When Apple introduced the iPad I thought Steve Jobs has finally gone nuts.
It happens to great leaders all the time; they ride a wave of success as a result of a chain of great decisions. Then they get carried away, make a bad one, and fall from grace.
Happened to Steve’s role model, Polaroid founder and mastermind Edwin Land. His star fell when his then-latest baby, the Polavision motion cameras were too late to compete.
In March 2010, I thought Steve’s turn has come.
I simply couldn’t see what was magical about the iPad. It’s just a big iPod Touch or iPhone, I thought. Technically, that’s correct.
What I couldn’t see behind the specification data was the vision, and how it could improve our lives.
I’ve always thought a tablet had to be a keyboard-less laptop, not a big smartphone. A full-blown OS X, with a real mouse-like pointer, yes, but a smartphone operating system?!? I was not amused.
Steve, of course, knew better. True to himself he’s done no market research, because it’s not the customer’s job to know what they want. He knew that the iPad would sell, simply because he had the clear vision. He felt what the portable internet computer – the iPod Touch and the iPhone – could do if it wasn’t limited by the small screen.
He saw the iPad in hotel receptions, at dentists, in grandmas hands, in hospices and on the crowded trains of Tokyo, long before it ever happened.
And it has.
For one, it has brought the Internet to places it hasn’t been to before. To people who are not confident or interested in using a computer. Good and clever people like my father who are simply freaked out by the cumbersome keyboard and mouse input still dominating today.
For two, it has made netbooks look stupid. Which was about time. Netbooks are the technological embodiment of poverty mentality. They’re an abomination from hell, and I’ve agreed with Steve slamming them from the start. That was obvious enough. Using a netbook is like getting access to this huge library and infinite playground – but you’re only allowed stand at the door and peer through the keyhole. How is that any fun? (Want to cripple your browsing experience? Get a netbook. Want to enjoy it? Get an iPad or a MacBook Air, whichever fits your expertise and budget. More smiles, less stress.)
I simply couldn’t see all this before it happened. He did.
And it still make wonder. Just how strong has one’s vision has be to base a 100+ million dollar product on it? One that could easily bomb if wrong?
I think it’s an awe-inspiring example of leadership, creation and faith. The Bible says all things were created by faith. Not a coincidence I guess. Seeing that which is not physical before it becomes physical.
Now with this realization I re-dedicate myself to working on myself, specifically in the areas of leadership, vision, and developing a purpose on a new level.
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