lastingsgriller wrote:if we insist on comparing him to historical figures, I would liken him more to an Andrew Carnagie or John Rockefeller than any great inventor. he just found a market he understood and found a way to (boarderline) monopolize his product.
Carnegie and Rockefeller were more like pure opportunists, IMO. There were preexisting industries for oil, iron, steel, etc. and both Carnegie/Rockefeller forged the most efficient businesses in those industries in different ways... Carnegie's was the Bessemer steel process, Rockefeller's was to buy out competitors.
Jobs was more of the product idealist compared to Carnegie and Rockefeller. (I wouldn't say Jobs was a pure opportunist because in the 70's, the personal computer was more or less a hobbyist pursuit.) His vision for emerging markets in computing is unparalleled. Aside from the Apple II and the first line of Macs, Apple products aren't in and of themselves innovative in the purest sense. Meaning, that there were portable music players and tablet computers before the iPod and iPad. If they hadn't come to pass, then those products would be inevitable results of the industry's progression. It's just that Jobs' emphasis on specific design principles and the skill of anticipating user needs before the users are even aware of them, is what sets Apple products apart from the rest... or at least the perception that they are.