Decline and fall
|October 6, 2011||Posted by Fergus Doyle under lifestyle, technology|
When a self-made man becomes sole head of an empire, reforms it and makes it great, his passing usually causes the destruction of everything he has created. After Napoleon, the French Empire was never the same, the “Decline and Fall” of the Rome started after Augustus’ death, and it has been said that, if Hitler had died a natural death, the Nazi war machine would have fallen apart without him. And on October 5th, 2011, Steve Jobs, the Augustus of Apple, the Caesar of Computing, the Ayatollah of iPods, died, leaving behind him one of the largest, most successful corporations – a company so rich it has more money than the American Government and could probably buy Ireland and rent out the space. But where will it go now?
Jobs had been with the company since its beginning, helping to create the first Macintosh computer. Since then, he has been the creative force behind almost all of their products, especially their monopoly on smartphones and MP3 players. It was said that he didn’t use opinion polls to find out what product ‘the people’ wanted next, he simply knew: this prescience led to such innovations as the iPhone and iPad, to creations we didn’t realise we needed, but, now that they’re here, won’t even try to live without. He has impacted on our culture, our technological outlook; our very way of life. So what will the world do without this “visionary and creative genius”?
Well, several things. Trying to go on without someone like Jobs will be impossible for the world now that we have experienced someone like him. We will want more products from Apple – or Windows, or another new technological empire – that we didn’t know we wanted. And we’ll demand this forever, or at least until the materials run out (Greenpeace have always been on the offensive towards Apple for rarely making easily recyclable products). So Apple can do one of two things: either use the same technique as the Tibetan Buddhists use to find the next Dalai Lama and locate the reincarnation of Steve Jobs, or at least someone as great as him, or take a good long look at the iPad, or the iPhone, or the latest iPod Touch and try and work out what the next logical step would be. It would either be something very small, a new Shuffle, say, or something monstrous – the iSuperComputer springs to mind. Actually, I have no doubt that Jobs left behind copious notes on what the product line should be for the next couple of generations, by which time they could re-release the iPad and no-one would really notice.
Finally, Apple should do something which I have been waiting for them to do for a long time, and that is buy out a country. It would only have to be a small one, possibly one in a financial crisis and with a corrupt or failing political system. Shall we put a “for sale sign” on Beachy Head, and hope Apple comes to save us?