The arrogance of Steve Jobs

The arrogance of Steve Jobs

Summary: Since learning how to use a computer, I've been fascinated by the sheer loyalty and god-like devotion that Apple founder Steve Jobs enjoys among a group of Filipino Mac users and other fanatics around the world. I find this behavior extremely puzzling and, to be quite honest, silly.

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TOPICS: Apple
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Since learning how to use a computer, I've been fascinated by the sheer loyalty and god-like devotion that Apple founder Steve Jobs enjoys among a group of Filipino Mac users and other fanatics around the world. I find this behavior extremely puzzling and, to be quite honest, silly.

A recent issue of Forbes magazine, with a theme focusing on the philanthropic activities of the richest IT moguls, validated this assumption. In a survey, it showed Jobs as the only tech tycoon who did not share even a single cent of his millions--proving all along that he has become the greedy and arrogant guy he has depicted of his main rival Bill Gates.

From the outset, let me say that I am not a Mac user. This may help explain why I don't probably know what runs in the mind of a Mac fanatic. As in most people, the steep price of Apple products prevented me from owning one and transforming into a hardcore Mac user.

It's ironic that Jobs has been mocking Gates for the longest time because of the perceived weaknesses of Windows compared to Apple products. But if you come to think of it, it's actually Apple who's more proprietary since you can't buy Apple software and hardware separately.

Jobs isn't acknowledging it but the truth is that the iPod's popularity only soared when Apple opened it up for Windows users. And why did Apple have to put out BootCamp if it deemed Windows as an inferior product?

Some people have branded Microsoft's Gates as a marketing genius rather than a technology innovator. I believe that description fits Jobs better--remember, it was Steve Wozniak who invented the first Apple machine and Jobs' task then was to promote it.

I'm not exactly a fan of Microsoft, but it's clear the strategy adopted by Gates contributed more to the IT industry than the one made by Jobs. By keeping its technology affordable to most people, Microsoft reaped huge monetary rewards along the way, making Apple green with envy.

In the Forbes list, the money donated by Gates, through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, amounted to US$30 billion--a staggering figure that further highlights the difference between his and Jobs' zero contribution to charity.

That situation is somewhat reflected here in the Philippines. Microsoft's local subsidiary--for whatever purposes it may have--has numerous corporate social responsibility initiatives across the country in areas such as education and training. On the other hand, Apple, which does not even have an office here, is concerned only with selling its sleek products to the affluent sector of the society.

But as noted by Leander Kahney in his column in Wired Magazine, Jobs may have, after all, opted to become silent on his philanthropic pursuits and not announce it for the whole world to know. But for a man known as a design maven and leading figure in the technology industry, Jobs certainly chose a wrong PR strategy and model for other young businessmen to follow.

Topic: Apple

Melvin G. Calimag

About Melvin G. Calimag

Melvin G. Calimag is currently the executive editor of an IT news website in the Philippines. Melvin has been covering the local IT beat for the last 13 years. He is currently a board member at the IT Journalists Association of the Philippines (CyberPress), and also serves as a charter member with the Philippine Science Journalists Association.

Joel D. Pinaroc

About Joel D. Pinaroc

Joel has been a media practitioner since 1996, starting off as a reporter and eventually becoming editor of a pioneering IT trade newspaper in Manila. He is currently one of the content producers of a Manila-based developmental website.

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29 comments
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  • Silly article really. MAking personal comments on how a person carries on his affairs. How do you know what Mr Jobs does with his money. MAybe he gives it away annonumously. I also get sick of arrogant comments in regards to MAc users dumping them all into the same basket. You don't know me or anything about me so why because I use a Mac am I labeled a certain way. If it was about race it would be called prejudice.
    So you know my background. I thoughly enjoy using my MAc.. it is great I used Windows system for years and they have their good points. I am no fanatic or Fanboy but a level headed thinking person who uses what he considers to work best for him. I am also a computer technition and my first computer was a 8mhz IBM XT system with dual floppies and no hard drive so I have been around a long time in the PC side of life
    anonymous
  • Don't expect a reasoned argument here. This place is billed as "IT rantings from the Phillipines". From Wikipedia, the definition of rant:

    "A rant is a purely emotion driven speech or piece of writing that has been sparked by something so emotionally or intellectually jarring that one ignores any notion of making a well researched and calm argument."
    anonymous
  • Comment on what you know, not on what you do not know. Jobs is very private, as are many people. This is a very silly article by someone who seems to lack a real understanding of the tech industry and philanthropy. I don't know your philanthropic endeavors, so should I infer you are a selfish. This is just a very silly article. The author and ZDNet Asia should be embarrassed.
    anonymous
  • It's always puzzled me why Windows users can be so angered by Mac users with the word "arrogant" constantly used in their shrill denunciations. The worst label i would attach to Mac users is "smug". I use both Macs and PCs where my Macs are used for productive pursuits and the PCs are there for the games. I'm pretty smug about being a Mac user. Something tells me that this article is less about SJ's and Mac Users' arrogance and more about the author's own problems. Notice that the article is actually all about wealth. perhaps it's just plain ole jealousy.
    anonymous
  • "From the outset, let me say that I am not a Mac user. This may help explain why I don't probably know what runs in the mind of a Mac fanatic. As in most people, the steep price of Apple products prevented me from owning one and transforming into a hardcore Mac user."

    This is the most revealing paragraph in his post. Not only is it grammatically horrific, it confirms the author is biased (as well as culpably ignorant). A comparison with Dell shows, for example, that in the category of all-in-one PCs, the new Dell Dimension XPS One is more costly (and slower) than the equivalent iMac. See also http://tinyurl.com/2zqt9z
    anonymous
  • The ignorance of Melvin Calimag

    Let's be honest here. The original post is nothing more than a vicious personal attack on a public figure - a petty, jealous, and seriously misinformed commentary that says more about the author than the people he writes about. Given the facts that have now been presented about the philanthropy of Mr Gates and Mr Jobs, it would behoove Mr Calimag to publish a retraction. Otherwise, he should not be surprised if he becomes a target for public ridicule.
    anonymous
  • "Since learning how to use a computer, I've been fascinated by the sheer loyalty and god-like devotion that Apple founder Steve Jobs enjoys among a group of Filipino Mac users and other fanatics around the world. I find this behavior extremely puzzling and, to be quite honest, silly."

    Since learning to use Google, I've been fascinated by the ignorance and prejudice of people who do not care to research facts before posting. I find this mental laziness inexcusable and worthy of open contempt.
    anonymous
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) - let's just say this is one of my unfortunate traits, and it's mostly under control, but once in a while I can't help myself. For this outburst, I should apologise to Mr Calimag; it's nothing personal - I just can't stand it when someone pontificates on a matter he clearly knows so little about, unless it's about envy, which unfortunately is also an all too common Filipino trait.
    anonymous
  • "Jobs may have, after all, opted to become silent on his philanthropic pursuits... Jobs certainly chose a wrong PR strategy and model"

    Recall:
    But all their works they do to be seen by men. - Matt 23:5
    anonymous
  • "you can't buy Apple software and hardware separately"

    Really? Then what's with all the boxes of Apple-labeled software being sold without hardware? How come people can install and run XP and Vista on their Intel-based Macs?

    For someone who writes about the IT industry you certainly can't seem to keep your facts straight. So why not write a society gossip column instead? Oh, sorry, I guess that's what your blog already is.
    anonymous
  • "strategy adopted by Gates contributed more to the IT industry than the one made by Jobs."

    Among other things, the Gates strategy of pushing a woefully insecure OS has caused the massive proliferation of malware and botnets. Read Bruce Schneier's analysis of the Russian Business Network.

    "By keeping its technology affordable to most people, Microsoft reaped huge monetary rewards along the way"

    Compare the price of Vista Ultimate with Leopard Family Pack, then rent a clue. If you really want affordable you go with Ubuntu, which is free, as in beer.

    "making Apple green with envy."

    Your statement is so clueless it's not even funny. Exhibit A: Zune. Exhibit B: Vista Aero. Now, who's got the envy? I realize that in humiliating you publicly, I'm entertaining people and driving more hits to your sorry excuse for a blog. I do hope that I might find it in me to be less insulting next time. You can help me by not publishing ignorant tripe, okay?
    anonymous
  • Gerald Kent wrote: "The author and ZDNet Asia should be embarrassed."

    The author and ZDNet are not too embarrassed to take the site traffic generated by their inflammatory articles, all the way to the bank. Regardless, the ads don't get to my retinas, because OpenDNS blocks every one of them. If it also had a filter to screen out ignorant platform ****** like Mr Calimag, it would be so much better...
    anonymous
  • Computers are tools. Sometimes they're used for philanthropic ends, sometimes they're flaunted as status symbols. Elite Filipinos are well-known for coveting designer luxury goods, and Apple bling certainly qualifies. But it does have redeeming qualities. For one thing, it's not as susceptible to botnet infestation, unless the unsuspecting Apple user is lured to a porn site and persuaded to enter his or her password to install a missing video codec. The system compromise that results is utterly well-deserved, and it's not arrogant of me to say so.
    anonymous
  • ZDNet Asia encourages all readers to provide feedback and speak out in support, as well as against, issues discussed in our articles and blogs.

    As a media platform, we believe in and fully support freedom of speech and expression.

    However, we encourage our readers to provide constructive feedback and be mindful about exercising social responsibility.

    We do not condone any actions to use ZDNet Asia as a platform to lobby personal causes, such as the anti-abortion/ pro-life movement. We also do not support the use of offensive and derogatory remarks to describe our journalists and bloggers.

    To our reader Victor Panlilio, those were the reasons why some of your comments were moderated. If we practise censorship--as you have insinuated--we would have deleted all comments that reflected negatively on our writers and ZDNet Asia. On the contrary, we have obviously not done that here, or in any previous instances.

    We seek out and engage bloggers like Melvin Calimag, who are unafraid to express opinions that may be unconventional and who are prepared to face tough feedback. Our bloggers, just like everyone else, also deserve the right to express their opinions freely.
    anonymous
  • "We do not condone any actions to use ZDNet Asia as a platform to lobby personal causes, such as the anti-abortion/ pro-life movement."

    Philanthropic contributions by the Gates family to fund abortions are a matter of public record. So are contributions by Mr Jobs to a health foundation to eradicate smallpox. I cited these to compare and contrast the philanthropic activity of Mr Gates and Mr Jobs, which was the topic of the original post. Readers can draw their conclusions, I am only presenting facts.
    anonymous
  • "Steven Jobs is the best CEO in the country ...poll results, included in the upcoming debut issue of Corporate Leader magazine, have Jobs, the dynamic leader of Apple, beating out Google's Eric Schmidt and Lloyd Blankfein at Goldman Sachs for the top spot. Rounding out the top five are James McNerney of Boeing and Frederick Smith of FedEx."

    See: http://tinyurl.com/2hvjwx
    anonymous
  • "Co-Founder and Chief Executive Steve Jobs is the
    anonymous
  • "Our bloggers, just like everyone else, also deserve the right to express their opinions freely."

    Sure. And they deserve to be exposed as lazy, ignorant, and petty when the facts show the opinions they have expressed are based on erroneous information that could easily have been fact-checked on Google.

    There is simply no excuse for the kind of arrogant, mean-spirited BS spouted by Mr Calimag. I haven't seen his retraction. I doubt one is forthcoming. Surprise me.
    anonymous
  • Boy, this blog piece surely fired up a lot of rather scathing comments. I read with amusement the comments of one Victor Panlilio, who is obviously a Mac user and a loyal one at that. Don't get me wrong, sir, I'm all for freedom of expression, and I respect your opinions and agree with you on some points. What is laughable that is while you so eloquently pointed out the "errors" of this blog piece (let me stress "blog" as in web log, or online diary), paragraph by paragraph, you just had to resort to name-calling to stress your point, branding the author as "lazy, ignorant, misinformed, etc." Wow.
    anonymous
  • "Fanboyism" is never a good thing, whether it's of a Mac, Windows, or other user.

    But the article really has some critical inaccuracies:

    1. While MS platforms are more affordable than Apple/Macs, their prices are still restrictive to the regular, slightly-above-minimum-wage person and SMEs. This is evident in the server/hosting market where Linux hosting is still the most affordable and reliable. This is also evident in the desktop application market; compare MS Office and OpenOffice.

    2. The Mac Operating System can be bought by itself. And it can be installed in non-Apple hardware as long as system requirements are met.

    3. The Apple/Mac platform is non-exclusive to the Mac Operating System. It is a fact that Linux and in some cases, Windows, can be installed in Apple hardware.

    4. And as far as information exchange goes, perhaps NOOOXML is worth a look.

    While it may be true that the Apple/Mac platform is for rich people, it is not accurate to depict MS as being for the masses. Unless, of course, we take piracy into account; but that's another story.
    anonymous