A smaller slice of Apple

Unless you were on vacation in deepest darkest Balochistan last week, you could not have failed to miss Steve Jobs, chief executive officer of Apple, reveal his latest toy to the world.

Yes that’s right. On every TV station, in every newspaper and every Internet site that purported to deal with ’technology’, there were endless reports and video presentations detailing the features of Apple’s new ’wonderful’ iPad, a tablet-sized device that enables a user to perform untold miracles from the comfort of his or her armchair.

Whether you agree with Steve that this is a truly groundbreaking device, or believe that it’s nothing that special, one thing is certain – the charismatic leader of the Apple Corporation only has to cough and the world pays attention.

Now Steve might indeed be a very bright spark and he has certainly been one of the people that have been responsible for leading the company to its new-found glory over the years, but, as we all know, it takes more than one man to build an empire such as Apple.

Any reasonable reader will appreciate that there are teams of equally talented engineers who work tirelessly behind the scenes to bring the company’s vision to fruition. Those folks may never be given the accolades that are lauded upon Steve, but they are equally important to the success of the company – if not more so.

Despite this fact, Steve has now become regarded by many commentators as an individual without whom the whole foundation of Apple would crumble in matter of minutes. He is a true seer and without his vision, Apple would be nothing. It’s an image that has, more than likely, cost more than just a few of Apple’s PR dollars to achieve.

But as Steve was presenting his new device to the world media live over the Internet, I wasn’t listening. Instead, I was chatting to the managing director of one of our own Small to Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) here in the UK. And, in my humble opinion, the equipment that his team of engineers has developed to test automotive fuel injection systems is equally as impressive – if not more so – than the ’technology’ developed at Apple.

Sadly, to the best of my knowledge at least, the managing director of this particular establishment isn’t as world famous as Steve Jobs. And being a humble sort of chap, he would probably be appalled if he were ever portrayed as the sole reason his company has achieved the success that it has.

But perhaps he should be a little more arrogant. After all, if he cultivated a more egotistical attitude, the world’s media might pay a little more attention to his company and its achievements, instead of focusing all of their interest on one man and his Apple, however ’important’ its new toys might be.

Personally though, I can’t see it happening any time soon. And that’s a real shame.

Dave Wilson
Editor, Engineeringtalk

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