November 01, 2011

Clarity vs. Obfuscation: Steve Jobs & Occupy Wall Street

I have no intention of making this blog a political one, but I did find interesting Frank Rich’s insight into the phenomenon of Occupy Wall Street protesters mourning Steve Jobs, a multi-billionaire:

Yet those demonstrators who celebrated Jobs were not necessarily hypocrites… Jobs’s genius… was his ability “to strip away the excess layers of business, design, and innovation until only the simple, elegant reality remained.” The supposed genius of modern Wall Street is the exact reverse, piling on excess layers of business and innovation on ever thinner and more exotic creations until simple reality is distorted and obscured.

Just food for thought. (Oh, and if you haven’t read Michael Lewis’s The Big Short, you’re missing out. I’m halfway through his follow-up, Boomerang, and it’s similarly compelling.)

Posted by John Nack at 4:54 PM on November 01, 2011


  • Nat Brown — 7:01 PM on November 01, 2011

    Jobs ran a shop that made its money building things that provided his customers with a fair value for money spent.

    Wall Street? Con artists and snake oil salesmen.

    (And so how do you feel about this Nat?)


  • greg h — 9:52 PM on November 01, 2011

    Another recent Michael Lewis piece, “California and Bust”, also is a thoughtful read:

  • Michael Glasser — 11:51 PM on November 01, 2011

    There is no doubt that Jobs was not exactly a saint in all of his dealings with people – but he (or, really, Apple) provides tools where you know what you are getting and know what you have to pay. Marketing – sure, but no gimmicks. And the after-sale support is second to none.

    It is not this type of wealth accumulation which is seen as the problem. An honest buck for a good product is Capitalism at its best.. and not at all what Wall Street represents.

  • Gio — 6:32 AM on November 02, 2011

    There is a problem when a company’s business practices include ruthless anti-competitive behaviour and attempts to lock-in customers at every turn…. In other words, Apple are as just bad as any other big corporation – they just have more apologists.

  • Me — 11:16 AM on November 02, 2011

    I’m choosing to see that, despite apparent differences of philosophy, the Occupy Wall Street protesters still value life and recognize accomplishment.

  • Chris — 11:18 AM on November 02, 2011

    I think people are willing to be locked in to something that actually works as described for once…

  • Gio — 12:23 PM on November 02, 2011

    Yes, that’s the old argument for dictatorships in general. Mussolini and trains come to mind.

  • Mario — 9:26 AM on November 03, 2011

    Thanks for sharing! I´d aggregate that Jobs was always surrounded by the right people.

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