A few weeks ago, John Elkington of Volans mused on the impressive accomplishments of Steve Jobs as he departed from Apple and then wondered aloud who the Steve Jobs equivalent in sustainability might be. Elkington pointed out, quoting John Noughton, that Jobs represents the charismatic entrepreneur who “arrived to offer consumers better quality, higher production values and greater ease of use.” The iPod wasn’t the first digital music player, and the iPhone wasn’t the first smartphone, yet Jobs and Apple transformed both the digital music player and the smartphone markets. Could we see the same kind of transformer in the world of sustainability?
I cracked the screen of my 4th gen iPod Touch the other day. Actually, not cracked — shattered. I think I wouldn’t have cracked it had I dropped the iTouch at any other angle and place than face-first on a concrete driveway; after all, it had a case and screen “protector” (scratch protector, really). I don’t have the time to compute the G force involved in stopping the device in an instant after a few-foot drop, but I suspect most glass wouldn’t have survived either unless encased in bubble wrap. Fortunately the iPod still worked. I made a Wednesday appointment at my local Apple Store and waited for the days to creep by.
Y’know, there’s just something about Apple Stores — packed to the brim with folks young and old, pressing here and tapping there, some even with food and drinks cradled in their free hands. (Maybe the something is that I’m just a fanboy.) I shouldered my way through the crowd and checked in for my appointment, and soon a blue-shirted guy came up to me. I made some quip about a “small recent problem” — as in small pieces of glass everywhere — and showed him the situation. “Shattered,” he said. (I got the word from him.) Then he said I’d need $150 to replace the iPod.