A tribute? To Steve Jobs? On a gaming community site?
Erm, yes! Absolutely! And here’s why;
Gaming owes it’s global transcendence to the leading form of media / entertainment worldwide to many things. But have no doubt that Steve Jobs’ role in this rise is no small part.
When you combine his drive of the original personal computing revolution, his leadership at Pixar in the computer animation arena and his genius in pioneering the iPhone “uber-media-mobile”, (which today outsells Nintendo & Sony portables) you can see that he very much has shaped the gaming landscape by truly bringing gaming to the masses. When you look at mobile gaming today you are talking about Nintendo, Sony and Apple, (with Android leading “the rest”), and Apple’s rise and rise to be counted amongst these two gaming giants as an equal, in any form, is quite simply astounding considering the time it has had to do so. The company responsible for moving mobile gaming towards a touch based control method and doing so in such a tiny, pleasing, multi-functional and beautiful package that it was propelled from nowhere to industry leader in, what in industry terms is, little more than the blink of an eye.
Steve Jobs changed the mobile gaming industry, forever and for the better. Fact.
But, today is a day to appreciate not just what he has done for you, but a little more about the man himself, to truly ponder the awesomeness of Steve, so, let’s take a moment to step back and learn about / remember the man behind the myth, the real Steve Jobs…
Steve Jobs was born in San Fransisco on February the 24th, 1955, to Joanne Carole Schieble, an American of Swiss and German descent, and Abdulfattah John Jandali, a Syrian Muslim immigrant. Under pressure from her parents, and fearing scandal, Ms Schieble had travelled to San Francisco to have the baby and give it up for adoption immediately to Paul & Clara Jobs, an Armenian couple. In addition to Patti his adopted sister, his biological parents had married and provided him with Mona, the biological sister he would not meet until he was 27, but of whom he would later say; “We’re family. She’s one of my best friends in the world.”
It was during his later school years that his interest in computing emerged, during which time he spent time working at Hewlett Packard (along-side future Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak), before working as a technician at Atari, the first great giant of computer gaming. Following success at the company he then founded Apple, in 1976, with Wozniak and Ronald Wayne but it wasn’t until 1984 that they had their first major success with the “Macintosh”, the first successful consumer computer with a graphical user interface.
Following a period of industry hardship Steve & Apple parted ways, giving him the “space” to once again be “liberated” and allowing him to found “NeXT Computer” (1990) which developed workstations famed for their technical capability, including the first built in Ethernet port, and pioneering object-oriented development environment. He followed this almost immediately with the NeXTcube (also 1990) which featured the first successful “rich” messaging client; NeXTMail, which supported voice, image & video over email. The high cost of manufacture to meet Steve’s exacting standards eventually led NeXT to move complete away from hardware development and into software (1993) by 1996 things had come full circle as NeXT was acquired by Apple Inc, for $429 million, who used it’s WebObjects technology to power the Apple Store, MobileMe and the iTunes Store.
It was in this year, with proceeds from the sale, that Steve bought Pixar for $10 million from LucasArts. Initially a hardware company, Steve moved them into the computer animation space and through a partnership with Disney global success with their series of co-produced CGI family films. Following a less than smooth relationship with Disney Jobs negotiated the sale of Pixar to Disney in 2006 for a cool $7.4 billion. A return of $7.39 billion on his original investment!
Simultaneous with his work with Pixar he now re-took his position at the top of Apple, following it’s acquisition of NeXT, steering them through tough times and completely transforming both their direction and success during the “2000s” by championing the iPod, iTunes, iPhone and iPad, which catapulted Apple to become the most valuable company in the world briefly in 2011, perhaps the crowning achievement for an adopted boy who never let his passion and vision for technology as an agent of positive & life-enriching change dim in the face of the many, many challenges he faced in life…
Steve, we salute you, perhaps this age’s greatest innovator, but also never afraid to lead as a maverick, industrialist, polymath, visionary & businessman… Oh, and the dude who finally let us play proper games on our phones… finally!!
You will be missed… and we think more than anyone yet realises…
- Richard “Rax” Burley