The Most Important Question Around Steve Jobs’ Death
Visionary, maven, creative genius and revolutionary – these are some of the words that have been used to describe the legend of Steve Jobs. The popular imagination has it that without him we would not have been able to bring so much information to so much of the world’s population so quickly.
“He transformed our lives,” said Barack Obama, “redefined entire industries, and achieved one of the rarest feats in human history: he changed the way each of us sees the world.”
All the media statements imply that without Jobs we would not have achieved the communications revolution. But is that really the case? Another way of looking at the situation is that had Jobs never been, would we not have had Apple and its key products, the Ipod, Iphone and Ipad?
Had Steve Jobs Never Been Would We Still Have Apple?
Popular view would say no. Without his insight, creative genius and vision Apple’s key products would not have come to fruition. But I am going to argue that we would.
Graham Bell’s eureka moment by the riverside is well known in the annals of innovation. What is less known, but equally remarkable, is the day he registered his patent. Hours before Bell was in the patent office registering the telephone another inventor was in registering the same thing.
What an incredible coincidence, you might think. But this phenomenon of simultaneous independent discovery is widespread. So widespread, in fact, it is rather the norm than the exception.
Evolution was discovered simultaneously by Darwin and Alfred Wallace. Calculus was simultaneously and independently formulated in the 17th century by Isaac Newton, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz and others. Oxygen was discovered simultaneously and independently in the 18th century by Carl Wilhelm Scheele, Joseph Priestley, Antoine Lavoisier and others. There are well over 100 discoveries in science that have been achieved independently by multiple people all around the same time.Continued on the next page