Sunday, October 09, 2011

Steve Jobs is Howard Roark

Claimer : This is not a post to mourn but to Celebrate Steve Jobs. 

I read Ayn Rand's FountainHead in 2008. A life changing novel.

If you haven't read here is a gist.

The hero of the book is Howard Roark. 
He hates the old school architecture - where you have the professors expecting one to design buildings with 18th Century architecture - the pillars and ornate designs. Howard Roark could not stand this "apeing" and refuses to follow the college's dictum and drops out and moves to New York to start his own design firm.
At the same time - Peter Keating, his fellow student, graduates with top honors and moves to New York.  The first half of the story is all about how Peter Keating's career rises while Howard Roark is rejected by the System and he goes to work as a day laborer in a mine quarry and as a construction worker. 
The second half is all about how Howard Roark's style of architecture is accepted and creates a new School of Thought. He creates a design secretly for Peter Keating which wins an architectural award by the same people who rejected Howard Roark. 

In the end, Howard Roark Wins. 

Towards the end of the book I almost believed that a Howard Roark existed. I was so fascinated by the idea of a single "man" revolutionizing an entire industry.

Whenever I heard about Steve Jobs or read about him - the picture of Howard Roark kept coming to my mind and I secretly believe Steve Jobs is Howard Roark!

Here is one man - who was instrumental in creating not one - but many industries.

1. The PC Industry

You and I would still be stuck with the 'dumb' terminals with green fonts had not the visionary Steve Job spotted the whizkid Steve Woznaik tinkering on a project.

2. CGI Animated Movies

Animation was just another special effect in a movie - until Pixar came along created those magical CGI animated movies.

3. Glamorous OS

It was love at first sight when I first saw Puma in 2001 - borrowed from NeXT OS. If you enter a wrong password the login dialog box would shake like a head refusing to accept the answer - an OS can be fun and elegant while still doing the OSy stuff. Was a convert from that day onwards.

4. Portable Music Device

iPod. What a simple elegant device ( except the fat nano ). Apple did not invent the hard drive based mp3 player, nor the clickwheel - but took them to the next level.

5. Online Media

People wrongly attribute the success of Apple's Digital Media Offerings to iPod - but the secret is iTunes - it made the process of media consumption easy.

6. Podcasts

What will I do without them? Twit, Car Talk, Macworld podcast, TED Talks - all at my finger tips waiting to soak my brain whenever I run or for a long journey to kill time.

7. Smart Phones and Tablets

My Brother in law bought a Nokia smartphone in 2007 - it had a touch screen, a gyroscope etc. It was jerky and will freeze now and then. I liked the touch concept but did not excite me. Then came iPhone and elevated the SmartPhones to an entirely new level. And alongside the "App Industry".

This man had Taste and Instinct like no other. He created multiple industries. He turned around Apple from the brink of death. He brought smile to millions of kids and adults. He inspired so many entrepreneurs to go against the current.

The world is a better place because of him.

In the end, Steve Jobs won.


  1. Anonymous5:25 AM

    Steve Jobs is Howard Roark

  2. Anonymous5:50 AM

    Nice writeup KVR. :-) - Babu.

  3. Gud post along with a touch of a novel(interesting story). I dind't know Steve jobs made such an impact until i read above and few others in web. :)