After Personal Computing, Film, Music, Steve Jobs is now tackling the Cellular Phone business, and with such aplomb, that one wonders why the SEC and the media would not simply leave him alone to do his thing … work his magic, wave his wand, think, feel, play … whatever it is that gives him the internal capacity for doing what he does best: come up with products that embody a sublime clarity of vision.
Really, these Options scandals and all are distractions that deter Steve Jobs from his real focus (and value) in life: leading the vision for whole huge industries, of human behavior, of social change!
Especially, given that nobody else, anywhere in the world, is capable of doing what he does, it seems to be foolish for society to crucify this man, rather than empowering him to do more.
Einstein had said of Gandhi, “Generations to come will scarce believe that such a one as [Gandhi] ever in flesh and blood walked upon this earth.” Jobs is no Gandhi in his capacity to sacrifice for humanity at large. His skills, however, seem necessary to a generation of humanity that has come to depend on technology as a way of life.
And in fact, if Jobs did put his heart and his brilliant mind on it, he could, indeed, have impact far larger than Gandhi. Or Yunus.
Every time I travel in India, especially rural India, it strikes me, that modern technology is still, largely absent from the lives of several billion people in the world. However, I also believe, that a convergence device that combines the essential functions of a cell phone (communication) and an authentication device (smart card functions), that can enable this segment to connect to a banking system and access micro-credit inexpensively, would indeed change the world.
This device cannot cost $500. In fact, it may be a device that is distributed for free by Citibank as part of the enrollment into their microcredit program. Or, it is commissioned by the Gates Foundation, with Bill & Melinda Gates making a special request to their friend Steve Jobs, to contribute his product design talent to a cause.
No, this would not benefit Apple’s immediate gross margin fattening objectives. It would, if he applied his talents to making technology accessible and meaningful to a few billion new users that are today barely surviving, however, place Apple and Steve Jobs amongst one of humanity’s greatest contributors.
The question is, does he care?