Thursday, October 06, 2011

Thoughts about Steve Jobs

The world got the news last night that Apple co-founder Steve Jobs had died at his home at the age of 56.  It has been interesting reading the reflections on his life, but a number of things bother me.

I was a proud owner of an original Macintosh Computer (1984), so I hopped on the Apple bandwagon very early.  When I started Celebration Church I really debated about going with Mac's but at the time there just wasn't much church oriented software out there (there still isn't) and I could not justify the cost.  I own the I-pod, I-phone and I-pad and just today ordered a Mac Book Pro for the Church.

I say all that because I think it is important that I separate my feelings for Apple with Steve Jobs the human.  One of the things that has long disturbed me is Jobs' lack of interest in philanthropy.  I know that Jobs' was a very private person, but his personal life left many things to be desired.  I don't need to detail any of that but the thing that struck me was his unwillingness to join Warren Buffett and Bill Gates' "Giving Pledge" in which they invited the super-rich to join them in donating at least half their wealth to worth causes.

Somewhere in the mix while we canonize Steve Jobs', we need to remember that inventing isn't the only thing.  Sure he will long be remembered as quite possibly the greatest inventor of our time; but we also need to remember his failure to be inventive with all the wealth that he accumulated.  Failure on his part to model for the rest of us ways to be generous, is also a major portion of his legacy.

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