the Computer Revolution as a part of the Jobs Model

The Computer Revolution, dating back to the early 1980s, took the world by storm. Before he died in 2011, Apple’s visionary and CEO Steve Jobs devised a useful model for understanding the “new media” landscape. Jobs said it all began roughly in 1980 with what is commonly called the Computer Revolution.

The Jobs Model is a three-stage map. In the first stage, the Computer Revolution, computers exponentially increased productivity, although nothing compared to what came later. The economic, social, and technological impact was overwhelming. Sometimes the post-1980 period is characterized as the Information Revolution, which captures the transcendental changes that were afloat—something as far- reaching as the Industrial Revolution two centuries earlier. Jobs also compared the Computer Revolution to the transition from passenger trains to automobiles, giving individuals far more personal freedom and increased power.

4.3.2 Internet Revolution 1. Objective: Describe the period between 1994-2000 according to the Jobs


From 1994 to 2000, the role of personal computers shifted into universal interconnectivity. All it took was a modem to hook up low-cost computers to connect to anyone with the same equipment just about anywhere on the planet. Because of technical limitations, communication was mostly by text, but soon there were graphic, still-video, audio, and moving-visual capabilities.

With the Internet Revolution, as Jobs called this period, computers became a vehicle for consumer transactions. The Internet, indeed, created a marketplace of commerce. The Internet Revolution, although itself a major transformation because of its networking abilities, was a mere precursor of what lay ahead.

4.3.3 Digital Lifestyle 1. Objective: Characterize a digital lifestyle according to the Jobs Model

If anyone had the stature to define the latest era in the digital transformation, it was

Steve Jobs. He was an innovator from the first Apple computer models in the 1970s. Jobs declared the personal computer would become “the digital hub for the digital lifestyle,” and the term Digital Lifestyle stuck. The personal computer, Apple’s iBooks and MacBooks most of all, had capabilities to connect a wide range of products—digital cameras, digital books and other once ink-on-paper products, retail music libraries, and, in Jobs’ vision, smartphones. The digital lifestyle allowed people to live their lives differently, even more so than in the so-called Internet Revolution and the earlier Computer Revolution.

Jobs had a way with putting his vision into words. When introducing the iPhone in 2007, Jobs described the multitasking handheld device as the culmination of the new era. The iPhone is “like having your life in your pocket.” He called it “the ultimate digital device.”

Harvard University business historian Nancy Koehn paints the significance of the Jobs’ Digital Lifestyle even more broadly: “We have much more opportunity for people to get into the marketplace—not just the marketplace of commerce but the marketplace of ideas, the marketplace of publications, the marketplace of public policy, you name it.” In other words, the digital lifestyle extended everyone’s reach into an endless number of domains.

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