WordPress has a pretty full functioned blogging tool for the iPad which I’ve used twice now. Once for the blog about my covers and how cool the iPad is for the artist inside you. And now the passing of Steve Jobs, which I caught after I had already gone to bed and was sneaking some browsing time when I couldn’t get to sleep. The WP tool is especially useful for this sort of short posts and it illustrates a key attribute of the iPad its immediacy and availability at almost any moment to catch a thought, a picture, a moment.
I’m currently using it to track a recurrence of infection in an old injury. Taking pictures (with a seperate camera because I have an iPad 1 not 2) and putting them in keynote with some notes as to the date and progression of the issue. This also illustrates the power of the iPad as a life tool. I used this to brief my doctor on the issue, and as they say a picture is worth a thousand words. There are medical record apps and in the long run this will be how we access our centralized medical records.
Returning to Steve Jobs, I am sure that he did not design the iPad but he was key in many fundamental decisions that brought it forth. He was even more central in establishing the infrastructure that makes it a compelling tool masquerading as a toy.
Mr. Jobs saw that the PC model was failing the Tech world, as was the Cell phone model. He’d always had problems with those models, I think foreseeing their eventual collapse into commodity cannibalism.
He also understood that while the interface to the user is only part of the story, it is an incredibly important part. I said the other day, in some ways the iPad seems like an extension of my body. It is generally so easy that you can pick it up and start using it almost immediately after watching someone else manipulate it for a while, if you have an iPhone there is no learning curve. And even though it has some almost crippling weaknesses (lack of a true filing system up to this point being one) it is still so useful, so compelling that it has become a principle interface to the world
It was this sort of gestalt that Steve Jobs ‘got’ far earlier than his near peers. I think/hope that he taught the concept by example to the younger generation of visionary entrepreneurs who are and will follow.
Guttenberg was not the inventor of the printing press per se or of moveable type (really) but he was the person who put them together. He is perhaps the most important person in ‘the modern era.’ Steve Jobs was our Guttenberg. Many will say this is overwrought that Guttenberg was much more singular….but I would argue that in his own way Steve Jobs was just as singular perhaps more so, because he had to wade through and stand above the tidal surge of ideas and voices that is the modern tech world, and had to do so over an extended period.