocurrency called Libra? Try addressing user privacy concerns first.