London Sunday Times profiles Steve Jobs over Apple objections
There's nothing really groundbreaking in the piece, but it brings together a lot of material and a bit of pop psychology to try an illuminate the mysterious and mercurial Apple CEO.
Jobs is, in the words of the psychiatrist and scholar of leadership Michael Maccoby, "a productive narcissist". To Jobs, the world is an epiphenomenon, a side effect of the existence of Steve. Or rather, it is a pyramid with Jobs at the top, a few bright people just beneath him, and then the rest of us - the "bozos". The customer bozo is not, to him, always right...
There is also plenty of positive insight:"The very striking thing about productive narcissists, particularly men" [said Maccoby], is that they grow up in families where there is an absent or weak father figure. You can see this in narcissistic presidents like Obama, Clinton, Reagan and Nixon. They struggle with their identity and view of the world. So they tend to come up with a very original view of things and are then driven to find followers.
I swim through Apple newsfeeds like a whale swims through krill," says Elmer-DeWitt. Yet the company continues to surprise and amaze. I don't want Jobs to die because my computers and iPhone are, indeed, "insanely great" compared with the dismal competition but, more importantly, because he is an extraordinary figure. I don't use the word "genius" about businesspeople, but in Steve Jobs's case I'm prepared to make an exception.
It's worth reading all of the profile. Steve Jobs doesn't like being written about, and Apple did all it could to kill the piece.
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