Steve Jobs’ Age of the Digital Lifestyle

By Chief K.Masimba Biriwasha

Harare, Zimbabwe – Steve Jobs without doubt affected my world view through his trendsetting personal computer designs.I know this post is rather overdue but its something that I had to take off my heart. I’m so convinced as exemplified by Steve Jobs’ genius that when you follow your purpose you can touch the soul of the world.In my world, celebrating genius and excellence in whatever shape and form it comes is as vital as my every breath.

I first encountered Steve Jobs through his trendsetting  “Think Different” advertising campaign. Even though I didn’t own an Apple computer I – just like the rest of my friends – could not resist the temptation to just hang the “Think Different” campaign poster in my room.

Apparently, the campaign was created for Apple Computer in 1997 by the Los Angeles office of advertising agency TBWA\Chiat\Day. That campaign made me think of anything Apple as a smart alternative, an idea that was confirmed by the out-of-the box designs that defined Apple products. I guess the miracle lay in the text of the campaign which set Apple products apart by influencing a way of seeing the world:

Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. While some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do. – Apple Inc.

Apparently, the ad campaign marked the beginning of Apple’s re-emergence as technical giant. Isn’t it interesting that the “Think Different” has been criticized as a slogan for being grammatically incorrect. “Think” is a verb and should take the adverb, “differently”, not the adjective, “different”. The bottom line is that is broke the rules, and the campaign symbolised counterculture and leftist artsy intellectualism.

As I see it, the underlying philosophy of that ad campaign was that it did not trumpet product features and price but instead focused on brand image. In fact, a key rule of the campaign was that there would be no products in the ads.

Besides the products that he fashioned and his apparent genius, Jobs was tenacious, persistent and resilient. He suffered so many setbacks in his career but always came back with super-fantastic personal computing designs that wowed the whole world. According to Newsweek.com, Jobs didn’t just create products that instilled lust in consumers and enriched his company.

All in all, Jobs was a brilliant and protean creator whose inventions so utterly transformed the allure of technology. To me, he left behind a concept that I will forever seek to apply in my life and work: the simplicity of intelligent design. Jobs valued simplicity, utility and beauty in ways that shaped his creative imagination. He certainly left a significant mark that will forever influence the age of the digital lifestyle.

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