Five Less Awesome Legacies of Steve Jobs

Five Less Awesome Legacies of Steve Jobs

Five Less Awesome Legacies of Steve Jobs

“Steve Jobs, the pioneer of the computer as a jail made cool, designed to sever fools from their freedom, has died…We can only hope his successors, as they attempt to carry on his legacy, will be less effective.” – Richard Stallman
Did the late Steve Jobs inhibit technology innovation? It sounds crazy to ask that question about the brilliant designer and leader of the computer revolution, who made the most of his second chance at running Apple. Jobs sometimes seemed to have more in common with Tony Stark, the renegade industrialist played by Robert Downey Jr. in the Iron Man movies, than he did with his real-life peers; he earned a place in the pantheon of business titans who became icons of popular culture, as the outpouring of praise and sorrow in the wake of his death made clear, and his legacy grows with every device Apple sells. But no man so powerful leaves an unmixed record. We come not to speak ill of the dead, or to address his sometimes complicated personal life, but to address some questions that linger in his wake. The major concerns deal with the closed systems Jobs perfected, which some notable observers view as limiting creativity and freedom, along with some fairly routine critiques of his management style. External links here (Winer on Stallman) and here (Zittrain).
Senior Writer and author of the Know It All blog

Ed Cone has worked as a contributing editor at Wired, a staff writer at Forbes, a senior writer for Ziff Davis with Baseline and Interactive Week, and as a freelancer based in Paris and then North Carolina for a wide variety of magazines and papers including the International Herald Tribune, Texas Monthly, and Playboy. He writes an opinion column in his hometown paper, the Greensboro News & Record, and publishes the semi-popular EdCone.com weblog. He lives in North Carolina with his wife, Lisa, two kids, and a dog.
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