For the long-time Mac user, the recent plague of Steve Jobs and Apple retrospectives are both entertaining and a little disturbing. How? Well, Steve Jobs legacy is settling into a sort of orthodoxy, with not a little blinkered revisionism. Also, because the Apple chairman isn’t talking, the dominant narrative is that Jobs will soon pass into history.
NewsWeek in both its online and print editions is running extensive “wasn’t he great” coverage of the former Apple CEO. They’ve reheated 2,300-plus words from The Second Coming of Steve Jobs author Alan Deutschman and given the cover over to a (well done) silhouette of the master.
See also: Steve Jobs’ Top 10 moments
Great. When these tributes and eulogies eventually peter out and Jobs doesn’t die, then what? We celebrate?
Probably not. We’ll either be talking about his latest revolution or wondering what he’s working on.
If he does die, we re-celebrate the life that was again? Depressing.
Which Apple are we talking about?
And, then there’s the revisionism. Did you know that Apple created some truly awesome products in the years that Steve wasn’t there? Really.
You wouldn’t know it from reading Deutschman or any of the others.
How about the PowerBook, HyperCard, and StyleWriter and Laser Writer printers? Then there was the Quadra Mac series, ClarusWorks software, PowerPC processor and, yes, even the much maligned Newton.
Yes, Jobs is amazing. Truly, the Edison of our age and more amazing than just about anyone alive.
And, we’re backed to the “not dead” thing again.
Thereupon, it’s fair to assume Jobs won’t communicate his health or employment status one way or another unless some big change takes place. Until then can we just assume that he’s OK and stop talking about Jobs as if he were on his death bed or already past?
Further, can we look at Apple as whole rather than through the false prism? Yes, the company almost died when he wasn’t there, but it also achieved some its greatest success, as well.
Really. Yes, Jobs is great, but folks are getting way out of hand…
What’s your take?