Steve Jobs, Thomas Jefferson & Mao Tse Tsung

December 22, 2012
Wandering in a wonderful Books Inc. in San Francisco a few days ago, I came across this.
It’s Isaacson’s Steve Jobs biography, sharing shelf space with books
on Mao, Thomas Jefferson and James Joyce.
An unlikely trio.
And yet, I’m certain that Steve Jobs wouldn’t find it surprising at all. 
His healthy ego knew that his achievements guaranteed him a place in history.
Is it possible that he’s been gone more than a year now? 
We’re seeing signs of a different Apple.  
It’s only natural, of course, that the company evolve and change under new leadership.  Some of those changes are way overdue, like a charitable donations policy.
 And a willingness to admit problems and errors.  The company seems more open and connected with investors and partners. 
More transparent.
Rumor also has it that the company’s retail operation is more focused on revenues 
than ever before, and that there have been budget cuts and retail staff layoffs. 
Still, articles cite employees who say Apple is a happier place now. 
Less frenzied.
I don’t doubt it.
Although Apple’s Ipad was the catalyst for the current tablet frenzy, it looks to me like it’s a little behind the curve in the tablet arena, especially when it comes to mini pricing. 
As tablet computing becomes more popular, users can find a wide range of products 
very competitively priced. 
When consumers can buy several competing tablets for the price of one Ipad, 
well, over time, I think only rabid Apple fanboys will ante up the premium price. 
Beautiful design only goes so far.
I’m an outsider, for sure. 
But I think that Jobs’ alchemy propelled Apple even more than we know, 
and without it, well, some of the magic’s missing.
Given our so-called economic problems, I’m surprised still to see long lines at Apple stores when a new gizmo is released–fanboys just have to have it the very first day.  
That kind of demand makes me wonder just how valid our economic problems are. 
{Or if these people carry a lot of credit card debt.} 
But–I just don’t believe we’ll see those lines forever.
And that’s not a bad thing.
The new Apple is a little less magical and a little more human.
Still, there’s no denying that Jobs, like Jefferson and Mao, was a revolutionary
And that Books, Inc. shelved those hardcovers appropriately.

7 comments on “Steve Jobs, Thomas Jefferson & Mao Tse Tsung
  1. Interesting juxtaposition of the biographies.

    I think your observations are spot on (and I may be the only one who ever bought an iPad and returned it within the 10-day trial period).

  2. I personally agree that the iPad only goes so far. Yes it was cutting edge when it first came out, but now there are lots of competitors. Would I like to have one? Absolutely. But I can’t afford it.

    We won one for my daughter for college, bought one for my husband, and unlike all too many I’m afraid – I won’t carry credit card debt. I’m not going to ask someone to pay off my debt because I had to have something here and now. (ok off my soapbox)

  3. Jennifer Comet Wagner says:

    I love the way you write. I love browsing through bookstores although don’t often get the chance anymore with so few left. I still haven’t read the Steve Jobs bio and hoping to get to it eventually.

  4. Thanks, Jennifer. I highly recommend the Isaacson book. Kat, I agree about credit card debt. Lori, curious about why you returned it. Thanks, ladies!

  5. Only as Steve Jobs neared death did I become more of a fan. He seemed to get a little more human and a little less monster. He was a Genius though!

  6. Ellen Dolgen says:

    I couldn’t agree with you more. Sad events happening in Shenzen got covered-up for years (,8599,1991620,00.html). On the technical side, there are alternatives, a little bit more guilt-free.
    Great idea and a great post.

  7. Haralee says:

    You raise some very interesting questions as did the book store on their display!

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