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Steve Jobs Crowned "Person of the Decade" 346

longacre writes "Apple CEO Steve Jobs won over 30% of the vote in an online poll published by personal finance and investing news site SmartMoney.com, enough to earn their 'Person of the Decade' title by a solid margin over luminaries such as Warren Buffett (17%), Ben Bernanke (13%) and Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page (12%). From the article: 'Certainly, Jobs accomplished more than probably any other CEO since he returned to Apple in the late 1990s: Not only did he revive sales at the failing computer company, he led the stock to a more than 700% increase in value, and forever changed the way people buy and listen to music.'"
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Steve Jobs Crowned "Person of the Decade"

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  • by BadAnalogyGuy ( 945258 ) <BadAnalogyGuy@gmail.com> on Tuesday December 29, 2009 @12:28PM (#30582950)

    I can't name anyone else who could have had more of an impact on the world than these two assholes.

    Steve Jobs introduced some nice toys, but that's nothing compared to the impact of dismantling the American way or life.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by jerep ( 794296 )

      But those toys were used to distract the mindless american consumers while the two assholes destroyed everything!

    • by mcvos ( 645701 ) on Tuesday December 29, 2009 @12:31PM (#30582982)

      Well, the poll was by an investment site. I can imagine them appreciating someone who sends stock prices into the stratosphere more than someone who sunk the economy.

      • by RingDev ( 879105 )

        Who other than Bush could have gotten the price of gas back under $3 a gallon?!!? Sure he had to all but destroy the economy and risk the world power structure, but we have cheep gas again!!


        • Gas was about $1.26 a gallon [doe.gov] when he took office and oil was under $20 per barrel.

          So quadrupling the price to over $5.00 per gallon then getting it back 'back under $3 a gallon' is not much of an accomplishment. It started its trend upward in mid 2003.

          The fact that G.W. stood up to the V.P. [truthout.org] and opposed the use of military force on U.S. soil surprised me and is something to remember Bush for.

          Gas 'under $3'? We had that before he took office and well after 9/11.

          If I missed your sarcasm tags, then I'm so

        • by Lumpy ( 12016 )


          Gas will be over $3.00 a gallon soon enough. it's been creeping up ever since that mess. It's simply that the oil companies discovered that big jumps will get americans freaking out and actually conserving. but if you raise it by 0.02-0.03 a month they dont notice.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by operagost ( 62405 )
      2004 called. They want their rant back.

      Have you noticed what Obama, Pelosi, Reid, and Frank are doing? And they're doing it faster.

    • SJ is probably the best of that list, sure, but what a crappy list.

  • say what you want (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Darth_brooks ( 180756 ) <<moc.liamg> <ta> <773reppilc>> on Tuesday December 29, 2009 @12:32PM (#30582996) Homepage

    Say what you want about the rampant fanboyism, the DRM, and the culture of "idea X is dumb and there's no reason for us to support it HEY CHECK OUT OUR NEW FEATURE WE CALL IT iX AND IT IS TOTALLY AWESOME AND UNIQUE BECAUSE IT'S WHITE!" that permeates apple, but there are probably very few of us that wouldn't want to take a time machine back to Dec 2000 and buy a few thousand shares of APPL at $7.50.

    (Of course, you could always just get hired by Apple and back date your stock option.....i keed i keed....)

  • It came down to one thing: the iPod caused the revivial of Apple. It led to the iPhone and gave them the financial resources to improve OS X.

    So, what person, or team of people are responsible for making the iPod happen (for all I know maybe that was Steve Jobs)? Shouldn't they be getting all of the accolades now?

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by gregarican ( 694358 )

      Here he [ideafinder.com] is.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Myopic ( 18616 )

      You are forgetting the iMac, which was the product that changed everything at Apple.

      • You are forgetting the iMac, which was the product that changed everything at Apple.

        And gave us three years of "Bondi Blue" computer hardware...

    • by beelsebob ( 529313 ) on Tuesday December 29, 2009 @03:54PM (#30585594)

      You're simplifying matters... Drastically.

      For example, without the release of the iMac in 1998, apple surely wouldn't have survived long enough to release an iPod.

      Without OS X (admittedly in development before SJ's return) it probably wouldn't have got there either.

      Without the revamp of apple's laptop line in general to make them into arguably the best laptops money can buy did a good amount too.

      Without the iPod, it probably wouldn't be in the enormously successful state it's in now.

      Without the iPhone, it probably wouldn't be looking too rosy right now either – iPod sales are slipping now.

      Essentially what I'm saying is – there's significant vision and management going on here. It's not *one* hit product that someone got lucky on, it's a history, since he came back of *every* part of the company improving what it's doing, and becoming generally more appealing.

  • "...From the article, 'Certainly, Jobs accomplished more than probably any other CEO since he returned to Apple in the late 1990s:

    So? What did he do in the LAST decade? Shouldn't that be what matters?

    ... and forever changed the way people buy and listen to music.

    Really? I don't have an iPod. More Americans don't than do. What did he do exactly that change the way we listen to music? MP3 players were already coming into prominence. Perhaps he accelerated it, but he didn't change the way we do it.

    Oh yea, he created the iTunes. Yup, he did indeed singlehandedly come up with a way to purchase music online, to put DRM into it, and was the first to do so. /end sarcasm.

    If anything, he d

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Myopic ( 18616 )

      The "last decade" is synonymous with "since the late 90s".

    • What did he do exactly? He sure didn't invent the mp3 player.

  • by number6x ( 626555 ) on Tuesday December 29, 2009 @12:41PM (#30583130)

    Not to mention his appearances on 'Dancing With the Stars' [youtube.com]

    Oh wait, wrong Steve.

    Never mind

  • Steve Jobs is the farmer and the current generation of fancy-clothed-hip-young-lifestyle people are his sheep.

    i SERIOUSLY do not get what is so great about Apple products. All they do is take a pre-existing product, add gloss and make it look nice and the sheep come pouring in. What a stupid time we live in, Idiocracy is not far away.

    BTW I'm not a M$ fan-boy, but I would take aMicrosoft product (or Linux) over Apple any day. Practicality over aesthetics I say.

    • Re:what seriously? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by nEoN nOoDlE ( 27594 ) on Tuesday December 29, 2009 @06:02PM (#30587242) Homepage

      I'm pretty sick of the ridiculous assertion that anybody who buys a mac is a hipster. I'm a CG artist. I've been raised around computers since my parents bought me and my brother a commodore 64c. I bought Windows 95 the day that it came out. I install Ubuntu every major release and have used Windows 7 RC and every Windows that has come before it. For the past 2 years, though, my primary machine has been a Mac. For me, it's not about the aesthetics, but about the practicality. It works faster, and better. I'm a lot more productive on it and I actually enjoy using it a lot more than both Linux or Windows. When I use Windows at work and have to change some obscure network preference, it takes me a few minutes to find the hidden window inside the obscure preference panel. When I need to do the same thing on Mac OS, I can usually find what I need in 30 seconds. That's practicality. Hipsters might be the face behind Apple fanaticism but most of the people who I've convinced to buy Macs weren't hipsters but regular non-computer people who want a nice, easy, clean operating system that doesn't get bogged down with the bullshit that Windows does. My girlfriend bought a macbook last year and I haven't had to help her with it at all, meanwhile my neighbor's Windows XP machine has been destroyed by spyware and malware to an almost unusable state. That's practicality. If all Apple had to offer was a pretty way to minimize Windows, nobody would be interested. Ubuntu has better eye candy than Mac OS at this point. It's got flashy cube desktop switchers and transparent windows and a bunch of other flashy shit that people love seeing on YouTube [youtube.com] but then don't use because it's not practical.

      I could even say the same thing about the iPhone. 3 years ago I only had a cell phone to make emergency calls and I rarely used it. Then the iPhone came out and I didn't want to join in on the hype so I bought a Palm Treo. The thing was absolute fucking garbage. It crashed 3 or 4 times a day and even after over 10 years of Palm OS being on the market, there wasn't a single application that I was interested in. The 3G came out and I decided to switch to iPhone. Now it's glued to my hand. It's changed the way I live my life. I need a restaurant nearby, I look to my iPhone. I want to look up something that we're talking about in everyday conversation, I check my iPhone. Yeah, other phones now have similar features, but Apple paved the way for it. Other smart phones focused on getting your e-mail to you wherever you are. Apple focused on getting the internet to you wherever you are. Now people constantly ask me to check my iPhone for some information. That's practicality. I don't give a shit that it looks pretty. It's a plus, but again, if all Apple could do was make a nice looking phone then they'd be out of business. No, they made a phone that's useful and that's why they've taken up half of the cell phone market-share. It's not just hipsters buying them.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Draek ( 916851 )

        Pity for Apple that regular non-computer users wanting a nice, easy, clean operating system are *such* a rarity outside the US, given their comparatively abysmal marketshare everywhere else.

        Or, y'know, perhaps it *is* the marketing after all.

  • Am I crazy... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by liquiddark ( 719647 ) on Tuesday December 29, 2009 @12:46PM (#30583196)
    Didn't the last decade contain Google's entire rise to dominance? The "start page to the internet" and all that? How exactly does Apple's crappy e-store compare with that achievement, exactly? One has to think that the results of the poll are about flash rather than true impact.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by DeadDecoy ( 877617 )
      Everyone tends to vote for the name they recognize the most rather than the person that contributes the most. However, to be fair, Jobs did oversee the rise of Apple; helped develop Pixar which helped create the new genre of computer animation; and pretty much ushered in digital music while gatekeepers (RIAA) sought to prove its illegitimacy and stop it. If all Apple did, was simply produce a music-based e-store, they'd be on the same level as napster or pandora. Fact is, Jobs has done a lot to change Apple
    • by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Tuesday December 29, 2009 @01:18PM (#30583588)

      Look, I would have voted for Google myself as having greater impact, part of the problem is that the impact is not as widely noticed or has been forgotten since we are all used to how things are. But I think you are a little bit guilty of that with Apple as well.

      If nothing else, Apple single-handedly made the entire music industry give up DRM, ironically (well not really ironically since it's an inevitable side effect of the technology) by using DRM to place Apple between customers and music labels in a way the labels could not control. We all just take DRM free music for granted but we'd not have that generally available yet without Apple, because the market would have remain too fragmented to force the need for DRM free music to get around Apple.

      You may call it a "crappy store" but it was the first time selling music online ever went anywhere, and to date is far larger than any other online music presence and even most real world stores. I'm not sure how you can dismiss that out of hand as irrelevant.

      And then of course they actually made smartphones a generally desirable product instead of a niche with corporate and technical users.

      So in at least two areas they greatly expanded the whole range of the market, not just their own marketshare. That is why they deserve to be in the top list, even if you can quibble about who is really at THE top.

      • by Nemyst ( 1383049 ) on Tuesday December 29, 2009 @03:46PM (#30585486) Homepage
        Yet this is only about music. Google changed the whole INTERNET. They managed to single-handedly reshape the face of the entire thing for just about everyone, becoming the front-end and first port of call to many, many users. Heck, I'm pretty sure everyone who downloaded iTunes did so through Google. The majority of people use Google even for basic web browsing, searching for an address instead of typing it directly in the address bar.

        Say what you will, Google has transformed the decade far more than Jobs and Apple have. No, the problem is that this transformation has happened through "Google" as an entity, while just about everyone's saying that Jobs was the sole driving force behind Apple's rise (which is only true in part). It's that perception that makes people feel Jobs is the more influential person.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by webdog314 ( 960286 )
      This was a poll for "person" of the decade, NOT "company" of the decade. Can you really say that Sergey Brin and Larry Page are directly responsible for Google's success? Or was it a collaborative effort on the part of the company and the hundreds of brilliant minds they employ? But taken the other way, you CAN say that Jobs is directly responsible for Apple's success. His leadership, vision, and overbearing micro-management style has directly mastered where Apple is today.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by naasking ( 94116 )

      Google improved web search. Apple with Steve Jobs improved portable music (iPod), music and video distribution (iTunes and AppleTV), mobile phones, personal computers (first computers to go all-USB, Firewire, consumer-friendly iMacs, trendy computers), and to an extent, operating systems (not that Mac OS X is revolutionary, but they open sourced it, which is unprecedented for a commercial operating system for end-users). I don't think there is a single sector of the consumer electronics or computer industry

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by asv108 ( 141455 )
      Everything Google is doing now was done by a competitor before Google started doing it. Altavista, mapquest, hotmail, etc.
  • by stakovahflow ( 1660677 ) on Tuesday December 29, 2009 @12:48PM (#30583220)

    at the FreeBSD foundation and those among us that helped improve OS X's source via the OpenDarwin project. (And then Steve Jobs gets credit? Not in my book...)

    Too dang bad Apple had to put it (the OpenDarwin project) down. As if over 90% of the kernel didn't come from the open source community...

    Those guys/gals who did all that code and testing are the ones who really deserve to take a bow...

    Oh, yeah, congrats Mr. Jobs.

    Good job giving no credit to the grunts toiling for your profit margin...

    Sorry to be a pessimist...

    Just a thought, though...


    • Or:

      You can thank Jobs for bringing attention on a massive scale to FreeBSD project, enough to garner the attention of the open source community to send developers to it.

      Or do you think all those developers went to FreeBSD and the OpenDarwin project because FreeBSD was cool on its own merits???

      If it wasn't for Jobs, FreeBSD (and OpenDarwin) would have been Yet Another UNIX, languishing in the marketplace.

      Of course, Apple sucks for pulling the rug out from underneath the developers, but that is another story.

  • Recognition (Score:3, Insightful)

    by slasho81 ( 455509 ) on Tuesday December 29, 2009 @12:52PM (#30583258)
    Jobs is far from being man of the decade, but if this poll is evidence of anything, it's that Jobs is a marketing guru.
  • The minute someone puts Ben Bernanke on a "Person of the _____" list as a choice, the list is invalidated. Bernanke, like Greenspan, created policy that causes recessions and depressions and then makes them worse.

    I can't understand why people continue to give any credibility to these deadpulp periodicals and their online offspring.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      My view of Bernake, summed up in one word ...


    • It at least didn't say *Good* person of the ____. I.e. Hitler was a strong candidate for 'person of the century' in Time magazine's reckoning, but happened to be edged out by positive people (probably because they feared people assuming 'person of the century' was automatically an honor and therefore it was safer to go with Einstein). Most of these lists purport not to measure 'good' but how influential a person was.

  • Useless (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Mikkeles ( 698461 ) on Tuesday December 29, 2009 @12:53PM (#30583264)

    So, out of a bunch of people who have done bugger all other than accumulate wealth, Jobs won.

  • by GreatBunzinni ( 642500 ) on Tuesday December 29, 2009 @12:53PM (#30583266)

    and forever changed the way people buy and listen to music.

    Really? Everyone was already downloading and listening to MP3s a good while back before the first iPod was released to the market and iTunes was launched. I mean, Napster was up and running since around 1999 and, way before that, IRC was swarming with channels dedicated to transferring MP3 albums through DCC file transfers. The mIRC [wikipedia.org] world was packed with scripts to automatically handle that stuff. Before that there was already a pretty extensive sneakernet [wikipedia.org] dedicated to exchange music files through CD-Rs packed with MP3. Heck, back in 1994 I knew a group of people who were ripping CDs to WAV files and lending hard drives with that stuff (they were idiots but to each it's own). So, how exactly can a corporation "forever change the way people listen to music" if everyone was already doing exactly that for years before the company released a product?

    Apple deserves credit in exploring the "pay to download music files" market, particularly by convincing record companies to authorize a new business model to sell their product. Yet, they didn't changed any habits. They realized that there was an extensive and overwhelming demand for downloading music (there was a heck of a lot of people doing that) and they invested in an attempt to capitalize from that demand. They succeeded at that. But changing the way people listen to music? No, they didn't. They were successful in riding the wave but I'm sorry to tell you, they didn't changed any habits.

    • Mod Parent Up! (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mpapet ( 761907 )

      The summary was written in the Steve Jobs Reality Distortion Field.

      Remember people, Apple is a follower just like every big corporation. In the MP3 player's case, they waited for the industry to grow 'big enough' then sold a unique-enough player with total subservience to the media conglomerates and backed it up with extreme amounts of advertising.

      Could any other company do the same? Probably not. One main reason being Jobs' participation in device design. The other being an advertising budget that no ri

      • by Lumpy ( 12016 )

        Apple won for one reason, iTunes. their PC transfer and management interface did not SUCK horribly like every other mp3 player out there.

        Even now the software to manager and transfer your music on non apple ipods sucks horribly. the first thing I did with my iRiver was the firmware change to make it a USB drive so I could avoid their garbage software for music transfer.

      • Re:Mod Parent Up! (Score:4, Insightful)

        by frank_adrian314159 ( 469671 ) on Tuesday December 29, 2009 @03:19PM (#30585126) Homepage

        Apple is a follower just like every big corporation.

        Yes, but the future is as much evolutionary as revolutionary. And Jobs has shown an unmatched ability to take technology that's crappy and hard-to-use and make incremental changes to it that makes it useful to someone who doesn't want to screw around with technology. In other words, "It's not technically innovative only if you think that human factors engineering is not a technical field."

    • If you're definition of "everyone" means "college kids in the late '90s" then I'd suspect you are right.

      But the iPod made it easy and mainstream to find and listen to mp3s. Now Apple, because of Jobs, dominates the lucrative market for legal, commercial distribution of music and portable music playing devices.

      I'm not saying this makes him a person of the decade. But you are way off base if you think a majority or even a significant minority of people got their music from IRC or hard drives, even USENET, at

    • Everyone was already downloading and listening to MP3s a good while back before the first iPod

      A common problem here is that slashdotters think that "Me=everyone" or "Geeks=everyone". Back in 1999 many people were using napsters and had discovered MP3s. The first players were on the market. I even had a Rio PMP. But not "everyone" knew about MP3s or were using these players.

      Apple has never been leading edge when it comes to tech. What Apple does better than anybody else did was bringing technology to a

  • I'm glad Steve Jobs turned Apple into the company it did. Now that Apple PC's and MP3 Players and Phones are so expensive, I can make fun of those pompous pricks who think they are better than everyone because they have a certain iTem.

    Now I don't have to feel ashamed for using a PC.

    *half hearted smile*

    *lowers head*

    *breaks into tears*

  • Also, (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mxh83 ( 1607017 ) on Tuesday December 29, 2009 @12:56PM (#30583292)
    Obama won a peace prize.
  • I assume (Score:4, Funny)

    by ThatsNotPudding ( 1045640 ) on Tuesday December 29, 2009 @12:57PM (#30583304)
    I assume they will back-date the award to the 90's.
  • by jayme0227 ( 1558821 ) on Tuesday December 29, 2009 @01:01PM (#30583358) Journal

    They tend to skew towards the young, tech savvy, and vocal. I'm sure many slashdotters have voted in polls on sites that they didn't frequent because someone told them it was a good idea, and we all know how vocal Apple Fanboys are.

    That aside, Jobs was very important this decade. He helped bring about a credible threat to the Windows OS (causing Microsoft to make many positive changes), he helped to reform the music industry, bringing the aging RIAA and record companies to their knees, and he has shown the direction that telcos must move in as far as mobile computing by causing AT&T's 3G network to buckle. He was very influential, especially in the field of computing, and more deserving than most.

    Now, personally I would have said that GW Bush was the most influential person of the decade. He was the most powerful man in the world for 8 (technically 7, whatever) years. He made an enormous power grab for the executive branch, changed how the country views terrorism (be scared, very scared), and brought several countries into two wars, one of which is hopefully mostly over, and the other with no end in sight. Also, under his watch, the worldwide economy took an enormous tumble due to his lax policies, with considerable help from previous presidents, especially Clinton and Reagan. To me, his influence was far greater than anything Jobs has done.

  • So, this wraps up another Decade of Dreadful Apple Ads [slashdot.org]. (I couldn't resist.)

  • -- he'd be "King", not merely "Person" of the decade!

    Voice: :"Well, I didn't vote for ya."

    Other voice: "You don't "vote" for a King."

    Ad infinitum/absurdum.

  • Whoever wrote this list appears to have omitted Steve Ballmer. I assume the article will be corrected in short order.

  • “...by a load of Apple fanboys in a flash-mob-like stunt”. ^^

    But on a more serious note: Would you want to get called “person of the decade” by a bunch of crooks that have no other purpose in life than the pointless pursuit of “moar moneyz”?
    Just so you know, that’s the typical user of that site: http://lolfatcats.com/page/3 [lolfatcats.com]

  • The poll was done by SmartMoney.com so their emphasis would be on investors. In the past decade other individuals have had more influence on humanity in general but that's not the focus of this poll. This isn't a humanitarian of the decade award. Over the past decade, Steve Jobs had led Apple from the brink of doom to be a highly influential player in several markets: Music, Computers, Consumer electronics, and Cell phones. In that time, Apple's price has risen nearly 10x (from 25.90 on Dec 31, 1999 t

  • IF it wasn't for Ben Bernanke studying the Great Depressions, and seeing the liquidity crisis and the hardship that it caused, we would have not had "helicopters of money" and unemployment would be 20% nationally, and 50% in regions, and we would be working WPA jobs. Democracies would be toppled by desperate people, perhaps even our own, and the world would be lurching to war.

    So, by far, Ben Bernanke is the right man in the right place at the right time. This recession sucks, but he kept it from getting a

  • Find any thread about Apple and the first thing that tends to get posted are Apple haters spewing their tired arguments and labeling anyone owning an Apple product a fanboy. I just don't get it, no one forces anyone to buy Apple products. Sure there are better products than most apple stuff on a technical level but for the average consumer ease of use and just working properly are the most important features, and Apple tends to excel at both. Why not just respect that others might actually like their st

  • Eh, yeah (Score:3, Interesting)

    by SmallFurryCreature ( 593017 ) on Tuesday December 29, 2009 @02:16PM (#30584312) Journal

    I listen to mobile music from a walkman (Sony) to a minidisc(sony) to a CD(philips) that eventually could play MP3(Fraunhoffer) and then my first HD MP3 player (Creative) then expanding to OGG/FLAC capable players (iRiver) and finally settling on my current one (Cowon).

    And I bought my music first on tape, then LP then CD then Mini-Disc and then got it via Usenet and then Napster and now via Torrents.

    Where is Apples involvement? Now I would disguss further, but the RIAA wants a word with me.

10.0 times 0.1 is hardly ever 1.0.