From Gawker: What Everyone is too Polite to Say About Steve Jobs.
In the days after Steve Jobs’ death, friends and colleagues have, in customary fashion, been sharing their fondest memories of the Apple co-founder. He’s been hailed as “a genius” and “the greatest CEO of his generation” by pundits and tech journalists. But a great man’s reputation can withstand a full accounting. And, truth be told, Jobs could be terrible to people, and his impact on the world was not uniformly positive.
We mentioned much of the good Jobs did during his career earlier. His accomplishments were far-reaching and impossible to easily summarize. But here’s one way of looking at the scope of his achievement: It’s the dream of any entrepreneur to affect change in one industry. Jobs transformed half a dozen of them forever, from personal computers to phones to animation to music to publishing to video games. He was a polymath, a skilled motivator, a decisive judge, a farsighted tastemaker, an excellent showman, and a gifted strategist.
One thing he wasn’t, though, was perfect. Indeed there were things Jobs did while at Apple that were deeply disturbing. Rude, dismissive, hostile, spiteful: Apple employees—the ones not bound by confidentiality agreements—have had a different story to tell over the years about Jobs and the bullying, manipulation and fear that followed him around Apple. Jobs contributed to global problems, too. Apple’s success has been built literally on the backs of Chinese workers, many of them children and all of them enduring long shifts and the specter of brutal penalties for mistakes. And, for all his talk of enabling individual expression, Jobs imposed paranoid rules that centralized control of who could say what on his devices and in his company.
It’s particularly important to take stock of Jobs’ flaws right now. His successor, Tim Cook, has the opportunity to set a new course for the company, and to establish his own style of leadership. And, thanks to Apple’s success, students of Jobs’ approach to leadership have never been so numerous in Silicon Valley. He was worshipped and emulated plenty when he was alive; in death, Jobs will be even more of an icon.
This is a powerful piece of journalism. I can’t get over how Jobs treated people. Telling an engineer or design lead that their design/widget was “shit” and resorting to public humiliation to motivate employees is not the way to run a company. I’m not saying it doesn’t happen in other companies, but my point is that it should never happen.
Say what you will about Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, but they’re at least donating their money to charity. Jobs never did, unless he’s going to posthumously or he did anonomously while he was still alive.
Apple has censored apps from their app store. Apple has censored and intimidated journalists and bloggers. Apple makes locked-down computers and operating systems. It’s very difficult to install Linux onto a Mac.
Apple has taken BSD for its’ own use and changed it into OSX. A free OS should still be free, in my opinion. I have no problem selling it, but the code should be free for people to look at. I’m not sure how the version of BSD that OSX is based on was licensed, but I still feel that the source code should be open.