Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Steve Jobs Drove Innovation

Everyone knows and understands the mindset and the creativity that was Steve Jobs. Steve was a pioneer in so many things technology. Devices and innovations that the world takes for granted nowadays would not be in existence if not for the work of Steve and Apple. But one only has to look around, online and in stores, at the current tech device offerings to realize that the days of large scale, ground-breaking, innovative products have disappeared with Steve's passing. It is as if the creativity wheels stopped turning once the technology king was gone.
The current market of computers and media devices are a mixture of me-toos and semi-nextgen products. Tablets, MP3 players and smartphones are all regurgitated incarnations of devices past. These products are the same, except for a little more memory here, a little more battery life there and maybe a dash of extra pixels. All of this is interesting, but none of it is new or innovative to say the least. Tech consumers are forced to swallow the bitter pill that is "last year's device" with a few extra bells and lights.
But technology fans are used to the idea of next generation products. We are used to seeing updates and upgrades, as technology improves under the same device generation. But what is troubling is the trend of introducing updated and upgraded devices as "new" devices. This is a technology cop-out that does a huge dis-service to technology consumers. The modern "Techsumer," by virtue of his knowledge of technology, expects nothing less than new technology PRODUCTS from year to year, not updates and upgrades marketed as new products. For the most part this has happened -- until Steve passed away, that is.
Today there are no new breakthrough devices -- at least not from Apple, who "was" the default king of technology devices. Apple has given way to Samsung, LG, Google and others who realized (most unknowingly) that once Steve was gone, the walls of the Kingdom of Apple would soon start to crumble. Without Steve's tenacity and guidance, Apple would be taken over by paper-pushers and accountants, who have little or no creative blood in the veins to speak of. Hence the current array of "nothing new" Apple products.
Creatives tend to struggle in the business world. Our ideals and concepts do not speak to profit, nor do they speak to ease-of manufacturing or low cost. Creatives are the engine that generates all that is new and exciting, ground breaking, and game changing. Steve was a Creative. But what he brought along with that creativity, was the balls to force the paper-pushers into not making me-too products. He was a Creative Driver.
What is left for us currently is a mass of kinda cool, kinda better products. Nothing awe-inspiring, nothing truly paradigm shifting, nothing really original, and nothing innovative.
There is now a place in the technology realm for a new king. Someone who would take the wheels of creativity, roll up their sleeves, and start challenging the status quo with actual new products. The question remains -- who will this person be?

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