I got real tired of people ranting about how millions are dying and nobody is mourning and millions are mourning the passing way of Jobs and how he did nothing for the anybody, so I looked up and found this. And even though I am no fan of Jobs but you have to acknowledge that man's vision. And if he made millions in the process he totally earned it.
THE CHARITY OF STEVE JOBS
Steve Jobs while he lived was occasionally criticized for not being more charitable—like his compatriot and competitor Bill Gates or Warren Buffett. Hogwash. If you wanted to, you couldn’t account for all the societal good Steve Jobs has done.
Start with his company. Folks who believe economies are a fixed pie must implode as they consider how Steve Jobs (with pal “Woz”) started with an idea and an empty garage and built a firm worth $350 billion. That’s $350 billion in shareholder value that didn’t exist 35 years ago. Poof! Now, tally up his employees’ salaries and benefits. Every one of them, ever—at Apple, NeXT and Pixar. That’s a lot of wealth created out of effectively thin air. Then think about how his employees invested, spent and saved that money. And sure, gave to charities of their choosing.
Oh, but let’s not forget the game-changing wave of innovation Steve was responsible for. He was on the forefront of the PC revolution. You may never own an Apple product in your life or want to own their stock, but Microsoft literally would not be what it is today if not for a sometimes tempestuous rivalry between Steve and Bill Gates. Nor would any other computer firm, software firm, component firm, etc. That competition is what has led computers but also a huge range of personal electronics (not just Apple’s) to be faster, smaller, sometimes bigger (think computer monitors, TVs), exponentially more powerful and all around awesome-saucier.
You can’t possibly wrap your brain around how the world has been vastly improved by those two tinkering away in their separate garages. And the industries and individual firms (and therefore the shareholder value, the jobs, etc.) that simply could not exist today the way they do. My guess is those charities Jobs is criticized for not giving more heavily to can’t, today, create a balance sheet, solicit funds, dig a well or build a schoolhouse without using some product that was created by, inspired by or competed directly against Steve Jobs.
Pixar. If you don’t have kids or have a heart of stone, maybe you don’t appreciate the joy unleashed on the world by Woody, Jessie, Buzz, Sulley, Mike, Nemo, Wall-e, Doug the talking dog, Jack-Jack. I know I’m filled with joy (as are nearby diners) when my three-year-old spends a quiet 90 minutes watching a Pixar movie on my (heavily armored) iPhone in a fine dining establishment.
Oh, and Pixar’s (now Disney’s) shareholder value. And their employees. And their wealth multiplied as they spend, save, invest. And all the merchandising. And the stores that sell the merchandising. And their employees. And apps! A whole cottage industry just around apps! Didn’t exist before—and now exists for products beyond Apple. And those firms and their employees and and and.
While many today spend an inordinate amount of time pontificating their political views or charitable cause of choice, Jobs was mostly interested in creating products that enrich lives and, yes, creating his namesake—jobs. Would that other entrepreneurial-minded folks could be so charitable. Thanks, Steve