What was Steve Job’s greatest contribution to industry? According to Isaacson, he either transformed or invented six industries: personal computing, desktop publishing, animated film, music, telephony, and tablet computing. Isaacson also notes that Jobs successfully reimagined the retail store in an era when bricks and mortar were being replaced by virtual storefronts like Amazon. Fair enough. But what is missing in this account is something much more profound. Jobs reinvented capitalism. Or at least he advanced its reinvention far beyond the movements initiated by the virtual economics of Amazon, EBay, and PayPal. Looking back at the iPod, the watershed product event in Job’s return to Apple, most attribute its singular success to the design and aesthetics of the object itself — it’s characteristic Zen-like simplicity, its almost sexual good looks, its legendary usability. But to do so is to engage in a fetishism of both the political economic and sexual kinds. For one aspect of the iPod’s usability that tends to be overlooked is the way it managed the relationship between the user to the music, the consumer to the product. As Jobs famously noted, although you can use an MP3 player with pirated music, you end up working for less than minimum wage in the time you spend finding, downloading, copying, and cataloging files. Much better to have a service like iTunes do that for you. But iTunes is of course much more than a music and media organizer. It is an actual store — and entire inventory waiting to be purchased — sitting on your computer, or, eventually with the iPhone, in your pocket. What the iPod did was to extend the business model of Amazon into the very fabric of personal space, providing a material conduit between consumer and producer, between labor and capital. The iPod, the iPhone, and the iPad are therefore avatars of capital, material embodiments of a relationship between people and the virtual reality known as capital, which, by virtue of their beauty and ease of use, become both conduits to and distractions against that reality. As smart phones and other devices, from cars to washing machines, become “smarter” and connected to various service providers, this kind of cloud capitalism will become more dominant. The Kindle Fire, which marks Amazon’s appropriation of Job’s discovery, is just the start.