Steve Jobs: Saint and Sinner

God knows Steve Jobs was prolifically inventive. Millions of users can thank Steve for changing PCs with the  first fullscreen GUI interface when Steve took Xerox Parc’s Alto and showed it could not only work but be spectacularly successful on a consumer PC. This happened   first with Lisa and then a Mac.   Millions of viewers can thank Steve for helping to rescue animated movies when Steve bought Pixar  and launched Toy Story after 5 tries. What followed has been a stream of hit anmated movies  since then. Millions of long suffering PC users can thank Steve for breaking the Microsoft monopoly in the personal computing space with his iDevices – iPod, iPhone and iPad. Appls will be a $110 billion dollar business in 2011 while Microsoft is $70 billion. Now Redmond no longer dictates what will be in Personal Computing but  has to play a serious game of catch up with Windows 8, the Office Suite and Windows Phone.

Marketwatch’s Jon Freidman catches this success  when he writes about the deification of Steve Jobs:

Apple co-founder and Silicon Valley trailblazer Steve Jobs led a complicated life. Along with those fabulous “i” marketplace triumphs, many messy controversies also dogged Jobs. But since he died on Oct. 5 after a long illness, the media have elevated him to a saint-like status. Journalists have all but done the limbo to avoid criticizing Jobs. Today, let the deification begin. I wish more headlines reflected the even-handedness of Britain’s Guardian, which put Jobs in a proper perspective on Oct. 10: “Steve Jobs wasn’t a god, but let’s give him his due.”

Summary. No doubt Steve Jobs is being deified; but he was sinner too.  And  Adobe, the  Java team, and Mac touchscreen-less users are just a few who brushed up sometimes very unfairly against the Jobsian ire or dictates. But this deification is understandable in a country yearning for signs of its economic and business greatness in an era when the US Financial and Business elites have both fleeced their fellow countrymen  with the cost of their financial failures  and sold out their workers in the race to the Flat-Earth bottom on wages and benefits. So instead of creating a saint,  the media might try to resolve the reality into a more nuanced and ultimately sympathetic portrait of Steve’s life and character. So far that has been a mixed endeavor, especially in the business press with the notable exception of  Marketwatch. And thus there should be more interest in the   soon to be released authorized  biography of Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson, who has already garnered outstanding praise for his biographies about Benjamin Franklin to Albert Einstein.

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