Steve Jobs leaves a legacy of ‘delight’ in Silicon Valley

Ask Joshua Reeves about his online payroll service, and the last thing he’ll want to discuss are its features and algorithms and software code and all that other cold jargon that usually comes pouring out of the mouths of Silicon Valley engineers.

No, what Reeves really cares about is what he hopes you will feel when you use ZenPayroll Inc.:


“That’s the effect we’re trying to achieve,” said Reeves, whose company has applied to trademark “delightful payroll.” “We talk about how to create that ‘aha moment,’ that feeling the first time you use it where you just stop and say, ‘This is amazing. Why weren’t you here 10 years ago?'”

Yes, delight. A squishy, subjective, hard-to-pin-down term. So daringly unquantifiable, so proudly immeasurable. And now, suddenly, all the rage in data-driven Silicon Valley.

Like so many other things in Silicon Valley, the word is a legacy of Steve Jobs, the Apple Inc. co-founder who often spoke of wanting to “surprise and delight” people.

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