October 10, 2011

Untrue #RIPSteveJobs eulogies

We need one of Satan welcoming him to Foxconn-employee hell.
Moving beyond my Steve Jobs jokes post, I've decided to start this blog post, collecting eulogies to him that simply aren't true. The editorial cartoon shows the fawning and lack of truth aren't limited to words; my caption suggests the alternative we need.

This story in the NYT inspired me, or drove me. Author Steve Lohr, in describing Jobs as a risk-taker, says this on page 2:
Mr. Jobs made a lot of money over the years, for himself and for Apple shareholders. But money never seemed to be his principal motivation.
Really? If it wasn't, then why did he overcharge for so much of his stuff? Why did he outsource to places like Foxconn? Why did he outsource and STILL overcharge? True, he doesn't have Bill Gates' money, but taking things relative to product market share, he's still in the same neighborhood.

Linking within the NYT, I came to this one, comparing public eulogies of Jobs and Thomas Edison. It concludes:
The public tributes to Edison in 1931 and those to Mr. Jobs 80 years later were similar, but only superficially. With Edison, the public thought of the Wizard, an outsize persona, through which it was impossible to see an actual person. But with Mr. Jobs, the tributes were to a fellow mortal, exactly our own height, just as vulnerable as we all are to the random strike of a life-ending catastrophe.
Really? In actuality, everything Randall Stross says about Edison's eulogies applies to the way Jobs is being eulogized.

At least Wired was honest enough to start upfront with the BS. In the opening paragraph:
No one will take issue with the official Apple statement that “The world is immeasurably better because of Steve.”
Really? Beyond the technical sense in which brilliance in something like marketing/branding maynot be "measurable," I think a lot of people take issue with such a claim.

And, what is called Jobs' genius was luck. Specifically, one huge case of luck. AS Wred's own story notes, Jobs originally wanted the iPod to be useable only with Mac computers, and an employee had to talk him out of that. What if Jobs had had his usual level of stubbornness?

Here's another, that complains it's unfair to claim Apple was "anything but a business," despite the fact it was Jobs himself who, as part of Apple's "branding," developed that illusion.

There's a good roundup of reality-based Steve Jobs eulogizing here. It includes this from Wired:
Apple has built a little slab of Disneyland with its iPad, which is meant to be an experience unsullied by provocative or crude material. It’s beautiful and enticing — the company has already sold more than a half million of them in the first two weeks it’s been available — but it’s not the real world.
Anyway, that's a starter. If you have more examples to contribute, hit me up in comments.

No comments: