The idolized takeover of Apple by its co-founder Steve Jobs gives you goosebumps, but the number of similarities it bears with Edison is even more impressive.
It was there when the personal computer (PC – Personal Computer) was born. He had his second appearance. He restored a very unhealthy society. And throughout his career, he changed our perception of music, movies, phones and computers.
Granted, it’s not “The Greatest Story Ever Told,” but it’s still a script of startling zigs, inspiring zags, and a host of satisfying payoffs.
It’s easy to call what Apple (Nasdaq: APPL – news – people) co-founder Steve Paul Jobs forged ‘a religion’, because there are some telling clues: cheering crowds, communal rituals presentations of new products, as well as signs and symbols. In this regard, what first comes to mind is the famous cover of Wired magazine displaying the apple of the Apple logo, entangled in thorns and under which is written the incitement “Pray”. And then there’s Jobs as an individual: the billionaire in a black funnel-neck sweater, the miracle worker in New Balance sneakers.
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One day, these simple sneakers will become beloved relics. “A hundred years from now, you’ll see that people are still collecting black funnel neck sweaters and ripped-one-side blue jeans,” predicts Roger McNamee, a veteran tech investor. (Editor’s note: McNamee is a partner at Elevation Partners, a company that invests minority funds in media dependent on Forbes magazine.
After all, it was Jobs who launched the industry. personal computer, such as the Macintosh. He returned to run Apple, embodying a trumpeting renaissance there. He remade films at Pixar studios. He undertook the creation of the iPod and the iPhone.
“He’ll definitely be in the history textbooks, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they highlighted him more prominently than Bill Gates,” says Charlie Wolf, an analyst at Needham & Company who, like McNamee, took as a model Jobs’ career since the beginning of his career.
After all, it was Jobs, not Gates, who made the personal computer (first with the first Apple computer he developed with Steve Wozniak, then with the Macintosh, which made the user interface famous a graphic that Gates later strove to replicate with his Microsoft
Plus, unlike Gates, Jobs reinvented not just computers, but movies, music, and the telephone as well.Jobs has simply shaken up our view of the technological world, having chained together more crucial periods for technology in the last 25 years than anyone. In McNamee’s words, “He will be to the early 21st century what Thomas Edison was to the early 20th century. Edison was an inventor in an era where the Age of Inventions reigned, just as Jobs is a product in an era where the Age of Products reigned. That‘s a comparison that fits Jobs just like his designer shoes do, because he made his accomplishments a perfect fit for an extremely American context. After all, Jobs no more invented the factors that determine the digital age than Edison invented electric light.
What the two did (for rather lucrative ends) was weave new technologies into systems that made them useful to the rest of us. Apple’s iTunes software is to digital music what Edison’s Pearl Street power station was to a light bulb—two pieces of infrastructure that have turned an artifact into a real business.
The biographies of Edison and Jobs also have clear similarities. Edison was always an active person: he sold vegetables and sweets while tinkering with new technologies in his spare time, on trains or telegraph offices. Meanwhile, Jobs and Steve Wozniak, the co-founder of Apple, began their careers selling gadgets that unlock phones, allowing free calls, and they patched up computers for computer enthusiasts.
Later, Edison will lead teams of technologists rather than working as a solitary handyman, founding companies like General Electric throughout his life (NYSE/New York Stock Exchange: GE – news – people).
Jobs is also famous for recruiting engineers and dictating to them the design steps for new products, thus building empires around them. Jobs’s career, like that of Edison at the time, is filled with what would be, in the eyes of other men, once-in-a-lifetime creations.
Even the conflict, which pitted Edison’s direct current system against George Westinghouse’s alternating current system (commonly known as the “War of the Currents”), reflects the rivalry between Macintosh operating systems and DOS software. and Windows, designed by Microsoft.
We cannot know when the Jobs story will end. That of Edison, however, tells us the following: During the last months of his life, Edison supervised the development of the electric train, installed between the towns of Hoboken and Dover, in New Jersey. When the train left the station in 1931, Edison was at the controls of the accelerator. It stayed there from start to finish.