This might be an unpopular post, but here goes.
When Steve Jobs announced his resignation just a short while ago, I wrote a post about the lessons I learned from observing Steve and Apple from afar. I knew that sooner or later this would be a story in two parts. Unfortunately it turned out to be sooner.
I am saddened by the passing of Steve Jobs. His vision, focus, attention to detail, and refusal to accept mediocrity were beacons of light in a world where compromise is all too commonplace. But I have to acknowledge that I am a little disturbed by what I can only describe as the Deification of Steve Jobs through the many blogs, articles, tweets and other media extolling his virtues. Were Steve to assess his own life in his own uncompromising way I’d expect that his failings would get as much attention as his achievements.
I’ve been a huge admirer of Steve Jobs, and there are so many Apple products in my house it’s like an orchard. When I meet with our software engineering team in our R&D center, I will sometimes encourage our product designers to rethink their designs, and invoke Apple as the gold standard to which they should aspire. But yet, and I’m not quite sure why I feel this way, I am uncomfortable by the extreme and unquestioning nature of the recent outpouring. These has been little discussion of any shortcomings, and no sense of impartiality in the reporting. Maybe this is just not the time, but I feel that the lack of point and counterpoint in the writing does both Steve and the writer a disservice.
Perspective is always important. While we admire the achievements, and learn from the many lessons Steve has taught us, we would probably benefit from maintaining a sense of balance. We should never cease to question.