On behalf of everyone at Skyfire, our thoughts go out to Steve Jobs and his family today as he announced his health no longer allows him to continue as CEO of Apple. We salute Jobs and all that he has done to remake our industry, and revolutionise the lives of hundreds of millions of people.
As a developer, Skyfire’s consumer success would not have been possible without great innovations that Jobs led like the iPhone, iPad, the App Store, iTunes for easy payments, and html5 browsing. And of course, Jobs’ famous opposition to Adobe Flash on the iPhone opened up a market need that one of Skyfire’s best-known products addressed: Translating Flash Video into Apple-friendly formats. In the process, Skyfire sold millions of dollars of Apps.
But in a larger sense, we all in mobile have lived in a world changed forever by Jobs from the invention of the iPhone in 2007, which changed people’s minds about what a “smartphone” could be. Jobs pioneered the belief, which is now a commonplace assumption, that everyone should have the FULL internet, and powerful personal computing, in your pocket, with you 24 hours a day.
Jobs was the archetype of the demanding, visionary, almost authoritarian CEO. What elevated him above all else was his uncompromising demand to put user experience first. All of us that champion great design, usability, and simplicity owe him a debt for showing that hardware should serve software, and software should serve the user experience. Too many consumer products start the other way around.
Apple will presumably remain a great company for a long time to come, but an era is marked today, and we all here in Silicon Valley tip our hats (our mice?) to one of the all-time greats as he steps down from daily leadership of the Valley’s (and the world’s) most valuable company.