Steve Jobs: last word on a clear thinker and great man
Let’s put the carping aside and remember Steve Jobs for his brilliance
I'M SORRY, but I'm not going to allow this website's last word on the great Steve Jobs to be derogatory.
The press on both sides of the Atlantic loves to cut giants down to size and there was no exception in Jobs's case. Yesterday, in our backlash feature, we rounded up commentators who called him controlling, uncharitable and, basically, a nightmare to work with.
As a balance – and, hopefully, the last word on the subject - let me give you a taste of what the columnist Henry Porter wrote about Steve Jobs in The Observer on Sunday.
Porter is not a technology writer – liberty and civil rights are more his bag – but he happens to have used Macs since he first purchased one in 1986. He spoke for countless writers, editors, designers and photographers when he said:
"No company or product has dominated my working life like Apple and, until last Wednesday, when Steve Jobs died of cancer at the age of 56, no man in the world had a greater influence on the way I organised myself and earned a living.
"There was never a business leader whose judgment I was more likely to trust; no one that I would have liked to have grasped by the hand and shower with praise as much as Steve Jobs, whatever his reputation as a relentlessly demanding taskmaster."
Jobs's secret, said Porter, was that he set out to make computers – and, later other devices – that he, Jobs, wanted to be able to use himself.
As a result, they were efficient, simple to operate – the iPhone has no manual, as such - and, because Jobs had taste, always elegant.
"There was something rare and stylish about Jobs, even in the emaciation of his final illness," Porter wrote. "He never missed a lesson that life had to offer him."
Porter quoted from the famous speech Jobs made to students at Stanford after he was first treated for pancreatic cancer.
"If you live each day as if it was your last," said Jobs, "some day you'll most certainly be right... Remembering I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I have encountered to help me make the big choices… it is the best way I know to avoid the trap that you have something to lose."
Steve Jobs, Porter concluded, "was a clear thinker and a great man".
Can we leave it at that? ·
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