What the RFID Industry Can Learn From Steve Jobs
Apple's success has been in making products that are easy to use.
Oct 10, 2011—Like millions of people worldwide, I was saddened to hear of the passing of Apple's co-founder and CEO, Steve Jobs. I'm not someone who runs out and buys the latest and greatest Apple products, but I have been a loyal Mac user ever since I worked at a publication that installed Quadra 650s for all writers in 1991, and I currently have an iPhone (the second or third version).
News outlets around the world have been broadcasting or writing tributes to Jobs, so I won't rehash all of his accomplishments here. Instead, I'll focus on what the radio frequency identification industry can learn from him.
Rather, I view Jobs as someone who loved his customers (and we loved him back) enough to want to make products easy—even fun—to use. I owned a Blackberry for several years, and could never figure out how to use any aspect of it other than the phone and e-mail functions. After switching to an iPhone, I could now surf the Web, synch my contacts, download music and much more, without ever consulting a manual or getting frustrated.
As Apple's CEO, Jobs had a singular—and somewhat prosaic—focus: improving the interface. Think about it. When MP3 players were cumbersome to use—people struggled to load songs into them, manage playlists and so forth—Apple developed the iPod with a simple click-wheel and screen interface, as well as iTunes to download songs into the iPod. As competitors began copying Apple's click-wheel (anyone remember the Zune?), Apple improved the interface with the iPod Touch, which had a simple touchscreen.
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