No sooner did Steve Jobs announce that he was stepping down as Apple’s CEO then a swarm of stories appeared singing his praises. Fair enough. Other stories pointed out that Jobs made mistakes. OK, I can see that too. What I don’t get is all the people who are saying that Jobs wasn’t that important. That is so wrong. If we could step into a parallel world without Jobs, I doubt you’d recognize it.
It’s true that Jobs was never a great developer or engineer. He hired great developers and engineers. He also wasn’t that original. Jobs’ gifts were fourfold: He could recognize great technology when he saw it; he had a great design aesthetic; once he had a vision, he stuck with it and made it work; and he could persuade others to back it.
Doesn’t sound like much? It was everything. Let’s visit Jobs-less Earth, shall we?