Why Steve Jobs Would Have Loved Drupal
by Tom Wentworth
I’m an unashamed Apple fanboy. I’ll resist the temptation to #humblebrag about all the Apple gear I’ve owned through the years. I worship at the altar of the late Steve Jobs, who while flawed, has inspired me through his relentless passion and creativity.
News of the paperback release of his autobiography in September reminded me of one of my favorite moments from his book:
I always thought of myself as a humanities person as a kid, but I liked electronics. Then I read something that one of my heroes, Edwin Land of Polaroid, said about the importance of people who could stand at the intersection of humanities and sciences, and I decided that’s what I wanted to do.
Steve Jobs built Apple on the premise that design matters, and that customers will pay a premium for products with a beautiful, functional design. Steve’s passion for design came from his father, who taught him to care about the quality of his work. In his autobiography, he talks about building a fence with his father, and how he was told to make sure the back of the fence was built to the same standards as the front, even though no one would see it. “I thought my dad’s sense of design was pretty good… He loved doing things right. He even cared about the look of the parts you couldn’t see.”
Like Apple, Drupal sits at the intersection of art and science.
On the other hand, Drupal appeals to the scientists (developers), who benefit from its architectural elegance and extensibility. Drupal is built much differently than other CMS products. Drupal Core contains the base services that every site needs, including user management, menu systems, multi-site support, and administrative features. But it’s the vast community-developed library of over 22,000 modules and themes that allow developers to rapidly assemble sites. As a colleague of mine put it to me recently, building a site on Drupal is like wearing a custom tailored suit that fits you perfectly. With Drupal you get exactly what you need, not what a software vendor thinks you need.
Steve would have appreciated Drupal because the community shares his belief that humanities and science can come together to create something beautiful. As Steve put it, “Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.”
As we like to say at Acquia, Dream It, Drupal It. What’s your dream?