The public reaction to Steve Jobs' death yesterday astonished me, to say the least. In fact, I was taken aback. Since when such deification of talented managers is in the order of the things?
What I mean is that there is absolutely now doubt Job was a visionary who was able to lead an unprecedentedly successful marketing campaign for more products than any other known CEO on this planet, and in most cases their success rested largely on his personal charisma rather than on the thoroughness, with which they were planned, their productivity, usability, or whatever. Jobs was able to promulgate the iDevices to a cult status, to an indicator of your high social position. More than half of their owners do not take them out of their pocket to make use of their unparalleled features, but to impress the people around.
The Apple cult has become a mock religion, a simulacrum of the real faith. Jobs' keynotes were very similar to the Pope's solemn Masses, with the huge crowd of adherents rapturously looking at the object of their veneration and listening to every word Steve uttered. That's no bad thing and not Steve's guilt. On the contrary, it is his merit.
However, it doesn't mean his death should make hundreds of thousands of people around the world tear their hair and wail, mourning his passing away. Just think about it: Jobs was a man that earned his bread advertising some obscure technical devices to the general public, and I cannot but doubt the public really needs them. What did he do for the people? What did he do for his society? Wasn't it Jobs who eliminated all Apple's philanthropic programs after his comeback to the company?
He was no God, he was no thinker, he was no talented programmer, IT-engineer, or designer: he was a CEO, who did his best to bring in as much profits to his company's and his own pocket. His death is definitely a huge loss for Apple, but not for the world. Let's not make the whole affair overbloated.