Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish

The iPad is here. Finally, after months of waiting, humongous media frenzy, and a lot of people putting it down, i guess thousands have already been sold – in a day. And trust me, the sales will continue – Apple Inc. will get richer, hundreds of copied gadgets will be made, and a new industry will be defined.

How does Apple, and more specifically, Steve Jobs do it?

Lets forget the techie side for a moment. And lets concentrate on the iPad. A lot of techies and ‘tech’ sites have put down the iPad due to the lack of flash, a lack of multitasking, a lack of a camera etc. etc. etc. I agree. The iPad could have been much better with all of these. But, somehow, most of these people have not focused on what the iPad has (in lieu of what it does not).

And what it has – like all other Apple products – is the Human component. And by this, i do not mean a bio-engineering marvel – but the association a human being will form with the gadget. Jobs philosophy has been concentrating on this element from the very beginning. According to him, a gadget, or a computer is not just a tool – but something that becomes a part of your life. Its something you form an association with – an emotional attachment. And this is what always has made Jobs, and Apple a winner.

I am a fanboy (and i know i can get pretty irritating at times) – but i still run a desktop that runs windows. A macbook is the only apple product i own. Never bought an ipod (always thought it was a waste of money) and havent owned an iphone (chose a blackberry instead – dunno why, but i did). But my Mac, is something i cannot live without. It sleeps with me, next to me on my bed – and wakes up with me as soon as i get up. I never shut it down – just close the lid (and i still fancy the ‘breathing’ white LED) – And in my three years of owning my mac, i have understood the human element. I have formed an emotional attachment with my laptop – and its not just because of the form (although that is an important element – it is a gorgeous looking laptop) – its also because of the hardware – and more importantly the software – how the software becomes an extension of me – how everything is where its supposed to be – and everything does what it is supposed to do.

I have used computers since MS-DOS 3.1. And have never experienced this in anything. Even my desktop fails to deliver this – even though it is top-end hardware – but all together – form, hardware, software – it just fails to reach where my mac reaches – nothing against windows. I think it is a great OS – and will always be – but what it lacks – is that human element. It has been designed to do everything possible – but from a very technological point of view. Not human.

Coming back to the iPad – yes – it lacks everything that people talk about – but then – if it did have all that, it would be a proper computer. Which it isnt supposed to be. The ipad is for a specific market – and specific tasks. Thats what it is designed to be. And that, it delivers – and delivers it to the people who want it. Of course, if you are someone whose entire life goes in punching number into excel and looking at graphs on spreadsheets, the iPad (or even a Mac) is not for you.

And all this brings me to the topic of this post – “Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish”. These words are the ending quote of a commencement address given by Steve Jobs at Stanford University. Listen to his speech – it completely tells you why Apple (and more specifically Steve Jobs) delivers what it does.

Two things struck me in the speech – first, a quote ‘youve gotto find what you love’ – whether it is what you do, or who you spend your life with – you are not going to be happy unless you find what you love – and you are not going to be the best at it. And second – about how you can only connect the dots looking into the past, but not into the future.

It is inspiring – listen to it. It will be fifteen minutes well spent.

Steve Jobs’ 2005 Stanford Commencement Address

Many people spend there entire lives, just making a mark in one industry. Jobs completely revolutionized 4, in one lifetime – Computer, Music, Mobile Phones and Animation. Thats achievement. And that, deserves respect. And that just doesnt happen with fluke. Fanboys are not just created by chance or by marketing gimmicks. Full respect to the man. And rest assured – the ‘mobile computing’ industry – is witnessing a revolution as i type this.

And yes. The iPad is probably going to be the second apple product i own. Soon. Very soon.

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