A recent comment drew to may attention that this blog had done nothing on Steve Jobs – that was because I knew very little about him at the time of his death.  Well, better late than never. But let me explain. I did nothing on Jobs because I really knew so little about him and so did not understand what all the fuss was about. My mistake.

I have none of Job’s magnificent inventions unless you count my P.C.

I notice in this morning’s paper that Walter Isaacson’s coming biography of Jobs shot up the best seller on within hours of the news of Mr. Job’s death, moving from No. 384 to No. I

What is it that I missed about Steve Jobs?

Was he really up there with Henry Ford, Thomas Edison and Charles Lindbergh?

Should we have done something about Steve Jobs?

What do you think?


  1. 1

    The inventors, or entrepreneurs such as Ford,provided employment for hundreds of thousands of people. Flight brought the whole world into easy reach,one region with the other. The same for the telephone. These were revolutionary developments.

    Jobs advanced entertainment and communication. He also gave bright,shiny objects to all ,the better to erode our attention spans . It just doesn`t measure up.

  2. 2
    youngshoutman Says:

    Absolutely, a true genius who helped design, develop, and market one of the first successful lines of personal computers, the Apple II series, among many other achievements.

  3. 3
    youngshoutman Says:

    Computers brought everyone together, like right now for instance and are a vital part of everday life used in banking, FLYING,almost every job, and communication and entertainment while also providing features like Skype where you can talk to people across the world without even touching a plane and how is the telephone not part of communication?

  4. 4

    Yes, Steve Jobs was most definitely up there with Edison and Ford. He wasn’t up there with Lindbergh because LIndbergh wasn’t up there to begin with. Lindbergh is down below the other three many notches, hovering around the “Terry Fox” category.

    Steve Jobs was more than a one-trick-pony. It would have been enough had he just given the world the first widely popular, user-friendly personal computer, which he did with the Apple II. But then the hits, they just kept on a coming:

    – The MacIntosh. It took the innovations of the Mouse and Windows — developed by the infamous Xerox Palo Alto R&D group — and brought it to be used by, literally, billions of people worldwide. Jobs did this almost single-handedly.

    – Next. The company he founded after he left Apple. I don’t know much about it other than what I have read and, apparently, the operating system they developed was so innovative and incredible that parts of it is still being used today in all sorts of Apple products.

    – Pixar. Animation done in a way never done before.

    – iMac. When Jobs returned to Apple — which was on the skids at this point — the IMac brought Apple back to profitability and becoming, once again, a “player”.

    – iPhone.

    – iPod.

    – iPad.

    These innovations not only changed the world and the way people interacted with technology but it made Apple one the highest capitalized companies in the world.

    What an incredible individual.

    Should you have done a post on him, Neil? No, not necessarily. It’s not your responsibility to have posts on what’s most popular. This is your blog and let your own “spirit” guide you as to what you want to write about. There are a million other sites that will provide us with opportunities to debate the topics you don’t cover, such as the death of Jobs.

    By the way, I don’t know what the protocol for the U.S. ordering flags to be flown at half mast are, but whatever it is, I think the President should have made an exception for Jobs. He represented the best that America had to offer.

  5. 5
    Neil McKenty Says:


    Thanks for your thoughtful and thorough comment on Steve Jobs.

  6. 6

    iPhone, imac,ipad, i can read the hagiographies as well. The point is,does commercial success mean greatness,does it mean a deep and serious benefit to people ? I keep hearing about how Jobs was a genius at marketing,which is true. Does that make his inventions important ? Or should folks in the entertainment busines be the ones to remember him ?

    I stand by my point about our attention spans.

  7. 7


    I used to smirk at the people I saw on the bus or subway hunched over their hand-held devices. I would often count how many were thus engaged and, more often than not, the figure surpassed 50% of all occupants. What automatrons, I used to think.

    And then about 4 months ago, I had to buy a “smart phone” for work. Within 24 hours, I was hooked…and I have become those people I used to smirk at. I’m on my smart phone for hours a day.

    And I don’t even have an iPhone; I have an Android. Where ever I am, I have the internet at my fingertips. Indeed, half my posts over the past few months on this forum have been via my Android.

    Entertainment? Sure, but it’s so much more than that: my Android is a still camera, a video camera, a video player, a calculator, a dictaphone machine, access to all the immediate news of the world, email, etc. etc.

    Although he didn’t invent the concept, Jobs was largely responsible for popularizing and getting this technology to the world.

    Yes, it’s undoubtedly commercial success…and, certainly, commercial success doesn’t make one a genius or a shining beacon of humanity. Indeed, if that were the criteria, Larry Flynt would fit the bill as well. But Jobs’ products not only made money, they transformed people’s lives and made their lives more fulfilling, fun, and easier in the process. That — together with the moolah — makes him the genius that he was.

  8. 8
    Trev Says:

    Yes, Exchange should have done something on Steve Jobs sooner. After all, Apple Corp. was, briefly, the most valuable company in the world earlier this year. This is amazing considering how it was long considered a tiny rival to Microsoft in the world of personal computers/operating systems.

    The whole story is interesting as Steve Jobs, a founder of Apple, after having been sacked from the company, came back and revitalised the outfit, introducing all the exciting electronic devices that other contributors have listed, and creating this Californian powerhouse that now has the money to purchase innovations (such as the voice activated system in the new 4GS – Apple went out and bought up this start-up with all the cash flying around within the company).

    Another aspect to this story is how Apple and Macintoch computers always were considered ‘arty’ and alternative – perhaps the triumph of the initial advertising blitz – I am sure many people still remember these adverts back in 1982 (not sure of date, guessing here) – as opposed to the ‘corporate’ nature of Microsoft and IBM.

    And yet, the Apple experience is much more controlled that Microsoft ever was – only software they approve of can be used on their system – including apps for the Iphone. A centrally controlled command-and-control system, that makes the Windows experience of Microsoft seem a capitalistic free-for-all ecosystem, where anyone can invent and go out and fight in the market.

    Publishers are squeaking about the ruthless deal that Apple forces them to sign to go onto the Ipad – 30% of subscription fees and no actual subscriber details passed onto the publisher. So much for the support for Apple computers that the publishing industry has applied for all these years.

    THis is a story that will run and run.

  9. 9
    youngshoutman Says:

    But we should also mention the fact that Apple has the worst ratings from a Greenpeace report that claims cloud computing companies are perpetuating the use of fossil fuels?

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