Viewpoint: The great innovators


In a matter of days the world had to say goodbye to two of the most influential and imaginative people in their respective fields.

These two people changed the way their organizations worked, altered the mindset of the American people and forced us all to see the world a little differently.

Obviously, I speak of none other than Steve Jobs, Apple co-founder, and Al Davis, owner of the Oakland Raiders.

Without these two innovators the world of technology and football would be drastically different.

Take Steve Jobs for example.

Apple was a decent company — one people liked but rarely respected. They came out with the first personal computer and subsequently went to die, ruled out by the world of PC.

Then came Steve Jobs.

The iPod revolutionized mp3 players. iTunes revolutionized music storage. We became an iNation.

Because of Jobs’ talent Apple became an identity.

In no time, anxious Apple geeks began to follow the company’s every move, waiting for news of the next big thing.

In even less time, anxious PC executives hoped they could simply match Apple’s new technology.

Jobs brought us the iPod, MacBook, iPhone and iPad. He led us to the technology that brought us touch screens, Droids, Zunes and tablets.

He made it so we became more connected as a nation.

Then there’s Al Davis.

As the owner of an NFL football team, you may wonder what he has in common with a technology wiz. He hasn’t invented any gadgets we carry around in our pockets, nor has he designed any technology we can no longer live without. However, Davis created something that captivates us.

Davis was integral in the merging of the NFL and AFL. Yes boys, Davis not only owned the Raiders, he brought you your Sunday and Monday night entertainment (in addition to church and FHE, of course.)

I know this is important — and probably enough to win the hearts of the male members on campus — but this isn’t all he did.

Davis is a man of firsts. He was the first to hire an African-American coach. He was also the first to hire a woman CEO — the only woman CEO in the NFL to this day.

He revolutionized the way teams scout for players.  It was never a rare site to see Davis at the Senior Bowl looking for promising players to recruit to the Raiders.

He also took risks — he picked up players who weren’t amounting to anything. He gave them a chance, put them in the game and they succeeded.

“I would see him at owners’ meetings,” ESPN’s John Clayton said. “I can’t tell you how many times I thought I knew what was going on, but then he would say something that I had never considered, and he would be right.”

Those within the reach of these two men knew what a difference they made. I know I’d be somewhere else, writing on a different computer, with a different afternoon hobby if it weren’t for these men.

They’ve changed their worlds — and we’re better off for it. So, on behalf of us all I’ll say thank you.

Thank you for your innovations. Thank you for your time. Thank you for showing us what we should do here at BYU.

You learned your trade and served your community.

So, in honor of you, your talent and your expertise we will vow to “enter to learn and go forth to serve.”]

Allie McCoy is the opinion editor for The Daily Universe. This viewpoint represents her opinion and not necessarily that of The Daily Universe, BYU, its administration or The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

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