In the Oct. 28 column "Steve Jobs: Failure?" a writer named Mr. Nice Guy questioned the outpouring of affection for Steve Jobs following his recent death. Mr. Nice Guy argued that the Apple guru deserves our respect as a businessman, but not our love: "It's clear that in his personal life, Jobs was a failure. In a Rolling Stone article, his former girlfriend called him a 'despotic jerk' and lamented that he spent two years denying he was the father of their daughter. Many other stories describe him belittling and bullying everyone around him."
Here are a couple of letters that question whether Jobs even deserves our respect as a businessman.
Dear Tell All: The outpouring of love for Steve Jobs is nothing but misplaced reverence for people's precious little gadgets. Thanks to Jobs, millions of people, including several of my friends, have been turned into oblivious hand-starers, chronically checking texts and tweets while working, driving, dining, etc. I've watched as formerly polite, socially engaged people have turned into those who will suddenly be checking their email in the middle of a face-to-face conversation.
Yeah, thanks for all that to a guy who by many accounts was a world-class, employee belittling A-hole. But all that's forgiven by the glowing-faced masses, staring at the world in their hand, walking straight into a light post.
Dear Tell All: I can imagine crying and carrying on when Thomas Edison died, given how much his inventions contributed to the world. But Steve Jobs wasn't even an inventor. He was the manager who oversaw design elements and packaging. I wouldn't classify him as a genius, but just a savvy marketing guy. And it's kind of embarrassing to see the nation reduced to weeping over the death of a savvy marketing guy.
By the way, Thomas Edison was ruthless, bigoted and egomaniacal, but I still would have wept when he died. Some people's achievements outweigh their human frailties.