9 votes

Less Human Than Human: The Design Philosophy of Steve Jobs

2 comments

  1. [2]
    sharpstick
    Link
    It is clear from this article that the author does not like Jobs one bit so I don't know if she is intentionally failing to paint a complete portrait of Jobs or if she truly only see him through...

    It is clear from this article that the author does not like Jobs one bit so I don't know if she is intentionally failing to paint a complete portrait of Jobs or if she truly only see him through the lens of art. Either way, portraying Jobs as a failure as a "profiteer, charlatan with little imagination or intelligence" because he was not sufficiently artistic, wildly misses the point of Job's passion and his impact on the way we use technology. 

    Jobs understood the value of good design and had very particular tastes for the products that Apple produced. And while he took advantage of all the good that excellent design can bring, he was not out to create art. For Jobs, design was a means to an end, and that was to revolutionize how humans used computers to make their lives better and extend their capabilities. Jobs was not interested in making personal statements of artistic expression, he wanted to provide the tools that helped amplify the artistic statements of others. 

    One of the key motivating forces behind Job's and his work was the idea that humanity, on its own was only fairly average, but, with the use of tools, the innate human capacity was multiplied many times over. He often referred to Apple computers as “bicycles for the mind.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rTRzYjoZhIY This is Job's unique vision and contribution, the ability and desire to do the difficult, tedious design work up front so that the computer disappeared and the user was more directly connected to his or her work. Design was a means to an end and Jobs utilized it successfully. 

    To be sure, there are we can criticize Jobs for many things, but to fault him for not being artistic enough seems a bit willfully obtuse. 

    11 votes
    1. onyxleopard
      Link Parent
      I agree this is a bad take on Jobs and a bad take on Apple and some of their marketing/advertising. “Think Different” was a reaction to the DECs and IBMs and Microsofts of the industry. Was Jobs a...

      I agree this is a bad take on Jobs and a bad take on Apple and some of their marketing/advertising. “Think Different” was a reaction to the DECs and IBMs and Microsofts of the industry. Was Jobs a capitalist? To the umpteenth degree. Was Jobs a humanist? I don’t know. I don’t really care. But he sure was able to build a team of humanists at Apple and NeXT and later again at Apple who crafted computers for humans.

      If we are forced to rank individuals by how philanthropic they are or how much their taste aligns with our own then sorry, Bustillos, but there are billions ahead of you. Jobs was never an artist or craftsman, so I fail to see how judging him on that scale is productive either. Basically, I don’t like the premise of pieces like this. If you’re willing to deliberately set up bad, subjective metrics and insist on measuring people by them anyway, you’re going to end up taking everyone down. Jobs made Apple very successful. If you don’t like Apple or their products, don’t buy them or use them. But more importantly, if you’re a writer, write about what you know. If you don’t know anything about the domain of personal computers, maybe pick a different subject to direct your veiled contempt at.

      4 votes