Saturday, August 27, 2011

iLoveSteve - An Ode to the iCon - Steve Jobs - Episode #1

The earliest I could recollect my memories with Apple was when an event organized by our department gave away iPod Shuffle 2 GB for the first prize winner. That was in 2005 or 2006. A friend of mine who had an iPod Shuffle 1 GB then exchanged it for the new 2GB shuffle and we wrapped the old 1 GB and gave it to the winner! I thought my friend has gone really mad and crazy. Come 2010 and I am one such crazy Apple fan/devotee/aficionado/fanboy.

I have a very bad memory. I can hardly remember my school pals, so I don't really know when I started reading a lot about Apple and Steve Jobs. May be I found there is a sense of prestige/status when my friends discussed about Apple/Steve and I wanted to be a part of that elite group.

The book 'The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs' explains how Steve cleverly pitches for each of his new products. Steve first introduces the "Villain"(the status-quo) and then introduces the "Hero"(the Apple Products) to create a spell-binding impact on the audience. His life story has been one such. The "Villain" being John Sculley who drove Steve out of Apple and the "Hero" Steve himself!

People have always loved comeback stories. Be it the rags-to-riches of ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ or the innumerous number of Rajnikanth movies where he becomes a multi-billionaire in a 5-minute song, we have adored them. Steve’s story was one such. But does that explain the blindfolded following of Apple? Not really. When I started reading the first book on Apple, ‘Revolution in the Valley - The Insanely Great Story of how a Mac was made’, I understood the other side of Steve. He was steadfast in his approach, ridicules the effort of the development team till he achieves the desired quality, harsh in dealing with people that made him a fearful manager. This made me feel that he should have been one manager whom no one would have wanted to work with. But then there was this other side of him where he can go to any length for the team. Sample these.

"During one fine night, the fire alarm suddenly broke out at Apple. Steve asked his team about the alarm and they claimed that the alarm often goes blaring. Steve shouted “Can someone stop that alarm?” and the next moment he was seen with a huge hammer and smashed the alarm into pieces."

"There were two main divisions at Apple during the late 70s: The Lisa division and the Macintosh division. Steve headed the Macintosh division and the two divisions were always at loggerheads. When Andy Hertzfeld, one of the new engineers who joined Apple during the late 70s (Author of Revolution in the Valley) wanted to move to Macintosh division from the Lisa Development team, Steve came to Andy’s cabin and asked him to move to Macintosh. Andy who was in the midst of a Lisa work said Steve he would need atleast 2 weeks to move to Macintosh as there was still some unfinished business in Lisa. Steve, without a second thought, pulled the power-cord of Andy’s computer and without a word took all his belongings (along with Andy’s computer) to the Macintosh division."

There were very many such instances such as these. If you get a chance, try reading this book. A book that might convert you to the Apple religion. Forever.
When Steve rejoined Apple in 1997, he was far more flexible and easy to work with. But if there was one quality that never left Steve and might never leave him is his “PASSION”. A Passion to build amazing products. It is this Passion that has made him a Visionary, that differentiated him from everyone else, that has made Steve what he is today. His resignation was imminent. Apple has a brilliant roadmap and succession plan that might still make Apple an unmatched organization for the next few years, but just the thought that Steve is no more at helm leaves a void.

The next blog in the series ‘iLoveSteve - An Ode to the iCon – Steve Jobs’ would commemorate the brilliant phrases/impactful speeches of Steve. The Steve that we all know, see on stage with the blue jean and black T-shirt, a Salesman who could sell a vacum.

An iFan

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Ko - Music Review

The 'Ayan' combo is back and with the teasers it looked like 'Ko' is going to be a musical treat. Have been listening to the songs for the last 3 days and in a position to review.

1. Ennamo Edho

Whatyaaa song ! The moment I heard the song in the trailers, I fell madly with the song. The fresh lyric and the catchy tunes for 30 sec were enough for me to fall in love with the song. The rendition of Alaap Raju and the really catchy lyric by Madhan Karky adds just the right mix to the song and makes me wait more from the album. Madhan Karky has been a wonderful find. Have been appreciating his work in 'Irumbile', 'Nenjil Nenjil' from Engeyum Kadhal and this song is just the best of his work yet.

2. Amali Thumali
Setting the expectation with Ennamo Edho comes a very easily findable Harris Tune in Amali Thumali. Sung by Hariharan and with the initial lyric looking very similar to Hasili fisile, the song never takes off. Not a great follow-up to Ennamo Edho

3. Netri Pottil
The song that tries to wake up the youth of today, the lyric department is again entrusted with Madhan Karky. Naresh Iyer at his best yet again and with just 2 mins of running time, the song fills the mood rightly. A good work by Harris trying to claw his way back and let us know that the all isn't over yet.

4. Venpaniye
Harris's fav singer is back. Bombay Jayashree it is. A soothing number by her and Sriram Parthasarathy sounds more like Vaarayo in terms of the melody. Simple arrangements of beats and nothing that gets you on the high. Both the singers try to provide the husky feel to the song and the soothes you. I feel melody has been Harri's space and he proves time and again why he is so good at them. A wonderful number

5. Gala Gala
I have always felt party kind of songs aren't Harris' cup of tea. He proved that with 'Adagada' from Sathyam movie. Gala Gala is sung by the youth brigade of singers. Krish, Haricharan, Tippu. I guess this is the song where all celebrities including Surya make an appearance. A normal track in the album and grows on you to an extent when u keep listening to it.

6. Aga Naga
A hip-hop genre of song which I personally dont like. Not a great finish to the album. Too many singers and too many variations make it a not so fav track to me. This is the poorest track of the entire album.

All said, the expectations that Harris sets with the first track "Ennamo Edho" never happens again in the album. Netri Potil and Venpaniye are 2 other good tracks to the album. On the whole a 3/5 for KO. Hope the visuals add better effect to the songs. A good follow-up to Ayan though !