What If Steve Jobs Never Existed?

Legends don't die

On the 5th of October 2011, The man who had breathed life into Pixar and had given the world Apple passed away, surrounded by his immediate family. Once a college dropout and an adopted child, few would expect his work to leave such a profound impact on the world, shaping this very generation. The question is though, to what extent? 

No Apple

And by extension, no iPods, so we'd all be walking around with Walkmen or worse - Zunes.

How sexy are these babies?
With Apple, Steve revolutionized the way we listen to music. The fabulous hardware aside, Apple developed iTunes which in turn made buying music so much easier, and on a whole, it gave portable music a vital boost. And by vital, we're talking about "had Apple never come into being, we'd still be driving to the record store for music", and "had Apple never come into being, we'd be forced to buy entire albums instead of just the songs you liked". Music rapidly came to be at our fingertips, and it didn't stop there. From the iPod, Apple developed the iPhone, which as we all might remember, caused quite a stir in the mobile phone industry, forcing phone giants like Nokia and Blackberry to reinvent their definition of the smartphone and the multi touch just to remain able to compete. Some of you may not like the iPhone all that much because you're not cool enough for it, but you have to admit that without the iPhone, we wouldn't have Android. Take that, haters.

Apple personalized the computer. Back in the day when Jobs and Wozniak still worked in a garage, they created the world's first personal computer; today, we call them Macs. This sparked a revolution in computing, and I believe that we can almost certainly say that without Apple around, technological development in home computing wouldn't have occurred as rapidly as it did. Without Apple, there would have been nothing to challenge Microsoft. Expect monopoly, and slow growth from there; we wouldn't have Windows 7 right now, seeing as how Mac-inspired it is (much like some of Microsoft's other products). Why, if the Microsoft behemoth didn't have anyone to challenge it, we'd probably be working on the latest Windows 2000 right now!


No Pixar

Back when the company we know now to be Pixar was still a part of Lucasfilm, Steve took a chance and invested 5 million dollars, right out of his own pocket, in these people. He had complete faith in their vision to create the world's first computer generated feature film, and after a rather tumultuous start, Pixar leapt to the fore with Toy Story. This company, as iconic as Apple was (and still is) in its field, went on to produce the finest 3D films the world has ever seen, going on to inspire and entertain millions worldwide, including myself. 
Much like Steve's desire to innovate, Pixar did the same for the film industry. Blowing sceptics away with Toy Story, Pixar began a glorious new era in filmmaking, proving to the world that storytelling knows no bounds. Without Pixar, we wouldn't have Dreamworks, Blue Sky, or any other computer animation studio. None of the technology that came with Pixar would have been developed, or rather, it would've developed a lot more slowly, and the film industry would have looked a lot different.

Oh and I'm sure some of you recall Pixar being bought over by Disney several years ago, unless you're one of the ignorant few who think Pixar is Disney (shame on you).

Steve sold it for about 7.2 billion dollars. 

To A Visionary

As much as I'd hope to agree with all of this, one cannot guarantee that a lack of Steve Jobs would result in the failure to progress in these fields. In a universe as hypothetical as this one, it is likely that someone else would have revolutionized film and technology, though not in the way Steve would have intended it. To paraphrase a fitting quote, "for as long as we can continue to develop, there will always be someone to rise up to the occasion". That's why people like Steve Jobs come into being, to fill those shoes to do something as crazy as changing the way the world looked at computing; to do something as crazy as reinventing the way we looked at handheld gadgets; to do something as crazy as to pour millions of dollars into the dreams of a few equally crazy animators. 

Many years ago, Steve once famously said this.

Here's to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes... the ones who see things differently -- they're not fond of rules... You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can't do is ignore them because they change things... they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.

And as "crazy" as he was, he truly turned out to be the sort of genius he once spoke of. He truly was a visionary and an inspiration to us all. The world will remember Steve Jobs for his charisma, his innovation, and his unique vision, and he will remain an inspiring figure to us all.

“Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of other's opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” - Steve Jobs


JV said...

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Anonymous said...

steve jobs improved tech but he was no edison, world would we about same without him

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