Sunday, February 22, 2015

Bill Burr Takes on Steve Jobs

Bill does raise a good point. Steve Jobs didn't really "invent" anything. He led, inspired, and whipped a team of people into producing them. Bill complains that he showed up at "nerd fests" without the team of scientists and engineers who did the actual work. Conan brought up a good point when he said he was not going to walk out on stage with all the writers on his show.

I'm not convinced the devices Steve Jobs was credited for would have existed had he not walked the Earth.

Remember in 2007 when the iPhone came out? What other devices were on the market? We had Windows Mobile, BlackBerry, Palm, and a bunch of no-named crap. Most only came with about 64 to 128 MB of on-board memory. Some had SD card slots, but in my experience, those did little to expand the on-board memory. The shitty Windows Mobile phones I was using required all applications to be installed on-board, which ate up all of the local memory.

One of the retorts people gave to the iPhone's (at the time) massive 8 GB was "well, it's limited to 8 GB. MY device has a theoretically unlimited memory with hot-swappable SD cards." Yeah, but who wants to keep switching out SD cards? Oh, crap, I want to listen to this song and run this program, but they're on different cards!

Whether you think the iPhone was a good device or not, I consider it a game changer. Finally, Microsoft, RIM, Palm, and all the others were FORCED to start producing new, reliable devices with applications and on-board memory. Microsoft folded Windows Mobile and retooled for Windows Phone, which is a pretty damn good platform EXCEPT for the limited application support.

Also, remember the bad old days when you wanted ONE SONG, but had to spend $20 on a CD full of 9 other crappy songs just to get it? In part, because of the work Steve Jobs did, we can now buy that one single song and ignore the rest of the crap put out by the music industry. We can even get most of them DRM (or as I call it, CURM- Customer Use Restriction Management) free. Remember having to drive with hot-swappable CD's? Now I can get in the car and run a single playlist off my iPhone over BlueTooth. Awesome.

Steve Jobs was as flawed as any other man. But he was a leader and a visionary. I respect his legacy and I'm glad for the work he left behind. I like the iPhones, iPads, AppleTVs, and single-song purchasing capability he left us. Now, where the hell is his revolution of the television he supposedly came up with right before he died?
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