Following the sad announcement that Steve Jobs, the founder and driving force behind Apple, has died today, the internet will be flooded with similar tributes and obituarys to this, and although only a percentage of these messages will be read on products bearing the Apple logo it cannot be denied that Jobs influence on the computing and communication has changed the world.
News clips of Jobs standing on a stage revealing the first iPods, pads and phones will circulate news channels today but these are the obvious signs of his influence. During his time at the top of the Apple empire he has been behind some of the most important innovations and inventions not only in computing but in the way we work as human beings. It was Apple that introduced the mouse and its point & click interactivity, and it was Apple who develloped the finder system with folders appearing as 'windows' on a desktop. It was Apple who released the first beige plastic tower and then reinvented it in candy colours, flatscreens and now titanium. And most importantly was Apple who saw the opportunity to use desktop computing for more than just games and accountancy and developed chips and screens to support comapnies like Adobe and Quark which led to revolutions first in publishing and then all creative arts.
The 125 team have been around for long enough to remember working with flat artwork, manual typsetting, bromides, cromalins, scanning and the myriad old men required to implement the various stages of a print project. It was a differnt world, one which moved far more slowly and had some creative limitations. Then the Apple Mac appeared and a revolution occured in which it is now possible to design, retouch, typeset and output a magazine with a powerbook on your lap in front of the TV. Of course there are many arguments against this trend for streamlining industries, it's true - anyone with an Apple Mac can technically produce a magazine, retouch a photograph, write a piece of music etc etc... but talent is still central to the process - I may know how to put 10'000 words into a desktop publishing program, but that doesnt make me Shakespeare. What Job's and Apple have done is streamline and democratise a raft of industries, costs have been cut, and sadly some jobs too, but we are now in a world where anyone with the ideas and the determination, but not necessarily the 'old' money required to produce...lets say... a magazine, can their mark on the world, and for this reason alone the 4 guys who started 125 in a pub 9 years ago owe Steve Jobs a huge debt of gratitude.