Yesterday, Steve jobs confessed what many of us have sensed for a while: He’s incredibly ill and will not likely last the year.
Does Steve Jobs deserve privacy? Or has his public life been so overwhelming that he has no right to expect to dictate when his life is on-the-record or off? Jobs set himself up to be the Apple Messiah and that makes followers wonder about their investment in a single Jesus and their want to continue to follow him into the Promised Land.
Steve has had a strange year. A year ago he proclaimed reading was dead — and I think that was the first undeniable utterance on the public record that he was not feeling well. Every time he appeared in person, he was scrutinized for signs of life and ongoing indicators of death.
In June 2008, I asked — Is Steve Jobs Dying? — and we now know the answer is, “Yes, rather quickly.”
In my predictions for 2009, I — rather morbidly, some may claim — said Steve Jobs would not make it to 2010. Dying is part of living and Steve Jobs, over the last five years of his life, has dealt more with death than the rest of us. That is no secret.
When Steve did not make a presentation at MacWorld during the first week of January this year, it was clear Jobs was frighteningly ill even though he publicly claimed his body just wasn’t properly processing food.
On January 5, I Tweeted — typo and all — that the Jobs story felt more like a cover up than an excuse:
Steve Jobs is viciously private while wanting to be the center of attention in the public square. For him to confess to any fault in public means the reality behind the reason is 100 times worse than the public statement.
Steve understands any negative revelation about his health will hurt Apple and condemn his family to hurtful headlines — and pompous proclamations like this article — but what Steve Jobs also knows, and can never quite forget, is that sometimes to live is to die and there’s nothing wrong with closing that perfect, mortal, circle even if it means leaving behind a wunderkind legacy slightly tainted by secrecy and just a little marred by disinformation in the basely human want to covet more than forsake.
He will be greatly missed. It’s a shame there can’t be more honesty about what is going on.
Hi Gordon —
He will be missed. He saved Apple. There should have been more transparency. Now it’s too late.
Apple should’ve made him a beloved “figurehead” years ago instead of playing him off as the SuperGenius that could do no wrong. There was too much “magic touch” and mythology around Apple that needed to be blown away with a hardcore reality that Apple wasn’t a single visionary, but rather a bunch of really hard workaday people who knew what they were doing and were perfectly capable of solving and inventing stuff on their own.
Apple didn’t do that, though, and now they’re stuck with their stock tanking. Stock dropped 10% yesterday before trading was halted and right now it’s down another 6%. That’s what you get when you play the Messiah card and your Messiah is a mortal with pancreatic cancer.
I think he did what he felt right…I will miss him – it’s a great loss.
Hey Katha —
Oh, I’m sure he thinks he’s doing right — but he isn’t doing the company any good. I don’t think Steve Jobs really cares if Apple survives without him.
The NYTimes is on his case again today, too:
The spin over here is that “the feeling is that Apple without Jobs is just not going to be Apple” and that is why the stock is dropping like a stone.
The “Death” word is not being mentioned – certainly not on SKY news which is on the TV at present.
Here is the BBC’s take on it.
That’s interesting, Nicola, here’s a Bloomberg news story that gets into the guts Job’s cancer:
It’s amazing how differently the “what’s acceptable to mention” line is drawn between the UK and the USA.
We have certain privacy laws (EU inspired) including the “right to a private life” which might be the reason – we also have the Press Complaints Commission. It could be that our media is waiting for your media to report – then they can report what your media is saying.
That’s probably a good way of doing it, Nicola. There’s no need to rush to report every single gory detail.
I thought the Bloomberg article was the most graphic of everything I’ve read so far — which is probably what made it the most fascinating.