There are many ways the world moves forward. Politically, it takes the work of millions and the guidance and patience of the gifting and giving. In most areas of life, change happens because it must, not because it would be a better way.
And that’s, perhaps, what’s most amazing about the way that Steve Jobs changed the world, time and again. He looked at computing and thought that everyone should have it. So he found a way for everyone to have it.
He looked at typography and recognized it’s power, and thought that everyone should have it, and then found a way.
He looked at music and saw how it connected people and improved lives, and saw also how the industry was lost and suffering, and in many ways, damaging the way music touches people. So he found a new way to keep it with you, get it from the artists, get everyone paid, and just overall make it better.
He looked at phones. Ugh. He even mentioned how much we all hated our mobiles. On stage. At a keynote. It was after he had shown off, the prior year, the Motorola ROKR, which failed in it’s demo, and Steve’s disdain for this piece of crap was palpable. So he, being him, gathered up the brilliant people that he’d access to and cleared the rest of the bullshit in their lives out and asked for a world changing phone. He got it, and the world hasn’t looked the same since.
This week, the fifth generation, dubbed the iPhone 4S, arrives. It’s progress is subtle, because not every change needs to change the world in obvious, dramatic ways. Sometimes it’s better to be unexpected, seemingly already-known, so that you can do something completely unheard of.