Wired: Steve Jobs considered [Polaroid Founder Edwin] Land one of his heroes. They both had a single-minded vision; they both paired a strong design sense with technology.
Christopher Bonanos: They were both artist-technologists, and both really believed in the importance of the product itself, instead of just filling a market segment or carving off some market share. You know, there were lots of MP3 players around before the iPod, and they were ugly or annoying to use or bulky or otherwise flawed–and then here came this perfect little white brick, and when you got it in your hand, you went aaaah. It went the same way with Land’s ultimate achievement, the SX-70 camera — it’s a marvel even now, because it’s a single-lens reflex camera that folds down flat to something barely bigger than the film pack inside. As perfect a little object as it could be.
Bonanos’ new book, Instant: The Story of Polaroid tracks the rise and near fall of the company.