The Economist on Steve Jobs

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The Economist stares through the ethereal dollar signs floating fish-like in their scrying pools and wonders about Steve Jobs’ successor. There’s some excellent guesses, but I was most interested in this comparison between Jobs and Warren Buffet:

Mr Jobs is arguably unique in the extent to which his identity and fate are intertwined with those of his company. Imagining Apple without Steve Jobs, or Mr Jobs without Apple, is difficult–as his exile from the company between 1985 and 1997 made plain. Only Warren Buffett, whose investment skill made Berkshire Hathaway what it is, has a comparable importance to his firm’s shareholders. But Mr Buffett acknowledges as much. When he had some benign polyps removed from his colon, he volunteered the details in a press release. He also publicly clarified his succession plan. Mr Jobs has done neither.

That’s a deft comparison. There have been many stupid arguments lately that the health concerns of a man at the head of a public company are somehow taboo to discuss. It certainly may be bad form to play agony aunt to Jobs’ health woes as a third party, but The Economist makes the best point with the Buffett analogy: the perception of Jobs’ ill-health can cost his shareholders millions, and their money deserves a better answer than “It’s none of your business, bugger off.”

Jobs’s job [Economist]

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3 Responses to The Economist on Steve Jobs

  1. Dave999 says:

    I think its worrying that Apple does not have a personality. As far as many people are concerned Steve Jobs IS Apple. He has brought geek chic and cool to the company.

    It is a similar story with Microsoft at the moment, no one knows who is heading the company. In fact most people probably think Bill Gates still does.

    Google does not have this problem. Both Microsoft and Apple will need big personalities to carry their beacon.

    Economist Jobs

  2. agraham999 says:

    Well here’s my argument to “bugger off.”

    Buffet has grown children…Jobs has three kids that are still minors. I lost my mother to cancer when I was 12 and as hard as it was for me to watch her succumb to that and deal with those very difficult emotions and problems…I can’t imagine having to deal with it in public.

    With papers and bloggers and tv shows asking the question about is he dying and who will succeed, I really feel for his kids. They can’t avoid it…it is everywhere they turn…their fathers mortality.

    I think it is his own business to deal with his personal health issues in a private manner and fuck investors money. If you don’t like the roller coaster, get off the ride. And yeah…I’ve got a ton of cash in AAPL…and if people can’t see past the fact that there is an Apple after Jobs, then I’ll be happy to buy their stock when they leave.

    So to investors and journalists who are so concerned with digging into this very private and very sensitive situation…as a man who watched his mother take her final breath after a year of suffering…I say fuck off.

    But that’s just me…
    :-)

  3. agraham999 says:

    Well here’s my argument to “bugger off.”

    Buffet has grown children…Jobs has three kids that are still minors. I lost my mother to cancer when I was 12 and as hard as it was for me to watch her succumb to that and deal with those very difficult emotions and problems…I can’t imagine having to deal with it in public.

    With papers and bloggers and tv shows asking the question about is he dying and who will succeed, I really feel for his kids. They can’t avoid it…it is everywhere they turn…their fathers mortality.

    I think it is his own business to deal with his personal health issues in a private manner and fuck investors money. If you don’t like the roller coaster, get off the ride. And yeah…I’ve got a ton of cash in AAPL…and if people can’t see past the fact that there is an Apple after Jobs, then I’ll be happy to buy their stock when they leave.

    So to investors and journalists who are so concerned with digging into this very private and very sensitive situation…as a man who watched his mother take her final breath after a year of suffering…I say fuck off.

    But that’s just me…
    :-)

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