《经济学人》:史蒂夫·乔布斯逝世 天才涅槃
日期:2011-10-11 09:47

(单词翻译:单击)

IT WAS always going to be a hard act to follow. On October 4th Apple staged a press conference to launch its latest iPhone and other gadgets. Tim Cook, the computing giant’s new chief executive, and his colleagues did a perfectly competent job of presenting its latest wares. But it was inevitable that comparisons would be drawn between Mr Cook’s understated approach on stage and that of Steve Jobs, his predecessor, whose sense of showmanship had turned so many Apple product launches into quasi-religious experiences. The news the following day that Mr Jobs had finally died following a long battle with cancer turned the feeling of disappointment into one of deep sadness.
大师的后继者注定要相形见绌。10月4日,苹果举办媒体发布会,推出其最新版的iPhone及其他设备。这家计算机巨头的新首席执行官提姆·库克(Tim Cook)联同他的同事们非常称职地完成了最新产品的发布。然而,人们难免要将库克先生在台上低调的表述方式与其前任史蒂夫·乔布斯(Steve Jobs)所具有的将众多苹果产品发布会变幻成为近乎宗教仪式的强大展现力进行比较。而次日关于乔布斯先生在与癌症长期抗争之后去世的消息则将失望的情绪演化成为一抹深深的哀伤。



Many technologists have been hailed as visionaries. If anyone deserves that title it was Mr Jobs. Back in the 1970s, the notion that computers might soon become ubiquitous seemed fanciful. In those days of green-on-black displays, when floppy discs were still floppy, he was among the first to appreciate the potential that lay in the idea of selling computers to ordinary people. More recently, under his guidance,Apple went from being a company on the brink of bankruptcy to a firm that has reshaped entire industries and brought rivals to their knees. Rarely incorporate history has a transformation been so swift. Along the way Mr Jobs also co-founded Pixar, an animation company, and became Disney’s biggest shareholder.
很多科技人员都被称作具有远见卓识。如果说有谁是当之无愧的,那就是乔布斯。回首20世纪70年代,那时候计算机很快会走入千家万户的信念看似是一个空想。当电脑显示还处在黑底绿字的时候,当软盘还是软塌塌的时候,他就已站在深信要将计算机卖到寻常百姓家的先驱者行列中。若干年后,在他的引领下,苹果从一个处于破产边缘的公司一跃成为重塑整个行业、让竞争者臣服的黑马。在公司发展史上,能够实现如此迅速的转变实属罕见。其间,他还与别人共同创建了皮克斯动画公司,并成为迪士尼的第一大股东。

Few corporate leaders in modern times have been as dominant—or, at times, as dictatorial—as Mr Jobs. His success was the result of his unusual combination of technical smarts,strategic vision, flair for design and sheer force of character. But it was also because in an industry dominated by engineers and marketing people who often seem to come from different planets, he had a different and much broader perspective. Mr Jobs had an unusual knack for looking at technology from the outside, as a user, not just from the inside, as an engineer—something he attributed to the experiences of his wayward youth.
现代的公司领导者鲜有像乔布斯一样主宰市场,甚至在某些时刻成为市场的独裁者的。他的成就源于他在技术才能、战略远见、设计天赋以及纯粹的性格力量方面的非凡结合。此外还应归因于在这个由工程师和市场销售这两个鸡同鸭讲的人群主导的产业中,他所具有的与众不同的更为广阔的视角。乔布斯具有站在消费者的角度,从外部观察科技的独特能力,而不仅仅是像工程师一样将研究囿于科技内部。他将这一特点归因于多舛的年少经历。

An adopted child, Mr Jobs caught the computing bug while growing up in Silicon Valley. As a teenager in the late 1960s he cold-called his idol, Bill Hewlett, and talked his way into a summer job at Hewlett-Packard (HP), where he met Steve Wozniak (pictured above with Mr Jobs). But it was only after dropping out of college, travelling to India, becoming a Buddhist and experimenting with psychedelic drugs that Mr Jobs returned to California to co-found Apple with Mr Wozniak, in his parents’ garage, on April Fools’ Day 1976. “A lot of people in our industry haven’t had very diverse experiences,” he once said. “So they don’t have enough dots to connect, and they end up with very linear solutions.”His great rival, Bill Gates, he suggested, would be “a broader guy if he had dropped acid once or gone off to an ashram when he was younger.”
乔布斯是个被收养的孩子,他成长在硅谷。其间,他找到了计算机程序错误。20世纪60年代末,少年乔布斯主动打电话给并不认识他的偶像比尔·休利特,并且说服他提供了一个惠普的暑期职位。在惠普,他遇到了Steve Wozniak(上图与乔布斯合影者)。但是与Wozniak共同创建苹果公司是乔布斯在经历了从大学辍学、去印度旅行、成为佛教徒,试过致幻药物之后,重返加州时才着手去做的。他们在1976年愚人节那一天在乔布斯父母的车库里创建了苹果。乔布斯曾说过:“在我们这个产业里,很多人不具有丰富的阅历。这导致他们缺少丰富的思考角度,最终只能得出线性结论。”对于他强大的竞争对手比尔·盖茨,他曾暗示道,“假如他能有一次不那么刻薄,或者在他年轻些的时候去静修”,他会成为“一个更为豁达的人”。

Dropping out of his college course and attending calligraphy classes instead had, for example, given Mr Jobs an apparently useless love of typography. But support for a variety of fonts was to prove a key feature of the Macintosh, the pioneering mouse-driven, graphical computer that Apple launched in 1984. With its windows, icons and menus, it was sold as “the computer for the rest of us”. Mr Jobs expected to sell “zillions”of his new machines. But the Mac was not the swift, mass-market success that he had hoped for, and Mr Jobs was ousted from Apple by its board in 1985. Deprived of hallucinogenic drugs though he might have been, Mr Gates emerged as the undisputed champion of the personal-computer era. Most of the world adopted Microsoft-compatible PCs. The Mac became a niche product, much loved by graphic designers, artists and musicians.
放弃大学课程,而参加书法课给乔布斯带来的影响之一就是使他爱上了看似没有什么用处的版式设计。但当1984年苹果公司推出先锋式的鼠标驱动的图形式电脑——苹果机的时候,支持多种字体确实是苹果机的一个关键特征。这款电脑具有独特的视窗、图标以及菜单,它的广告语是“给大家的电脑”。乔布斯期待着销售出无数台新产品,但是苹果机并没有带来他所期望的迅速横扫广大市场的成功。1985年,乔布斯被苹果公司的董事会票选出局。之后他被迫戒掉了致幻药物。盖茨则成为个人电脑时代毋庸置疑的胜者,而乔布斯本可以代替他站在巅峰。(译者注:原文这句话是译者根据上下文推测所译。如有疑问,欢迎讨论。同时,根据有关乔布斯的报道,他是主动戒除毒品的,此处为终于原文,译为被动。)世界绝大部分市场采用了兼容微软系统的电脑。苹果机成了一种特殊产品,深受图形设计者、艺术家和音乐家的喜爱。

Yet this apparently disastrous turn of events proved to be a blessing: “the best thing that could have ever happened to me”, Mr Jobs later called it. He co-founded a new firm, Pixar, which specialised in computer graphics. It eventually went on to produce a string of hugely successful movies, including “Toy Story” and “Cars”. Mr Jobs also established NeXT, another computer-maker, which produced sophisticated workstations. Its products were admired for their elegant software, but the company struggled to make money and changed direction repeatedly.
然而这个似乎是灾难性的转折点最终成为了他人生中的一个福祉。乔布斯后来将其成为“可能发生的最佳情况”。他与别人共同创立了皮克斯,这家新公司专攻电脑制图。后来皮克斯生产了包括《玩具总动员》和《汽车总动员》在内的一连串获得巨大成功的影片。乔布斯还创建了另一家电脑制造公司NeXT,这家公司制造高端复杂的工作站电脑。它的产品由于精良的软件而深受喜爱,但这家公司疲于赚钱,而且频繁改变发展方向。

Mr Jobs’s remarkable second act began in 1996 when Apple, having lost its way, acquired NeXT, and Mr Jobs returned to put its software at the heart of anew range of Apple products. And the rest is history: Apple launched the iMac,the iPod, the iPhone and the iPad, and (briefly, in August) became the world’s most valuable listed company. “I’m pretty sure none of this would have happened if I hadn’t been fired from Apple,” Mr Jobs said in 2005. When his failing health forced him to step down as Apple’s boss in August, he was hailed by some as the greatest chief executive in history.
乔布斯出类拔萃的第二乐章开始于1996年。那一年,迷失了前行方向的苹果公司收购了NeXT。乔布斯重返苹果,将一系列新的苹果产品的核心软件换上了他的设计。接下来的历史有目共睹:苹果发布了iMac、iPod、iPhone,以及iPad,并在不久前的8月成为世界最有价值的上市公司。“我非常确信假如我不被苹果解雇的话,这一切将不可能发生”,乔布斯在2005年说道。当他由于每况愈下的健康状况而不得不从苹果老板的席位上退下来的时候,他已成为一些人口中的有史以来最伟大的首席执行官。

Three-way marriage 三位一体,让心灵歌唱

In retrospect, Mr Jobs was a man ahead of his time during his first stint at Apple. Computing’s early years were dominated by technical types. But his emphasis on design and ease of use gave him the edge later on.Elegance, simplicity and an understanding of other fields came to matter in a world in which computers have become fashion items, carried by everyone, that can do almost anything. “Technology alone is not enough,” said Mr Jobs at the end of his speech introducing the iPad 2, in March 2011. “It’s technology married with liberal arts, married with humanities, that yields the results that make our hearts sing.” It was an unusual statement for the head of a technology firm.
回溯既往,乔布斯在苹果的第一段时期是一个超越其时代的人。计算机技术早期是为技术指标所主导的。但他对设计与使用舒适度的强调成为他后来所具有的优势。在这个计算机逐渐变为人人拥有而无所不能的时尚潮物的世界,优雅的设计、简便的操作,以及对其他领域的理解开始产生重要作用。“仅有科技已经不够”,乔布斯在2011年3月iPad 2发布会致闭幕辞时说道,“只有科技与文艺、与人性相结合的结晶才能让我们的心灵放声歌唱。”作为一位科技公司总裁,这样的一番话是很不寻常的。

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重点单词
  • elegantadj. 优雅的,精美的,俊美的
  • unusualadj. 不平常的,异常的
  • blessingn. 祝福,祷告
  • appreciatevt. 欣赏,感激,赏识 vt. 领会,充分意识 vi.
  • transformationn. 转型,转化,改造
  • rangen. 范围,行列,射程,山脉,一系列 v. 排列,归类于
  • strategicadj. 战略的,重要的,基本的
  • guidancen. 引导,指导
  • understatedadj. 轻描淡写的;低调的;朴素的;不夸张的
  • ubiquitousadj. 到处存在的,遍在的