October 22, 2011

The iBio indeed ... NYT confirms #SteveJobs deification

The reviews are pouring in. And, it's clear from the New York Times that Walter Isaacson set out to deify Steve Jobs, and that, in Janet Maslin's estimation, he succeeded indeed.

The worship starts, indirectly, here:
Mr. Jobs promised not to look over Mr. Isaacson’s shoulder, and not to meddle with anything but the book’s cover. (Boy, does it look great.)
And continues.
Skeptic after skeptic made the mistake of underrating Steve Jobs, and Mr. Isaacson records the howlers who misjudged an unrivaled career. “Sorry Steve, Here’s Why Apple Stores Won’t Work,” Business Week wrote in a 2001 headline. “The iPod will likely become a niche product,” a Harvard Business School professor said.
Reality? As Wired notes, Jobs himself intended the iPod, via iTunes, to be a Mac-only product and had to be talked out of it. Had his famous stubbornness not failed him, Steve Jobs' second coming at Apple would have been no more financially successful than the first.

The Washington Post falls in line, worshiping the future of Apple TV while ignoring its ignominious past and noting that Isaacson does the same.

Let's also not forget that Isaacson is president of the Aspen Institute, which basically is to fair degree a platform for business and financial leaders with outsized egos, even for their professions, to engage in various forms of platitudinous pontificating.

HuffPost notes he was in it for the "infowars" along with money, even though it doesn't draw that obvious conclusion from this take:
Isaacson’s biography reveals that Jobs also targeted the textbook industry for transformation and met with major textbook publishers to discuss a partnership with Apple.
“He believed it was an $8 billion a year industry ripe for digital destruction,” Isaacson writes. “His idea was to hire great textbook writers to create digital versions, and make them a feature of the iPad.”
“The process by which states certify textbooks is corrupt,” Jobs told Isaacson. “But if we can make the textbooks free, and they come with the iPad, then they don’t have to be certified. The crappy economy at the state level will last for a decade, and we can give them an opportunity to circumvent that whole process and save money.”
It would hardly be the first time Jobs would take on the challenge of revamping education: NeXT, the company he founded in 1985 after his ouster from Apple, also had ambitions of providing new tools for the classroom, though academic institutions balked at the NeXT computer's $6,500 pricetag.
An iPad wouldn't be that expensive, but given Amazon's book market and the new Kindle Fire, Jobs would have had a big #fail here. Instead, Tim Cook will get that "Fun." And, whichever behemoth wins, kids will likely lose.

Meanwhile, the AP story notes the reality, especially vis-a-vis Google: Steve Jobs was thin-skinned and hypocritical.
The book also provides insight into the unraveling of Jobs' relationship with Eric Schmidt, the former CEO of Google and an Apple board member from 2006 to 2009. Schmidt had quit Apple's board as Google and Apple went head-to-head in smartphones, Apple with its iPhone and Google with its Android software.
Isaacson wrote that Jobs was livid in January 2010 when HTC introduced an Android phone that boasted many of the popular features of the iPhone. Apple sued, and Jobs told Isaacson in an expletive-laced rant that Google's actions amounted to "grand theft."
"I will spend my last dying breath if I need to, and I will spend every penny of Apple's $40 billion in the bank, to right this wrong," Jobs said. "I'm going to destroy Android, because it's a stolen product. I'm willing to go thermonuclear war on this."
Jobs used an expletive to describe Android and Google Docs, Google's Internet-based word processing program. In a subsequent meeting with Schmidt at a Palo Alto, California, cafe, Jobs told Schmidt that he wasn't interested in settling the lawsuit, the book says.
"I don't want your money. If you offer me $5 billion, I won't want it. I've got plenty of money. I want you to stop using our ideas in Android, that's all I want." The meeting, Isaacson wrote, resolved nothing.
Now, I don't worship at Google's altar, either. But this is simply ridiculous.

Jobs got his original Apple idea from Xerox parc, and did other "idea lifting" during his years, and claims Google is a thief? That's laughable at least, and pot-and-kettle beyond that.

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