Half of American households own an Apple product. That's more than 55 million homes. A new book, written by an author with Augusta ties, examines how Apple's late founder, Steve Jobs, marketed his vision to the world. In this WJBF News Channel 6 EXTRA report, Chris Kane gives us an inside look at Appletopia.
When Apple launched its 1984 Super Bowl commercial, Brett Robinson was only eleven-years old. Nearly 3 decades later, Robinson continues to be fascinated by Apple and its visionary, Steve Jobs.
“He married left brain and right brain,” said Brett Robinson. “He was an engineer and artist. At that stage in my life in High School, I saw the value in that. It's been an important part of my life and now with the book, it's been an expression of that.”
The book Robinson speaks of is Appletopia….Media Technology And The Religious Imagination Of Steve Jobs. It's a labor of love for the North Augusta High School alum, who takes an in-depth look at Jobs' methodology.
“There's a real religious sensibility that's baked into technology and I think Jobs understood that,” He really saw Apple as a cultural movement towards bringing that to the surface as a way to connect us and a way to bring us a joy and way to do things that religion has traditionally done.”
Robinson spent months looking closely at every Apple marketing campaign.
“That's what I do in the book is I really do a deep dive and analyze these ads in a way that shows the apple mythology as being more than just being a commercial,” said Robinson. It's really about this relationship between technology and higher beliefs and enlightment.”
“With the religion of personal technology is a worship of yourself. When you look at facebook and your phone and customize it and put pictures and those sorts of things, you're looking back at yourself. And in away, we become the object of worship,” said Robinson. “Technology is a religion.”
With limited access to Jobs' family and co-workers, Robinson's research relied heavily on secondary sources. He studied who Jobs studied. Everything ranging from his favorite poet, William Blake, to Jobs' favorite book, the autobiography of Yogi, which takes readers on a journey through the eyes of a spiritual guru.
“Personal technology almost didn't happen. It was Jobs imagination that made it happen. Before that, it was a cold war machine that nobody wanted to touch. Xerox didn't get it, IBM didn't get it, but Apple and Jobs got it,” said Robinson.
And now that we have the world at our fingertips, Robinson doesn't want to see it slip away.
“These things become a part of our lives. They become so integrated into our lives they become invisible. The point of the book is look…while this stuff is still visible let's call it what it is and try to develop kind of an ethical framework for thinking of these things so we don't go down some path that we'll regret later.”
Appletopia will be in bookstores on August 15. You can pre-order the book at Amazon.com.