October 23rd, 2011 by bigjim
When we started this column, I didn’t think we’d be writing too many obituaries. But it seems only fitting that some words are written about Steve Jobs, who died this month after a long battle with cancer.
It would not be an exaggeration to say that Steve was one of the single most important innovators and businessmen in the technology industry. He founded Apple Computers in 1977 and produced some of the first widely-recognised personal computers, including the 1984 launch of the Apple Macintosh. This began a revolution of sorts, leading to all manner of competitors and developments in that space – and without which, I don’t know what I’d be writing this piece on!
After the highs and lows of the mid-80′s and 1990′s – including Steve being ousted from his own company, going on to create Pixar Animation, and seeing Microsoft dominate over Apple in the PC wars – he returned to Apple in 1996. Upon his return, he began a turnaround unparalleled in technology history as Apple became a consumer electronics company. The release of the iPod in 2001, the iPhone in 2007 and the iPad in 2010 saw Apple revolutionise the music and entertainment businesses, and soar to their current position as the most valuable technology company in the world.
But it is the impact that these devices have had on the modern world that will be Steve Jobs’ legacy. They have changed the way we communicate, entertain research and even minister to one another. Would all that we and the Church have gained from social and new media have been possible without the innovations of one man and the company he built? We need not wonder, for our modern world has been forever changed by a man who was crazy enough to try…and succeed!
Requiescat in pace, Steve.
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October 9th, 2011 by fastmikey
The digital world we live in has brought the ability to produce content to the masses. Where previously, if you wanted to film a documentary or publish a book, you needed to have massive resources behind you, today with a video camera, some time and the use of services like YouTube, groups like Hearts Aflame (www.youtube.com/user/HeartsAflameTV) and Icon Media are able to produce professional quality videos to the masses, and self-publishing systems like CreateSpace (www.createspace.com) give you the ability to publish and market your masterpiece yourself without needing a fortune or the forces of a large company behind you.
However, while the ability to launch and deliver an independent project is more accessible than ever, it still, inevitably costs money to get most projects of the ground and to achieve the level of professionalism that would make it worthwhile. So, naturally, the internet has come to the party with a solution for this: Kickstarter (www.kickstarter.com).
Kickstarter is a fantastic method for raising funds from a community. Essentially, it gives you the ability to create a project and a target amount of funds to raise, then Kickstarter will handle the heavy lifting for you – by processing the funds and managing the relationship with your funders, you can focus on getting the word out and getting on with your project rather than managing the funds and other back end stuff. And because you’re running through Kickstarter, you immediately get a larger audience by picking up anyone else who might be visiting the site – increasing the potential for achieving your funding goals. You even have the ability to incentivise your supporters by offering a tiered reward scheme for bigger donors.
Finally, if the worst happens, and you don’t quite get to your funding target, the beauty of Kickstarter is that it works on an all or nothing scheme – if you don’t reach the targeted fundraising goal, no money changes hands. Contributors aren’t charged for their donation until the target is reached.
So what are you waiting for – Kickstart your project today!
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