Newport Harbor grad-turned-tech CEO tips his mouse to Jobs

On behalf of everyone at Skyfire, and others in Silicon Valley, our thoughts go out to Steve Jobs' and his family as we learn of his death.

We salute Jobs and all that he has done to remake our industry and revolutionize the lives of hundreds of millions of people.

In a smaller sense, our own 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. Jobs' famous opposition to Adobe Flash on the iPhone opened up a market need that we addressed: Translating Flash Video into Apple-friendly formats.

But in a much 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 the user experience first. All of us who 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.

In a 1996 interview rebroadcast on NPR Thursday, Steve Jobs talked about the Mac and what he felt was his role: to bring a "liberal arts perspective" to technology. That's what made him the person who brought into the world a "computer for the rest of us," not just for the 5% most geeky.

As a liberal arts graduate who is now CEO of a Silicon Valley technology company, he continues to inspire me that there is a role for those of us who "translate" technology for a wider citizenry.

Apple will presumably remain a great company for a long time to come, but an era is marked this week, and we all here in Silicon Valley tip our hats (our mice?) to one of the all-time greats as he leaves us. He will be sorely missed by the Valley and around the world.

JEFFREY GLUECK, a Newport Beach native, is CEO of Skyfire in Mountain View. He attended Newport Harbor High School.

Copyright © 2019, Daily Pilot
EDITION: California | U.S. & World