Short Bytes: Normally, we’re under the impression that great products take shape thanks to a person’s unique vision or hindsight, but Steve Jobs’ version is purely based on negative inspiration. The late co-founder of Apple shared a lot of disdain for Microsoft, and particularly one employee. It is quite fascinating that this led to the creation of one of the most impressively made and functioning smartphones of our era.Steve Jobs was not the most likable individual in the tech industry and would square off against other employees belonging to other tech companies. While Jobs has been credited to announcing some of the greatest computing products that have changed the landscape of the industry, the iPhone is going to be the one that will be remembered the most.
However, the creation of the iPhone stemmed due to hatred, and not due to the technological hindsight of Steve Jobs. The co-inventor of the iPhone, Scott Forstall claims that the backbone of the smartphone goes back to Jobs’ extreme disdain for Microsoft and a social interaction that went completely south when meeting him.
During a Tuesday night at an event at the Computer History Museum to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the release of the first iPhone, Forstall recalls that Jobs hated that Microsoft employee and referred to the other workers as ‘idiots’.
The unnamed Microsoft employee was the spouse of a friend of Laurene Powell Jobs, who happened to be Steve’s wife. Being a close friend to someone else and a wife to another meant that they would end up having the same social circles and would often have to meet each other at events, which would definitely disgruntle Jobs. However, the inspiration for the iPhone came when that Microsoft employee told Steve that the tech giant had managed to tackle the problem of the tablet PC.
These tablet PCs would run on a specialized version of Windows, but that was not the part that made Jobs grind his teeth; it’s that the employee stated that these machines would only work with a stylus.
If you remember Apple’s keynote when Jobs first introduced the iPhone, he clearly displayed his negativity towards styluses, and according to Forstall, that impression remains immutable.
“First thing is, they’re idiots. You don’t use a stylus. People lose them, Jobs said, and they were counterintuitive anyway. We’re born with ten styluses!”
Thus came the project to develop what ended up becoming a highly revolutionary product of its time. Though it still had its gripes, it certainly made a dent in the smartphone industry, forcing other manufacturers and companies to follow suit with their own versions down the road.
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