Steve Jobs Dead - Genius Or Joker?

Steve Jobs RIP - Oct. 5, 2011.

Steve Jobs, 56, had been attending the Stanford Cancer Center in Palo Alto, California, where Patrick Swayze sought radical chemotherapy for pancreatic cancer before his death in September, 2009.

Jobs bought extra years of life, literally, when he spent multi-millions in a sordid play to replace his emaciated liver. See shocking photos of him in recent weeks.

Jobs has been on his last CPU cycle really since around 2006. The obvious has always been, what happens to his spawn, Apple Computer?  And what fate awaits the sandal-wearing, Apple-Heads; Jobs' cult following? Jobs was their iRock star.

Without Jobs, Apple Computer is facing the inevitable demise Jobs himself finally succumbed to...  Jobs first founded, then lost, then rebuilt Apple after Jobs himself hired John Scully to mess things up.

The spin is already out on MSNBC that Jobs was a genius, and he invented the PC, and mouse, and he gave all of us the favor of his goofy little devices, and he was a great guy,  and yada yada yada.  As expected, the myth builders on the left will start to build the myth of Jobs upon the myth of Jobs.  But, like their other myths, the Jobs myth will not be true either.

The truth is, Jobs was a driven, obsessive, bully, who was well known to push people to the edge in his pursuit of selling electronic goodies.  Jobs was well aware of amassing his wealth, and how he stacked up to other silicon valley titans.  Steve branded himself as the anti-establishment tycoon in tee-shirts, Levis, and Gen-X phraseology ready made for what would become known as the "hard-core Apple user base".   Behind the slide-show? - no buck left behind.

Jobs was not always so visionary, he missed on NEXT (his company after he was fired from Apple the first time), he missed on his first try at the Mac (named Lisa after a child he denied he had till she was six), and oh yea, all the technology Jobs put out there was invented by others - the Mac born from the work at Xerox PARC.  Among a string of non-starter products like the Newton, Pippin, Tam, McIntosh TV, G4 Cube, Apple IIc, and Hockey Puck Mouse, lay Jobs' forgotten trail of dead products - forgiven.

Jobs was more a marketing guy, than a tech guy.  His true legacy is not inventing anything, but taking the ideas of others, shielding development under a "secret skunkworks" pall - once Jobs broke within his own company to setup the "Pirate" or "Black Apple" development team which led to the MacIntosh's.  Once ready, Jobs put on his show, spitting out the gadget on stage coining phrases like "insanely great" to put the tingle in his die-hard base.

Apple customers are more like cult-followers, and Jobs was their cult leader in tech.  Recall the old Apple ads that depicted the droning imagery of a Metropolis futuristic auditorium filled with presumed gadget-hungry customers?

Apple users are famously not the gear-head types that prefer the erector-set approach of Microsoft windows, but more the artsy-non tech types that need to be led by the nose - and not asked to do much more than turn their machines on, like a toaster.

Remember, Jobs was a master of hype, his paradigm is over-charging for fewer features, in that way Jobs is more akin to P.T. Barnum, than to Ted Hoff (inventor of the microprocessor at Intel).

Consider the irony that provided him with billions in wealth, years of power in the high tech industry, and yet a shortened life fraught with pain and disease.

Would you have traded places with him?

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