Sunday, August 28, 2011

Steve Jobs - The Resignation

Few things make us sad.

Elect a liberal progressive communist to the White House? Cool, we'll sell Commie Obama hats!

Cubs finish the season in last place? No biggie. Next year is the year!

The smart people in Washington want to print more money to cover their incompetence? We buy gold!

But Steve Jobs stepping down from his post at Apple? Well, this is something that hurts, as it hurts everyone. Apple is one of the few large corporations where innovation occurs, and the only large corporation where it thrives.

Apple is the only large corporation that improves everyone's lives either directly or indirectly.

Never owned an Apple product, you say? Just go to your Start menu and find iTunes. Do this with your mouse and cursor. When it opens, notice it opens in a window that lets you scroll. Buy your favorite movie for under $10 and start watching it immediately.

Prof. Jacobson expresses the impact of this man, and the company he's led, better than anyone else so far:

Apple in many ways revolutionized and popularized personal computing. But what if….

-- we had been more concerned about the secretarial jobs and typewriter factories destroyed by Apple?

-- we made it so easy to unionize Apple that Apple had to be run like General Motors?

-- we imposed such employment mandates and controls that the cost of Apple expanding was prohibitive?

-- we demonized rather than idolized the new captains of the computer industry even though they became fabulously wealthy?

-- when Apple was on the verge of bankruptcy it had accepted a government bailout rather than working through its problems and emerging stronger than ever?

In other words, what if we had the economically repressive policies of the Obama administration?

We never would have known what we missed. And not just the technological convenience, but the thousands if not millions of jobs created in spin off companies and solo-geeks creating apps and all the other gear which makes computing and listening and viewing and creating what it is today.

Instead, we would have had television commercials with images of typewriter factories saved, and secretaries thanking the government for saving their jobs. Just like we have a President who laments the loss of bank clerk jobs due to ATMs.

Our sadness doesn't come from his departure, but the reason for his resignation. He beat back cancer for many years, which included a liver transplant. But it appears he's losing this long battle.

Call us callous, but we can't help but think of the 50% of this country who voted for free stuff in 2008 who aren't suffering. Who sleep in as others go to work. Who demand more unemployment benefits, or xyz benefits, or just steal because it is easier than complaining. Do any of these people have something better to say at a Stanford graduation ceremony than this?

There is a positive to Mr. Job's resignation now, rather than later. He gets to see the admiration, to read the articles and hear from his fans. There is no shortage of kind words - and he deserves them all. And of all the compliments, the one we'd like to share is: Way to get off at the top! There are too many, all in government and many in corporate America, who cling to their titles, their offices, their perks, their authority. Mr. Jobs, on top of everything else, has shown he is above that too.

Some other worthy articles:

Holman Jenkins - WSJ: The Amazing Steve Jobs Story

Andy Kessler (our favorite business author), also at WSJ: How Steve Jobs Changed the World.

See our Tribute post to Steve Jobs - Here.

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