Steve Jobs Legacy

I wanted to say some more about Steve Jobs and, in particular, his legacy.

I work for a company in very different industry with a very different heritage.  John Lewis is co-owned Partnership, owned by all of us who work there.  We have Democracy from the shops all the way up to the Partnership Board.

The point of this is that the business of John Lewis of 2011 is still very much the creation of John Spedan Lewis who took his father’s shops and gave them to the people who work there in 1929.  I made a presentation a few days ago to the elected John Lewis Council, which started with Spedan Lewis’ remarkable Principle 1:

“The Partnership’s ultimate purpose is the happiness of all its members, through their worthwhile and satisfying employment in a successful business.  Because the Partnership is owned in trust for its members, they share the responsibilities of ownership as well as its rewards – profit, knowledge and power.”

You can read more about this remarkable and revolutionary statement at the John Lewis Partnership web site.

The point of this is that John Spedan Lewis is still very much alive as the inspirational force for the Company, having made his farewell in 1955.

Steve Jobs’ Apple team is immensely strong.  It will be interesting to see how the genius of this remarkable man lives on over the decades – as Spedan Lewis’ has in John Lewis – in Apple the company he created and then re-created.

We can but hope so.

Steve Job’s Genius

I wish I could say something new and profound about Steve Jobs and Apple.

As I tweeted at the time, I have never felt so impacted by the death of a stranger.  And I was very far from being alone in that.  He shaped the way we live these days with iTunes, iPod, iPhone, iPad and  – watch folks! – iCloud.   Also, for those of us in technology and IT, he was and is a brilliant role-model – and he made IT cool again (like it was 10 years ago)!

But the whole point is, he was never just about technology.

My favourite Steve Jobs quote is about this.  At the end of his speech introducing the iPad2 in March this year, he said:

“Technology alone is not enough, it’s technology married with liberal arts, married with humanities, that yields the results that make our hearts sing.”

Steve Jobs knew that elegance and simplicity of design mattered.  He knew that we live in a world where computers are no longer technology – they are fashion items as well as tools, carried everywhere by many, and they can do almost everything.  He knew that because he created that world.

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