Jon M. Huntsman School of Business

learn about the latest and greatest from the School of Business

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Steve Jobs worthy of superlatives

As a society, we are obsessed with superlatives. Every memorable moment or accomplishment must be labeled “the greatest of all time” immediately after it takes place. As a sports fan, I have probably watched 30 different games that have been christened the best of all time. Dozens more have been tagged “the worst collapse in sports history.” I take issue with such pronouncements because they are based on emotions rather than pure analytics. The old adage, “What have you done for me lately?” applies here – we tend to overvalue what we have just witnessed.

Every once in a while, though, a person, feat, accomplishment, etc. is worthy of superlatives. By now, thousands of publications have paid tribute to Steve Jobs. All of today’s major newspapers featured front-page stories about his passing. Tech industry giants and major politicians have chimed in with universal praise. He has been compared to historical behemoths like Leonardo da Vinci and Thomas Edison. Eric Schmidt, chairman of Google Inc. and former Apple board member, said Jobs will be remembered as “the greatest computer innovator in history.”

In the interest of full disclosure, I am a baptized and confirmed convert to Apple products. I fought it for years, and I still like to poke fun at the Apple culture that The Onion satirizes so brilliantly, but I just happen to believe their products are better suited for me. But it doesn’t take an Apple enthusiast to recognize Jobs’s brilliance as an innovative thinker and business leader. The fact that one of the most heartfelt statements concerning his passing came from Bill Gates, his chief rival, speaks volumes.

So yes, I believe Steve Jobs is worthy of every hyperbolic statement uttered about him. Let me add one more such statement (although I’m sure I am not the first to say this): the world is a much better place because of him.

- Connor Child


  1. You're a great writer. Well written Connor.

  2. Well done, Connor, I'm glad you wrote this. You're a great writer. Your spartan effort to ardently study for the GRE has truly requited much knowledge to a sagacious individual like yourself.