Femininity and Humanity: The Appeal of Steve Jobs’ Vision

The powerhouse organization New York Women in Communications has put together an insightful tribute to Apple founder Steve Jobs, who passed away on Wednesday, with the help of our very own Mary Lou Quinlan. Mary Lou muses on how a company in the traditionally masculine tech field resonated so beautifully with women:

Steve Jobs will be praised as a beloved man who was an entrepreneur, a visionary and a marketing genius who revolutionized the way we communicate and connect. But I want to salute him for his innate understanding of women–their affinity for design, for ease, for enhancing life’s experiences.

Back in the early 70s when Steve invented apple, through to the present day, the technology industry has been highly male-driven, even with the bright lights of Sheryl Sandberg at facebook and Marissa Mayer at google. The mentality of bells and whistles, the macho ‘mine’s cooler than yours’ bravado of Silicon Valley led to products that were functional but not exceptional.

Steve’s innate and intuitive grasp of the beautiful as well as the brilliant, his recognition of how technology can go beyond “gee whiz” to actually enhancing life moved computing from a task to a treat, from dreary to delicious. Without ever saying, ‘Women will love this!’ or even thinking pink, Jobs recognized that devices could be lovely to hold, intutive to use, easy to love.

I only hope that his sensibility, almost feminine in nature, will continue as apple’s legacy: generations of products that appeal to the humanity in all of us.

NYWICI’s tribute to Jobs includes thoughts from Linda Kaplan Thaler, Dorothy Crenshaw, Patrice Tanaka, and and Cathy Carlozzi. The entire tribute is available on NYWICI’s blog, Aloud. CLICK HERE.

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Jen Drexler Talks Caring, Creativity, And Why Apple Is Iconic

In the wake of Steve Jobs’ untimely death, both media and marketers are scrambling to decode how one man and his company changed the way the world uses entertainment technology. And when looking for insight into a brand’s influence on our lives, who better to ask than Just Ask a Woman?

Stacey Vanek Smith of Marketplace spoke with Jen about Apple’s iconic imagery and cult following:

Making people feel like it cares is exactly why Apple is Apple, says Jen Drexler, a brand analyst at Just Ask a Woman.

Jen Drexler: You joined it. It’s like enrolling in college and wearing the sweatshirt. You joined this brand the second you became hooked on one of the products.

Part of it is the cool factor. Drexler says instead of focusing on selling to businesses and targeting the cubicle culture, Mac aimed its products at musicians, filmmakers and visual artists.

Drexler: And then everyone else who has one can feel a little bit of that too. I can tell you I’ve never done anything creative with mine ever, but I would like to believe people think I do.

Check out the entire article HERE.

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Gimme More


As of two weeks ago, I am the proud owner of a beautiful iPhone 3G. My treatment towards it is reminiscent of a stage mother’s obsession over her child prodigy. I’m constantly praising its features to my friends and colleagues (“iPhone is soo clever, it can…”), and I am on a perpetual scavenger hunt for new apps to pull out as party tricks.

Recently, there have been a rash of articles lauding the 1 billion downloads of the 25,000 (and counting) applications available. From Fast Company to the NY Post, everyone has an opinion on the app with the coolest interface, the most efficient time-manager, and the most obscure virtual game.

With the increasing specificity and diversity of apps available, home screens are becoming indicative of their owner’s personality…it’s become a mini facebook page. It certainly has the same stalking potential! It’s easy to tell if you’re a gamer, an audiophile, a news junkie…all from the little square buttons decorating the toy you flash to anyone who will stay still long enough to look. For example, my friend Brendan’s love for obscure microbrews is evident in his BeerBrands app, which will tell you everything there is to know about the local brews in any city you happen to be visiting.

My obsession with filling the face of my phone got me thinking about what my ideal application would be (winner: A Sephora Beauty Insider’s deal list). Out of curiosity, I sent out a short email blast to a group of my friends, all 20-somethings living in the city, asking what their ideal app would do. These are some of the responses I got.

– “An app that finds good scenes and monologues for specific acting situations.”
Aspiring actor

– “One that acts like a TV guide in your pocket so you can see what’s playing when and on what channel. It would also have a search function (so you can see if your favorite made-for-tv movie is playing.)”
MTV employee

– “An application that catalogues all of my items of clothing, like Cher’s closet in ‘Clueless’, and provides outfit suggestions for everyday of the week.”
Jean, Just Ask a Woman

– “An unobtrusive device that continuously records audio such that you always have access to the last 10 minutes of any conversation in which you participated. Can’t believe what you just heard? Need to remember what your boss said? In an argument where your counterpart just contradicted herself? Just play the tape.”
Law student

And my personal favorite, and most applicable for all of us impatient New Yorkers…

– “A really loud honk button, so that if people in front of you on the sidewalk are walking slowly you can honk at them.”
My (very vocal) roommate…

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April 13, 2024
by Mary Lou Quinlan

A look at an early production of WORK


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The God Box Goes Global!

“The God Box” has grown to include an app, audio book, philanthropic venture and solo show performed by Mary Lou across the US. Now The God Box Project goes global to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
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