The Canonization of Steve Jobs

Like most in the technology field, I hold tremendous respect for Steve Jobs the man: I look forward to the upcoming biography, and look in awe at his accomplishments, especially considering the adversities that he overcame. That he grew Apple by a magnitude in such a short period demonstrates how great an impact he had on the industry.

Has capitalism ever seen such a rapid accumulation of corporate wealth before?

I’m less enthused about Steve Jobs the legend, created in the wake of his death. While I appreciate that there’s the “too soon” period, during which mass ignorance and rewriting of history are more excusable, the canonization of Jobs, and the overstating of his and his organization’s contribution, has reached intolerable levels.

Like most greats, Steve Jobs stood on the shoulders of others. He rightly believed that good artists borrow, great artists steal.

He was but a real human being, with all the limitations and failings that come along with such a reality.