via MacBook Air, Ultrabook spell doom for optical drive | Nanotech – The Circuits Blog – CNET News
Apple is different. The Apple of Steve Jobs held focus groups in contempt. In essence, Jobs believed consumers don’t know what they want until you give it to them. So, present them with a MacBook Air–as Apple did in January 2008–and consumers will eventually come around.
I pretty much found this to be the case in my professional life as well. Focus groups/committees just are not forward looking. They tend to be stuck in the past. If you have something forward looking, that will of course be a change, they will resist it. I don’t know how many times I stumbled across this fact!
Of course Apple was the company to introduce the “mouse” (they are now in the process of eliminating even that). Microsoft scorned the mouse/graphical user interface idea as being totally unnecessary. Apple was also the first one to eliminate the floppy disk from their computers. I imagine there are regular computer users today who don’t even know what a floppy is According to this article they are now in the process of removing CD drives and I will attest to the fact that my MacBook Air works very well without that and without the humming hard drive as well. It has been replaced by a solid-state drive. I never dreamed I would someday be using a half inch thick three pound laptop with no moving parts as my main computer but thanks to Apple that is the case today.
I want to finish off with the Jobs quote that I used in the title of this post. The consuming public is just not one to know what they want before they see it. That is why the innovators among us are so valuable. We in the U.S. have claimed the title of world “innovators” and rightly so. But it seems that we are losing that edge as well. If you read the biographies of most of the famous innovators they were found to have troubled childhoods in that they just did not conform to the kids of their day. Most often they were considered trouble makers as they weren’t inclined to do what the other kids do. We have an answer to those types of kids today and that is to drug that sort of behavior out of them. Are we in the process of eliminating our next generation of innovators? I certainly hope not but it is a possibility isn’t it?
The area of innovation is one where China or India just can’t seem to compete with us, at least up till now. China, especially, is trained from birth to just go-along. Different thinking is very much discouraged in those environments. Maybe that fidgety kid who sits next to you in church will be the next Edison/Ford/Einstein/ Jobs. That is if we let him just be himself.
But what do I know…
I recently came across the commencement address Steve Jobs gave at Stanford in June 2005. It was quite inspiring in its content, even for a guy like me who is on the down hill slide rather than starting up the mountain as the Stanford graduates were. About a year before this event Steve was diagnosed with Pancreatic cancer and given three to six months to live. Most of us know that he actually lived another seven years. Here are some inspiring words from that address:
Don’t get trapped by dogma – which is living the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others 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 was a very driven person who lived by these words. He and many entrepreneurs like him are pretty much responsible for our prosperity in the last few decades. Of course he followed in the footsteps of people like Edison, Ford, and Einstein. It takes thinking outside the box to introduce the new ideas that spur the jobs of tomorrow. No, our prosperity doesn’t come from inherited wealth which is passed on from one undeserving generation to the next, it comes from those who think outside the box. I can’t help but feel that with our addiction to drugs, no I am not talking about the illegal ones but the ones of the prescription variety, that we may be squashing our future leaders in this area. It seems that today as a youth if you have an “inner voice” that is different from others you would most likely would be labeled an ADD kid. If you follow your heart and intuition you may likely be put into some “special” education class.
Are we drugging the innovation out of our current crop of kids? I very much suspect that if Albert Einstein was born in the 21st century he would likely have been drugged. Let’s hope that this observation by just an ordinary guy such as myself is inaccurate but I have a gut feeling that there is at least some truth to this thought. Even as a senior I seem to be told by more than one person that since I don’t see the world as many do that I am somehow either getting carried away or need some medication (ha). I can’t imagine the pressure that some kids have on them today in this area.
I hope I am wrong and Steve Jobs’ advice can be fulfilled by the kids around today. Don’t get trapped into thinking that if you are different you are somehow defective. Don’t let anyone drown out your inner voice even if it seems different from the kids around you. Follow your heart and particularly your intuition when looking at the world around you. We absolutely need these types of traits in our future crop of inventors and thinkers the same as we have had in the past. Without them we may likely be trapped into the feeling that we as a nation have seen our best days and they are behind us.
To all you younger generations out there, Stay Hungry for knowledge and insight beyond what might be considered normal. Stay foolish in dreaming things that others can’t see. We are depending on you!
I guess everybody who has looked at any news source yesterday know that Steve Jobs, one of the founders of Apple Computer, passed away this week of pancreatic cancer. He was only 56 years old. Steve was definitely not one who was afraid of pushing the envelope of life and particularly our technology life. In that regard he was a hero of mine. I myself pushed the status quo a few times in my technical life but nothing compared to him.
In 1970, when Steve was fifteen years old, I started out my career as an electric engineer. Then in the early 1980s desktop computers were coming on the scene. I quickly latched on to one and spent hours writing programs for it. Soon after we “young” engineers had Apple Macintosh computers sitting on our desks. The computer center frowned on them but basically ignored them. They said they were not real computers. It wasn’t long before we managed to network our computers by stringing wires in the ceiling. About then I started to write programs that my fellow engineers found useful in their work.
Fast forward a few more years and I was spending almost all of my work life developing applications for our “unofficial” Apple network. As the years went by the computer center folks finally gave in a declared that maybe this Macintosh stuff was here to stay and reluctantly agreed to start supporting our “outlaw” network. That is when my official transition from electrical engineering to information technology took place. I was never too happy with my EE hat but couldn’t get enough of the computer stuff. I felt like a kid again! If it hadn’t been for Steve I might have dredged through thirty years in the electrical field instead of finding my true career path.
In the early 1990s an edict came down from corporate headquarters that everyone would be moving to Windows PCs. It was quite a fight with us in the engineering division but of course the big bosses won out and we said goodbye to our Macs. I have been using Windows PCs since that day but have recently decided to move back to a Mac. I think it was Steve Jobs who called the Windows PC a “giant hairball” and there is certainly some validity to that statement. Due to having an open architecture and having to support many versions of computers and software the Windows operating system is indeed a very complex hairball.
Steve Jobs and Apple chose a different route and that was to maintain control of their own software and to let old legacy computer go to their natural death. For that reason there are basically no virus issues with Macs today. I look forward to once again being able to leave my computer on for days at a time without having to do a system reset or a check for the latest virus software. So, here I am a previous “Mac” guy getting ready to return to the fold. I continue to be somewhat of a renegade today so Macs fit right in with my rebellious personality. So, here is to you Steve for making my life a lot more enjoyable even in my senior years.
While the governor of Indiana, where I currently reside, is not a Tea Partier he does seem to think along the same line. First of all we were told when he first came into office that the reason that more businesses did not move to Indiana was because they thought we were backwards. The reason for us being backwards, at least according to him,was that we did not change our clocks two times a year as most other States do. We quit doing that about twenty-five years ago. It just didn’t make much sense for us ordinary Hoosiers to be going to bed at 10PM and it was still light outside. Anyway our illustrious governor convinced enough of us (but I was certainly not one of them) that if we changed our clocks businesses would come rushing into the State. After about five years of jumping back and forth with the clocks now I have yet to hear that giant strong sucking sound of business coming into give us jobs. We are in the same situation as before his great idea.
We should have learned our lessons from that event but that didn’t seem to be the case. The next great idea was that to balance our State budget all we had to do was sell off some of our State’s assets. We have a toll road along the northern edge of our state that generates millions of dollars a year in income. The governor went on the hunt for someone to sell it to. He found and Austrian company (I think) that would take a ninety nine year lease on the road. There was enough money involved in the sale so he could balance his budgets for the rest of his term. The problem was that by selling the toll road he was giving up billions of dollars in future earning that could be used by future governors. But, like the tea party folks he was just concerned for his own circumstance and not the future beyond his that time.
There is talk of getting our governor, who President Bush (baby bush that is) nicknamed “my man Mitch” to run for president in 2012! If by some quirk of circumstances he should win the presidency we could all look forward to him selling off the country’s assets to make him look good. How about instead of the Washington Monument we call it the GE Monument. I’m sure they could turn the mall into a big parking garage and make some big bucks. The Lincoln Memorial, no problem. Sell that property to Apple and they could replace the statue there with one of Steve Jobs. After all the Apple lovers seem to think he is some kind of god who certainly deserves his own monument.
The Chinese are buying our country through the back door anyway via our trade deficiet so why not just sell off some assets off before they take title to the country. Maybe “Our Man Mitch” has the right idea after all. I’m sure there are all kinds of rogue countries who would like to buy some of our spare nuclear bombs. That is if the price were right. Let’s have a giant fire sale!!
But what do I know.