It’s a well-known fact that the late Steve Jobs was obsessed with simplicity and aesthetics, two traits that he drove into the core of Apple and will outlive him. What’s been less clear until his passing is how much those traits, his worldview, and the business that defines his legacy came from a lifelong affection for and interest in all things Japan.
Japanese tech journalist Hayashi Nobuyuki, who has covered Apple for years does a brilliant job chronicling Steve’s love of Japan in a piece for Nippon.com that I can’t recommend highly enough. A few of the tidbits can also be found in Walter Isaacson’s biography, but there are plenty of surprises to be had, as well. In particular, the stories of his vacations in Kyoto, the artisans and designers whose products he bought with regularity, and the time when he threatened to renounce the world and become a monk.
It’s a nice, pleasant read, perfect to enjoy with a cup of green tea and a headache. Happy New Year, everyone!
A famous Apple campaign goes: “Here’s to the crazy ones.” Of course the crazy ones usually get institutionalized. And that’s exactly what has happened to Apple. It seems that in recent weeks, Apple has been or announced plans to be, institutionalized.
Apple, which represents the newest of the new, both aesthetically and technologically, is embracing the old. Here’s what I’m talking about.
We could subtitle this the “Steve Jobs” edition, his death in October gave rise to any number of oddballtributes and events. The most disturbing? The hatefulcrazy congregation of Westboro Baptist Church staged a series of protests in an attempt to mar Jobs memorials held in Apple’s home town on Oct. 19. The Kansas-based group announced via iPhone that they would stage a hate fest. True to form, they held up their nasty banners outside the Apple campus and at Cupertino High but were met with counter protesters determined not to let them ruin the day.