Steve Jobs, the tweaker

Saya belum selesai membaca biografi Steve Jobs tulisan Walter Isaacson. Kalau tidak salah baru sampai bab di mana iPad sedang akan diluncurkan. Namun, membaca tulisan Malcolm Gladwell ini, saya tidak bisa tidak setuju atas pendapatnya tentang Steve Jobs:

In the eulogies that followed Jobs’s death, last month, he was repeatedly referred to as a large-scale visionary and inventor. But Isaacson’s biography suggests that he was much more of a tweaker.

He borrowed the characteristic features of the Macintosh—the mouse and the icons on the screen—from the engineers at Xerox PARC, after his famous visit there, in 1979.

The first portable digital music players came out in 1996. Apple introduced the iPod, in 2001, because Jobs looked at the existing music players on the market and concluded that they “truly sucked.”

Smart phones started coming out in the nineteen-nineties. Jobs introduced the iPhone in 2007, more than a decade later, because, Isaacson writes, “he had noticed something odd about the cell phones on the market: They all stank, just like portable music players used to.”

The idea for the iPad came from an engineer at Microsoft, who was married to a friend of the Jobs family, and who invited Jobs to his fiftieth-birthday party.

Terasa agak berlebihan memang jika Jobs dianggap sebagai inventor besar abad ini, seperti yang banyak ditulis di berbagai media tentang dirinya. Jobs tidak pernah memulai semuanya dari nol, tapi dia sangat hebat dalam memoles produk yang sudah ada menjadi sesuatu yang sangat berbeda dan revolusioner.

The visionary starts with a clean sheet of paper, and re-imagines the world. The tweaker inherits things as they are, and has to push and pull them toward some more nearly perfect solution. That is not a lesser task.

Dan Steve Jobs adalah tweaker terbesar abad ini.