After Steve Jobs’ death earlier this month he was immediately canonised.
He was the greatest CEO in history, a prescient visionary, prolific inventor, influential designer, brilliant artist. He could walk across San Francisco Bay without getting his New Balance 991 sneakers wet, bend light with his will and turn dog shit into gold. (Mike Elgan)
Now we are all halfway through Walter Isaacson’s wonderful biography and a slightly less saintly version of the great man is coming out, mostly out of the woodwork from disgruntled former employees. It’s inevitable. But then all great men have two distinct sides to their personalities. Many are mercurial, as Jobs is said to have been. Great business leaders, indeed great leaders in general, tend to be ruthless. They might well say, “I didn’t get to where I am by being nice to people.”
Steve Jobs could be a jerk. But he was also insanely great. Above all, Steve Jobs was human. And both his successes and his moral failings should be tempered by an understanding of the larger contexts in which he lived his extraordinary life. (Mike Elgan)