Thursday, October 6, 2011


Ever since 2003, one had the feeling Steve Jobs' days were numbered, and the recent announcement that he had stepped down as Chairman of Apple carried a very ominous ring to it.  His long battle with pancreatic cancer is over.

Walter Isaacson is the latest biographer to tackle the story of Steve Jobs.  The book is due out late next month.  It was tentatively titled iSteve, but it seems the publishers wanted to give Jobs full respect.

Listening to the CNN memorial this morning, I heard "genius" and "visionary" tossed around a lot, but it struck me that Steve was first and foremost a good businessman.  He knew the value of good packaging, good advertising and cultivating a strong and committed market for his product.  What started out as an everyman's personal computer became a highly successful niche industry, as Apple computers became prized possessions.  The long waiting lines in front of his Apple stores for the latest igadget are testimony to his great marketing skills.  The store fronts became symbolic in themselves.

But, one certainly can't deny the tremendous impact this man had on the personal computer industry, portable music and the fully loaded telephone.  He was also instrumental in developing Pixar into the multi-billion dollar animated feature company it became, even if he was ready to jettison the project when the best it could initially produce were a few commercials and  award-winning short features.

He will be missed.


  1. I''m reading this, linked by Erza Klein:

    I'm a very very late convert (i.e., in the last year or so) having worked with even mainframe computers and going to GE computer training in the 1970s. But I love my mac now for the screen -- I could never go back.

  2. I was tempted to put my name on the waiting list,

    but am going for Eco's Prague Cemetery instead.

  3. He's a good biographer. Should be an interesting book, although don't think that's my thing. Still, I found that Sculley interview fascinating. What it takes to build a great product -- intensity and a little insanity I suppose.

  4. Pre-Order Walter Isaacsons 'Steve Jobs' and save up to 57% off the purlishers's retail price!

  5. Our first spam! And, we can get it at less than the purlisher's price.

  6. One young man's tribute becomes a nightmare,