At the Core of Jobs

Steve Jobs always knew how to captivate an audience. Through memorable high-profile product introductions over the years, he made it nearly impossible to see an Apple Inc. gadget without associating it with him. But in the wake of his death, people seem to be more fascinated with the man who gave them the Macintosh, the iPhone, and the iPad than with the products themselves. The contradictions: Was he a great man, or a cruel man? Is it possible he was both? The black turtleneck. The cryptic last words. People are turning to his biographer, Walter Isaacson, to help deconstruct Jobs like a piece of complicated technology, breaking him down personal detail by personal detail in the hope of better understanding the enigmatic innovator. Isaacson doesn’t gloss over Jobs’ intricacies and flaws. Recently he presented a rather unbecoming character sketch to 60 Minutes, describing Jobs as “petulant” and “brittle,” and saying “he could be very, very mean to people at times.” Today’s event is likely to cover similar territory, and even if we get the negatives, it’s not likely to deter those who still need their Jobs fix.
Wed., Dec. 14, 11 a.m., 2011

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