Thursday, 1 September 2011

Steve Jobs: Genius

SORKIN-tmagSFGenius has often been described as the ability to enter an existing field and, by your contribution alone, change it utterly.

Louis Armstrong did that for jazz. Newton and Einstein did it for physics. And Steve Jobs of Apple? Virtually single-handedly he revolutionised telecommunications, personal computing, the music business, publishing and Hollywood. Not to mention what he did to the computer itself.

Most geniuses only revolutionise one field. Jobs has revolutionised at least three.

But it’s not enough for some folk that his genius has improved the lives of millions. That he’s a genius who’s earned his money. He’ll only get respect at places like the New York Times if he gives it all away.

Never mind that the focus of his wealth and productive genius on production does more for every single person on the planet than if he spent his time and energy giving his money away. He understands this:

Mr. Jobs [told friends] he could do more good focusing his energy on continuing to expand Apple than on philanthropy, especially since his illness. “He has been focused on two things — building the team at Apple and his family,” another friend said. “That’s his legacy. Everything else is a distraction.”

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal in 1993 , Jobs said, “Going  to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful … that’s what matters to me.”

Good for him.


  1. It is a travesty that Jobs is not revered by the entire population for the outstanding contribution to humanity he has made.

    It is also a sign of the morally bankrupt times we live in that, according to the moochers, his only validation would be in how much of his hard-earned and thoroughly deserved fortune he chooses to give away.

    That somebody can make such a difference to the way ordinary people enjoy their lives and not get due credit for it, ought to be astounding. However, it is entirely unsurprising.

    When he, and heroes like him, work as hard as they do, as innovatively as he has, to produce outstanding products to enrich the lives of millions - only to be told by the masses that their wealth is "obscene" and that they ought to be "paying their fair share" or "giving something back", I want to puke.

    Such an attitude is endemic here in New Zealand and it is becoming entrenched.

    It is only a matter of time before Atlas shrugs.

    Mike Keay

  2. Having spent a decade on the edge of Silicon Valley, I'm loath to become one of the kool-aid drinking Apple acolytes, though I have used their computers for 23 years now. Still it has been a amazing life and especially what a second act upon returning to Apple. For understanding that office tools should also be beautifully designed objects and that charging more is O.K. when you're product is just better, he is also one of my heroes.

    You wouldn't want to spend the rest of your life selling sugar water now would you? Why not make something insanely great?

  3. Give it all away? What do they think will happen to it otherwise, that he'll somehow manage to take it to the afterlife and use it there???

  4. Anonymous: By what right do you get to tell anyone what they should do with their money?

    Don't tell me. You bought an iPod and are therefore entitled to Job's success?


  5. The smiley altruist entitlement mentality of those scum commenting on that NYT link was nauseating....The man creates many billions of dollars of wealth for others,new tech that makes lives better across the world and many thousands of jobs...yet these pieces of second hand shit piously damn him for not being more visibly charitably with the fraction of the wealth he got to keep for himself... contemptible filth. >:-i


1. Commenters are welcome and invited.
2. All comments are moderated. Off-topic grandstanding, spam, and gibberish will be ignored. Tu quoque will be moderated.
3. Read the post before you comment. Challenge facts, but don't simply ignore them.
4. Use a name. If it's important enough to say, it's important enough to put a name to.
5. Above all: Act with honour. Say what you mean, and mean what you say.