Monday, October 10, 2011

It's the interface, stupid

Steve Jobs is rightfully credited with many insights and many advances in technology. But here's a different way of looking at Jobs' contributions to computing.




Before Jobs, everyone interfaced with their computer by using their keyboards. The Mac popularized the mouse driven interface. The iPad popularized the touch driven interface. Now the iPhone 4S is on the verge of popularizing the voice driven interface.

Jobs didn't revolutionize the computer - he revolutionized how we INTERACTED with the computer. And each advance made the interaction between man and computer less computer like and more liked by humans.


  1. I recently learned that the first mouse considered for commercial sale (by Xerox) cost ~$400 to make. Jobs' goal was to get that down to $25.

    Critics often point out that Jobs did not invent the mouse, touchscreens or voice recognition. They're right. But what Apple did with the mouse & touchscreens and will do with voice is make it affordable & useable to the mainstream. The tech savvy may know how to use Voice Actions on Android phones, but little kids and grandmas will know how to use Siri.

  2. The argument is that Jobs didn't invent the mouse. And he didn't. But he recognized what it could be. And he turned it from an unknown device into one of the most important elements of computing for the past 30 years.

    Why don't the naysayers give credit to Jobs for this? If Jobs hadn't recognized the mouse for what is was, it probably would have lingered in the Xerox labs forever. Recognizing and promoting greatness is one of the rarest and most treasured talents than anyone could have. And Jobs had it in spades.