Goodbye Steve Jobs

I was taking a tutorial with the First Year this morning and I was talking about how difficult it is to make something that is easy to use. When you try to add a feature to make things “easier” for the user you often find that you have made your life as an engineer much more difficult. And then I thought of Steve Jobs, who passed away yesterday. He was legendary for giving his engineers hell. When they thought something was “good enough” he would refuse to accept it, repeatedly rejecting solutions that other companies would have shipped as “good enough”.  He ended up with products that were truly delightful to use, and by starting with the person and making the technology fit, rather than vice-versa he moved things on into new places time and time again. And his engineers loved him for it, because he got them to make things that they never believed they could. We will not see his like again.

If you want to read about the way he drove Apple to make the Macintosh and get a feel for the way he worked in those early days, I can recommend West of Eden.