The retirement of Steve Jobs from active management at Apple has been commented on by many. Paul Saffo’s comment about the reconceptualization of the Internet experience resonates with much that LIRNEasia has been talking about.
The other point about not anchoring innovation on how consumers actually live their lives is more problematic. As the NYT says:
Mr. Jobs did not so much see around corners; he saw things in plain sight that others did not. “It’s not the consumer’s job to know what they want,” he explained.
Mr. Jobs has walked quickly and surely past conventional wisdom. He had no interest in market research. He did things his own way and expected the rest of the world to fall into line. He both brought the mouse into our homes and more or less killed it off, eliminated the floppy disk with the first iMac, and did away with the DVD on the MacBook Air, decisions that foretold the obsolescence of physical media. He shrank Web-enabled devices by piggybacking on the phone business, profoundly changing the way in which people consume media.
“Before the iPhone, cyberspace was something you went to your desk to visit,” said Paul Saffo, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur and longtime Apple watcher. “Now cyberspace is something you carry in your pocket.”