As if Steve Jobs didn't have enough to worry about. First, lingering health issues force him to take some time off to bulk up, and now his one-time internet doppelganger is trash-talking him.
Former Fake Steve Jobs blogger Dan Lyons did some thinking on Apple post-Steve, and his sentiments quickly turned into a rather unflattering portrait of the man he once lampooned to internet stardom.
In the words of FSJ, here's the 'money quote'...
See, in the world of Steve, it's all about Steve. When he does go, he will be remembered as a tremendous genius--but also as a petulant narcissist with a grandiose sense of his importance and a sadly limited view of the world around him. Ironically, it is Gates, his archnemesis, who will likely go down in history as the classy one: the one who knew how to exit gracefully, the one who is devoting the later years of his life, and all of his billions, to helping the world's poorest people--and not clinging to his CEO job while he insults reporters and plays petty cat-and-mouse games with Apple shareholders and fanboys.
A scathing review, but I can't say that I disagree with much, if any of it. Jobs' personality traits are well-known, and while they may not have made him a lot of friends, they are also arguably what has helped him guide Apple back to success. Nonetheless, there are plenty of people who think he's a jerk.
While Jobs is absolutely under no obligation to retire into a life of philanthropy and jump into the charity spotlight (I'm sure he already donates a good deal of his own money to worthy causes without any fanfare,) Gates has in recent years turned the table. Now, the former Microsoft founder is the starry-eyed world-changer, while Jobs has turned into the calculating business mogul. More so, Gates has managed to extract his image from the company to a large extent. He's not just the Microsoft guy, he's also the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation guy these days.
I know we've gone through this many times before, but back to the issue of whether Jobs' health is anybody's business: as long as the stock price jumps up and down on reports of his health, the physical well-being of Steve Jobs is public business. It's hard to draw a parallel with any other company because, well, no other CEO is as involved with the inner-workings and general operation of the company as Jobs is. And while I don't think that the press should be entitled to check his medical files, the man and the company should have a bit more appreciation for the fact that people have their retirement plans and college funds invested in Apple stock, a stock that can fluctuate rapidly if people don't trust Jobs to be in good health.
The open letter was a good first step. Hopefully, Apple can use Jobs' time off to continue to show Wall Street that it is more than its CEO and that plans to operate without him are in place. It would be nice to see Steve Jobs not only get his health back, but also free his company financially from the medical rumor mill.
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