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How Steve Jobs' Legacy Has Changed 420

On the anniversary of Steve Jobs' death, reader SternisheFan sends in a story from CNN about how the Apple co-founder's legacy has changed since then. "... in the 12 months since, as high-profile books have probed Jobs' life and career, that reputation has evolved somewhat. Nobody has questioned Jobs' seismic impact on computing and our communication culture. But as writers have documented Jobs' often callous, controlling personality, a fuller portrait of the mercurial Apple CEO has emerged. 'Everyone knows that Steve had his "rough" side. That's partially because he really did have a rough side and partially because the rough Steve was a better news story than the human Steve,' said Ken Segall, author of Insanely Simple: The Obsession That Drives Apple's Success.' ... In Steve Jobs, Isaacson crafted a compelling narrative of how Jobs' co-founded Apple with Steve Wozniak, got pushed out of the struggling company a decade later and then returned in the late 1990s to begin one of the most triumphant second acts in the annals of American business. But he also spent many pages chronicling the arrogant, cruel behavior of a complicated figure who could inspire people one minute and demean them the next. According to the book, Jobs would often berate employees whose work he didn't like. He was notoriously difficult to please and viewed people and products in black and white terms. They were either brilliant or 'sh-t.' 'Among Apple employees, I'd say his reputation hasn't changed one bit. If anything, it's probably grown because they've realized how central his contributions were,' Lashinsky said. 'History tends to forgive people's foibles and recognize their accomplishments. When Jobs died, he was compared to Edison and Henry Ford and to Disney. I don't know what his place will be in history 30, 40, 50 years from now. And one year is certainly not enough time (to judge).'" Apple has posted a tribute video on their homepage today.
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How Steve Jobs' Legacy Has Changed

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  • Re:One Year Later (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 05, 2012 @09:04AM (#41557697)

    Yes, because the market would not have naturally gone that way anyways. after all, he is the genius behind this technology right? He created the Gorilla glass in his basement and shat iPhones out his ass like a queen bee. He was a CEO and nothing more. the company he was with may have created some nice devices, but they will soon go the way of the dodo, just like jobs.

  • by SmallFurryCreature ( 593017 ) on Friday October 05, 2012 @09:27AM (#41557897) Journal

    Gosh, I happen to like the program QI and Edison I learned from that program was a thief. Jeremy Clackson described Ford as someone about who nothing good could be said with Ford being an outright nazi and Disney is not much better.

    If that is supposed to be Jobs GOOD legacy bit, I hate to see what his BAD legacy is going to look like.

    The real legacy of these people is now after all that they didn't real do what they did, that what they did had already been done and that their personalities sucked.

    Jobs didn't invent the smartphone, he didn't invent the computer and if he had never been, tech would still have happened just with different logo's. There is a lesson in there, humanity is more then just a handful of names. And our advances happened at multiple times in multiple locations, it doesn't depend on ONE person. The one person type people are the ones who like to think in thousand year empires. I actually find it quite comforting that if X didn't introduce the phone, Y would have. I don't need fake heroes to look up to. Jobs was a prick and his legacy will either be that he made such a terror of himself that Apple failed immediately without him OR he made such a terror and when he died Apple did just fine without him.

    Either ending, he is still a prick. And what did it all get him? An early grave. If you wonder why I hate him? He sought out alternative medicine at the end, lending credibility to that evil which has seen the death of many.

  • Re:A year already? (Score:5, Informative)

    by am 2k ( 217885 ) on Friday October 05, 2012 @09:36AM (#41557965) Homepage

    in our society we glorify sociopathic assholes who only care about making money and enforcing their narcissistic vision.

    In Isaacson's book, there's a chapter on how Jobs told Larry Ellison to stop caring so much about making money, and thinking more about the products. I don't think making money was his driving force. I definitely won't argue about the other two characteristics you've described, though :)

  • Re:A year already? (Score:5, Informative)

    by am 2k ( 217885 ) on Friday October 05, 2012 @10:00AM (#41558143) Homepage

    Apple will NEVER advance if they keep trying to emulate Jobs. Jobs was not Apple, and Apple can and will survive without him. But now, they have the opportunity to change.

    While I agree with you, the last time Apple tried to change post-Jobs, it went horribly wrong. There's a huge difference when career managers are in the driver's seat, compared to the ones that founded the company and defined its core values. I think Steve Jobs wanted to avoid that when he nurtured his successors (Tim Cook & Jony Ive) early, but that also means they're probably reluctant to change too much of his success strategy. We'll see how long they will be in control, but I'm afraid of what will come afterwards.

  • by CanHasDIY ( 1672858 ) on Friday October 05, 2012 @10:10AM (#41558265) Homepage Journal

    Apple introducing the usb port...

    FYI, unless you're specifically referring to Apple adopting the already existing USB standard, that didn't happen. []

    If the former, disregard and carry on.

  • by CanHasDIY ( 1672858 ) on Friday October 05, 2012 @10:18AM (#41558349) Homepage Journal

    Henry Ford wasn't an elitist?

    Dunno; here's what I do know about Ford:

    - he popularized the semi-automated assembly line, a technology which allowed mass production to significantly decrease the cost of durable goods.
    - he pretty much 'invented' the 40-hour work week; prior to Ford, most industry occupations were 12-16 hours a day, 6 or 7 days a week.
    - He insisted on paying his employees well, citing that well paid workers are happy workers who both work harder, and purchase the products they themselves built, a win-win for Ford.

    In spite of all his faults, Henry Ford [] was a true visionary deserving of the praise he receives; Jobs, on the other hand, was less a visionary and more a brilliant marketing guy... which is probably a feat all its own, but personally I don't hold marketing monkeys in very high regard.

  • Re:Last sentence (Score:5, Informative)

    by bhagwad ( 1426855 ) on Friday October 05, 2012 @11:01AM (#41558795) Homepage

    No they weren't. Check out the history of the light bulb. The carbon filament pioneered by Edison was able to give out the correct amounts of light without melting it and he was able to create the necessary vacuum that enabled it to function. Before that, light bulbs were just not usable.

    Edison's fight light bulb test lasted for 13.5 hrs - an immensely large amount of time (in those days) that only increased as he perfected his design.

    Sorry, but there's no comparing this true functional achievement with prettifying smartphones.

  • by VGPowerlord ( 621254 ) on Friday October 05, 2012 @11:40AM (#41559279)

    Ford did not invent the Automobille. What they did was popularize these technologies by refining them and making them more practical, and yes, marketing them.

    Ford didn't invent the automobile, he created the modern factory that uses assembly lines, which drove production costs way down. We still use these to produce all sorts of manufactured goods over a century later, albeit with significantly more automation.

    To make this more on topic: iPhones and the like are produced in factories that use these ideas.

Order and simplification are the first steps toward mastery of a subject -- the actual enemy is the unknown. -- Thomas Mann