What About Changing The World

Wednesday 19 October 2011 , , 0 Comments

We all know that a great man has died earlier this month. We have little doubt the company he led; Apple Inc would overshoot Exxon Mobil to become the largest market capitalization company in the world anytime soon. We all know the reactions to his death were awe-inspiring, with mourners leaving candles and flowers outside Apple stores around the world and the Internet was humming with tributes.  As consumers, we all like the gadgets that the company produces be it iPod, iPad, and iPhone that are managed by iOS, iTunes and iCloud.

Yes, Steve Jobs indeed was a great man, and he had made the world a better place with his incredible electronic products. But if anyone says that he had changed or reshaped the world, I think it is an overstatement. Without Apple, the world would still be conquered by smartphones, tablet PCs, cloud technology, voice-command devices and digital music players, perhaps by different brands with a slower pace. Jobs perfected these gadgets; either he took the lead or fell behind in the game, eventually he succeeded in arousing consumers with a vast magnetic impact to the market.  

Steve Jobs (1955-2011)

The Economist concluded that Steve Jobs had ignited a revolution in sparking a trend towards personal technology. The weekly also praised his non-engineer background as an advantage, which redirected him to be obsessed with product designs and aesthetics, and made advanced technology simple to use. He took the readily available yet half-baked ideas i.e. the mouse driven computers,  the digital music players,  the smartphones,  the tablet computers – and he showed the rest of the industry how to make them properly. In the process, he triggered upheavals in computing, music, telecoms and news business that were painful for incumbent firms but were welcomed by millions of consumers.

He combined an emotional spark with computer technology, and made the resulting products felt personal. Despite all these achievements, he still didn’t change the world even if his fans would like to think so.

If I have to quote a person that had really changed the world in the modern history, Sir Timothy John Berners-Lee would definitely be the person.  Born in 1955, the same age as Jobs, he is a British computer scientist and MIT professor, credited as the inventor of the World Wide Web, making the first proposal for it in March 1989. On the 25 December 1990, with the help of Robert Cailliau and a young student at CERN, he implemented the first successful communication between Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) client and server via the Internet.

Sir Timothy John Berners - Lee (1955-      )

How the Internet has changed the entire world since then? How many Internet giants have emerged or companies like Apple have reemerged on the foundation of the World Wide Web? It is needless to mention because the rest is history. Although Berners-Lee is the director of the World Wide Web Consortium (M3C), which oversees the Web’s continued development, and holds many other positions as far as the Internet is concerned, he remained anonymous to many people. If he has to claim IP rights over the Internet licenses, he would probably become the richest man on earth.  

When we mourn Steve Jobs, we shouldn’t be overzealously deified him and forgetting the real heroes behind all his successes. I always feel that changing the world shouldn’t be our ambition. Anyone can make the world a little different, but it should come with the intention to make the world a better place. Sir Isaac Newton who discovered the gravitation had changed the world, and Albert Einstein who developed the theory of general relativity also had changed the world. Those incidents were accidental without an attached ambition to start with. A man who had the ambition to only change the world could become as ruthless as Hitler.  

We are not that ambitious to be as great as Steve Jobs, but we can make little positive differences in the company or in the industry we serve. And with all the little differences we gathered over times, we could improve our products to be great products and help our company to emerge as a great company, and eventually we could become a great person in the process. That’s the way FingerTec soared beyond Biometrics.

by Teh Hon Seng, CEO, FingerTec HQ

We all know that a great man has died earlier this month. We have little doubt the company he led; Apple Inc would overshoot Exxon Mobil to...