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Out and About in Palo Alto: Dinner and Paying Respect to Steve Jobs

Since we live near downtown Los Gatos, that's most typically where we head for a nice dinner out. But wanting to do something different, Beatrice suggested we head up the I-280 to Palo Alto. Then she made reservations at what turned out to be a fantastic Mediterranean place called Evvia, right off University Ave.

Our reservation was for 6:30, earlier than our habitual 7-8. Upon arrival, the place was packed with sophisticated looking diners. Yep, this is the right place. Very warm ambience inside, impeccably professional staff. After sharing an app of traditionally grilled octopus, drizzled in Greek olive oil infused with lemon and oregano, then their signature salad...I opted for the rib cut, mesquite grilled lamb chops and Beatrice had a grilled, bone-in pork chop. All images can be clicked to open up higher resolution versions.

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Lamb Chops
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Pork Chop

It was real food all the way around, simply prepared and delicious. I brought the bones home, and I saved one of the chops as well. Along with Bea's leftover portion and bone, I think I'm going to concoct some sort of lamb and pork stew this afternoon, making sure to simmer all those bones for a good few hours.

We left the restaurant and I had something in mind but didn't tell Beatrice about it. I simply suggested we take a stroll down University Avenue. But before that, we spotted a small gelato establishment across the street and each partook of a sensible indulgence: their smallest tiniest cup. I had them split mine, half pecan and the other half, hazelnut.

Palo Alto has changed dramatically since I used to regularly head up there back in the mid-90s. There are so many fine, independent eateries -- most with outdoor, sidewalk seating, now -- that it boggles the mind (as well as conjure endless fantasies about returning to eventually try them all). The only eyesore in terms of restaurant fare was the imposing, huge, Cheesecake Factory, with the predictable crowds of "foodies" standing outside, beepers in hand, waiting to get a taste of what everyone else eats there, coast to coast. Such daring imagination and sense of courageous adventure. Those places are fine for malls, I suppose, and their bar is certainly nice, but I hope the independent food artisans can hold out against the cookie cutter chains for a long time to come on this particularly charming avenue.

I had a suspicion there might be goings on down at the flagship Apple Store, the one Steve would show up at from time to time, as he lived close by. This is also the store I've always chose to stand in line at for a new iPhone or iPad release. The time passes quickly while you chat with interesting people, and food and beverage of all sorts arrives endlessly from all those local independent eateries. It's all complimentary -- even ice cream at the Ben & Jerry's mobile parked right off the front door.

Here's some photos of that emotional encounter. Again, click to make the images bigger.

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Post-It!

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Beatrice
photo

I simply wrote: "Thank You Steve"

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There were many languages represented
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Business on the Inside, Appreciation on the Outside
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It's an experience I'll cherish and never forget. Imagine this...and this isn't the only Apple Store by any means where this has happened. For a billionaire? A capitalist? A dictatorial taskmaster? How can that be?

I think this is something libertarians who defend capitalism at all costs perhaps might want to integrate. Maybe, just maybe, it's not the "capitalism" that stinks, per se. Maybe something else stinks, like, say, the way it's so often done now?

Update: A commenter just dropped a link to this article in comments: How Steve Jobs Changed Capitalism.

In the last 24 hours Steve Jobs has been credited with changing the way we live, the way we view technology, the way we listen to music, the way we communicate, the way we think about art, design and invention, and much, much more. But I think the biggest change he has made is to the way both its critics and cheerleaders think about capitalism.

Take the old adage that the consumer is king. In some ways, this is as true for Apple as it is for anyone else. It stands or falls on the basis of whether people will buy its stuff. But Jobs's success was built firmly on the idea that in another sense, you should not give consumers what they want because they don't know what they want. No one thought they wanted the first desktop Mac, iPod, iPhone or iPad before they existed. Jobs repeatedly created things that people came to want more than anything else only by not trying to give them what they already wanted. This challenges the idea that consumer culture inevitably means pandering to the conventional, to the lowest common denominator. Markets are not necessarily conservative: truly great innovations can become popular.

Jobs has also provided the clearest evidence yet that excellence comes at a cost. Against both the optimistic open-source movement that thinks all good things can be made collaboratively for free, and the race-to-the-bottom chains that believe the answer is always to be the cheapest, Jobs showed that you could, and must, charge a premium price for a premium product. Far from condemning his company to a niche, by following this principle, Apple actually became, briefly, the biggest company in the world. The lesson has still to be taken on board elsewhere. In news and broadcasting, for example, we are all learning that you can't sustain quality by giving things away.

Now go read the rest.

Comments

  1. > I think this is something libertarians who defend capitalism at all costs perhaps might want to integrate. Maybe, just maybe, it’s not the “capitalism” that stinks, per se. Maybe something else stinks, like, say, the way it’s so often done now?

    That arrow hits two targets:

    Businesspeople who think, like so much of the corporate world, that pigs will eat anything are half the problem.

    But the other half are the would-be defenders of liberty who seem not to understand that what they should be trying to sell is not capitalism but egoism.

    • What part of the problem are people who can’t write coherent sentences?

      • Sean, perhaps my friend Greg, whom I’ve known for about 10 years, and known of for a good five years before tha,t could have spent more time to make his point better or clearer.

        But Greg Swann writes, writes a lot, and does some very intestimg short story. I love his Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Willie series.

        Google might give you a hit or two. Janio At A Point is only for the advanced anarchist.

      • With so many comments and info available on the internet one has to have a filter and incoherency is one of my main filters. If I dissed a long-term friend of yours then I’m sorry, not sorry that I wrote what I wrote, just sorry for fucking with a friend of yours, if that makes sense. If he wants to defend himself or make a more coherent argument, that’s all to the better. On the basis of what was written I’m gonna pass on the followup.

  2. gallier2 says:

    Sorry to rain on the parade but this Jobs adulation starts to get annoying. Here a link Keoni Galt had on his site today that expresses it better than I could ever (beware, foul language ahead).
    http://gawker.com/5847344/what-everyone-is-too-polite-to-say-about-steve-jobs

    • gallier2 says:

      F.ck, that wasn’t the link I meant.
      This one was it
      http://www.fkinonline.com/2011/10/07/fuck-steve-jobs/

      • Wow, such impressive wisdom from a website with an Alexa rating of 6,339,000.

        http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/fkinonline.com#

        As far as the Gawker article goes, I’ve never paid much attention to how “evil” Bill Gates is, either. In fact, it’s emphatically that both men were “assholes” that I have always respected them the most.

        I do note in point of distinction that while I have owned a number of Microsoft and Apple products over the years, I have yet to be forced to buy a single one of them.

        My respect for both men comes from a distinctly selfish motive: what they both allowed _me_ to achieve. Their fuck-you selfishness gave me far greater avenues towards my own fuck-you selfishness, for my own sake. In the end, I preferred what I was able to obtain from Steve, but it was Bill who originally provided tools that allowed me to build a company from a bedroom beginning in 1992 at a price I could afford at the time, which was almost nothing.

        I’m sure everyone has their own reasons, but those are mine. Essentially: it’s all about me.

      • gallier2 says:

        Come on, alexa rating to judge the merrit of a blog entry is a little bit weak. What’s annoying me is not Steve Jobs or Bill Gates or their respective achievments, but their canonization when they die. Steve was became the second messiah faster than he could be burried.
        What I also find fascinating, is how the freedom loving libertarians could stand such “control freakish” software. Apple’s products were in that regard almost the worst of all, snipping the liberty of the developers and their clients almost from the start (the Apple II was the last open product from them).

      • See, I have this weird and crazy idea:

        My blog, I run it how I want and get what I deserve, one way or another.

        My business, I run it how I want and get what I deserve, one way or another.

        My home, car, boat, airplane, ship or whatever, I run it how I want and get what I deserved, one way or another.

        And being such a selfish, dictatorial asshole bastard in those ways and more, and want to keep it that way, I try my best to extend that same courtesy to others.

        As far as Alexa rankings go…

        1 My experience tells me they are about the most accurate in terms of judging following for websites.

        2. While you have a principle point that following doesn’t equate to accuracy, I’m sure there are plenty within the top, say, 1 million websites in the world that would give me as much objective, accurate info as I want, so I can afford to dismiss someone in the “top” 6 million.

      • gallier2 says:

        Don’t be so thin skinned Richard, I wasn’t challenging you or your blog, I was only making a statement concerning Steve Jobs and the overblown reaction to his death. I used this guys blog entry because it expressed a similar pov of mine and even if I had been his only reader, I would have used it.

      • Don’t misunderstand. Being the selfish bastard asshole I am, I have never had comment moderation on my blog. Dissenting commentary in comments on my blog feeds my animal nature. The more – on point – the better.

      • To make sure I’m clear, the “my blog” bit was meant totally in the general. Nothing to do with this specific post.

  3. “I think this is something libertarians who defend capitalism at all costs perhaps might want to integrate.”

    Capitalism at all costs? Now you are just waving a big red flag in my face. I’m not sure who these libertarians are that you refer to, but I think most libertarians would agree that crony capitalism sucks ass–ie the way it is done now.

    The food looks pretty awesome, I’m totally jealous.

    The Princess Diana treatment for a businessman by people who think income should be forcibly redistributed is much less awesome. A better tribute would’ve been for everyone to drive around without their state enforced plates.

    • I see enough defense of capitalism because it’s supposedly a “free market” to make we want to gag.

      Republicans are the worst, to be sure. But economically oriented consequentialist (read collectivist consequentialism) run a close secoond.

      I don’t know what the number is, and surely it varies by industry, but off the top of my head, I think you’re safe defending any non-fraudulent business with about 30 employees or less. But one reason I have loved the tech industry is the pace at which they have grown.

      Pundits credit the fact that GovCo left them alone to grow. But I’m a friar Ocham fan, so I say it’s only because the peole who work in such capacity for GovCo were simply too fuckimg stupid to have a clue, and that they cloister themselves, and they have staffs to deal with mundane detail when they’re off at the next in a long series of campaign fundraisers.

      All the while, people stand up and shout foul when a self-made entrepreneur dies and his customers morn, and then they’ll go stand in line at a voting booth to cast a ballot for the person who’s going to rule them next.

      On some days, I have small and little hope that homo Sapiens will even outlast Cro Magnon or Neanderthal.

      • “On some days, I have small and little hope that homo Sapiens will even outlast Cro Magnon or Neanderthal.”

        That thought strikes me prior sleep several nights a week. Lately, I dream while awake. I dream that the ambitious poor will form ‘tribes’ and pool their money together. That they will eat once a day but it will be a feast of quality. That they will merge their minds over cooking the food and eating it. The hunger will bring ideas. The community will stoke the fires.

        No big rebellion. Quiet personal mastery using loopholes to stay quiet.

        Yet, it may be to late.

      • Wasn’t capitalism coined by Marx as a derogatory term–a system based on money and stuff rather than a system based on people, society–socialism or community–communism? I am a political consequentialist, I suppose, seeing the perfect being the enemy of the good to your kind of approach but we’ve been round and round on that.

        I think the main driver of growth in the tech industry has been Moore’s law plain and simple which really is just how tremendously exploitable is the silicon based transistor. Why this exploitation and innovation, especially on the software side, mostly stayed in the US has been the subject on which a countless amount of ink’s been spilled, but had it not happened there it would’ve happened regardless, probably at a somewhat slower pace, other places. The fact that it was rapidly developing made it harder for crony government companies to carve out market share such as in the car industry. A less regulatory environment certainly didn’t hurt.

        If people want to sing Kumbaya and weep for Princess Diana or Steve Jobs that’s their business. The similarities of the grief expression are not a coincidence. These people aren’t making homages for an entrepreneur but for an image, an icon they bought into. The real tragedy is that these are the same idiots who want to increase the socialization and State intervention that would make it harder or impossible for other such entrepreneurs to follow in Job’s footsteps. Or just to allow the rest of us to get along with our lives. So fuck them. As a matter of fact, fuck this sort of cult of personality mentality in general. It is that mentality that’s gotten us into this mess in the first place. An honest expression of the important contribution Jobs made is fine and dandy. Laying flowers at the base of an Apple store is for sheeple, the same sheeple who’d give their unswerving loyalty to a Stalin, Hitler, Obama, Kennedy, Reagan whatever. So once again, fuck them.

      • I stopped reading at the start of your third paragraph.

      • Diana died in 1997, it’s time to let her go, man.

      • gallier2 says:

        Amen to that. Your last paragraph is brilliant, thank you.

      • Thanks, gallier2, would you like to join my cult of personality, we are offering half price discount’s this week only.

      • Yea, brilliant. Equating the appreciation of _paying customers_ for the creation of products and services with weepers over a a monarchist figurehead party girl who never signed a paycheck in her life.

        This is just irresponsible hyperbole, and you can both just really fuck off and go to hell.

      • Obviously there’s nothing wrong with appreciating an innovator whose products one loves. The cult of personality shit is equally bad whether it’s an entrepreneur like Jobs or a politician or a princess, that’s the whole point.

        What percentage of these people making pilgrimages to Apple stores think that billionaire entrepreneurs like Jobs should have their wealth confiscated and redistributed by the government? 99%?

        The world needs a whole lot less iconification and a whole lot more independent thinking. If that’s an “irresponsible” sentiment then so be it.

      • “The world needs a whole lot less iconification and a whole lot more independent thinking. If that’s an “irresponsible” sentiment then so be it.”

        I couldn’t agree with you more man. What’s ironic is, if you listen to Steve Jobs’ speech to Stanford University, you’ll realize he emphasized just that. All these sheeple bowing to him like he’s the Buddha are doing what he was against in the first place. I’ve placed a link in case you want to view it.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hd_ptbiPoXM

        But overall I agree this cult of personality bit has gone too far. We should respect others & their achievements but bowing down to them, I don’t agree with.

  4. Razwell says:

    Richard

    I have to laugh sometimes. The similarities in the views of my brother ( who also , like you, was on the USS Blue Ridge and was in Yokosuka Japan for 3 or 4 years ) and yourself on the subjects of voting, American propaganda, Steve Jobs, libertarianism, capitalism etc. are uncanny. The both of you being world travelers have a deeper view of certain things than most home bound Americans.

    Also, it’s a nice gesture that you left a note of thanks.

    • Interesting coincidence, especially given that at the time, I was your run of the mill conservative Rebublican.

      That was 88-89. I began thinking for myself in the fall of 1990 in my first year of living in France.

  5. How can people love Steve Jobs you ask? You mean in spite of his support of sweatshops and constant efforts to cancel Apple’s charitable contributions?

    Marketing. The answer is marketing.

    Here’s some other reactions to his death:
    http://www.smh.com.au/technology/biz-tech/apple-workers-in-china-react-to-steve-jobss-news-20110902-1jov1.html

    http://www.inthesetimes.com/working/entry/11863/remembering_steve_jobs_record_on_workers_rights/

    http://exiledonline.com/memphis-where-the-oligarchs-eat-their-fellow-americans/

    • I wonder if there was a hunter-gatherer rights movement in the Paleolithic.

    • Why would anyone read such articles? Seriously. Only Losers come to my mind, who haven’t accomplished anything and need the confirmation how evil those rich bastards are. The funny thing, i don’t see the evil points as evil at all.

      I’m not saying I’m on the top. I’m not and i don’t have lots of money (quite the contrary) but I appreciate what folks like Steve Jobs have done.

      I also avoid every newspaper in my country right now. It just makes me angry.

      • Paul:

        Here’s what the first commenter, Greg Swann wrote upon the resignation of Jobs as CEO:

        Reifying Steve Jobs: Think different. Do better. And thrive.

        http://splendorquest.com/?p=244

        An excerpt:

        “Steve Jobs announced his resignation today as CEO of Apple, Inc. From that one little tidbit of information, we can foresee a long, slow roll-out of “news” content.

        “Tonight and tomorrow we’ll see the newsy stuff — Jobs’ biography, his history with Apple, his successor, the product pipeline and the financial portents of the whole interconnected circus.

        “Tomorrow and later we’ll have reaction pieces, starting with phony tributes and leading to phony trashings.

        “The real ugliness will await the magazines — paper, video and virtual: Steve Jobs was a brutal boss. Steve Jobs was a techno-pirate. Steve Jobs was unfair to mediocrities!

        “Everything you read or hear about the man in the coming weeks will be defensibly true in some kind of you-could-look-it-up fashion. And every bit of it will mean nothing, the endless, senseless mastication of trivial details with not a shred of meaning to be found in the mash.

        “So let’s cut to the chase: Here is what actually matters about the working life of Steve Jobs:

        “With one incredible product after the next, with one brilliant strategic move after the next, with one astounding financial milestone after the next, the most wonderful thing Steve Jobs made in his working life was:

        You.”

        There’s more.

        http://splendorquest.com/?p=244

  6. It’s because the companies we’ve built have gotten larger than Dunbar’s number, and so those in charge feel no sense of personal responsibility for the things they do in terms of the people they lead.

    As a small business owner, if one of my guys got hurt at work because of a practice I came up with (for something so paltry as cost control, esp) or one of my managers came up with it, you can be damn sure I’d be a man and take responsibility. Of course, my operation (a craft cocktail bar) is small enough to where I know each individual personally and feel that they’re part of my “tribe” And part of being a leader, whether of a “tribe” or family or whatever is taking responsibility.

    When we evolve a system that puts weak men in charge who refuse to take responsibility for their actions, it’s then that we need the laws. Same way I feel about libertarianism; while I loves its ideals, its realities don’t (and will never) exist because of people like Steve Jobs who take advantage of other people.

    Of course, the free market should force people with shoddy business practices out, right? Not when they spend huge percentages on marketing that deifies them. These practices didn’t work for early man; we’d all see that Jobs treats his “tribe” like shit, sells a shoddy, cookie-cutter product and refuse to follow him. But today, we have commercials and a society that loves shiny things.

    Most people aren’t interested in actually finding out how the people they buy shit from make it. Such daring imagination and sense of courageous adventure. :)

    • “…people like Steve Jobs who take advantage of other people”

      If you own a business that employs other people, I will have you know that in a world of billions, there are many millions who thnk you’re taking advantage of other people.

      Do you realize that?

      • Oh yeah. Those people are super wrong. :)

        I’m actually fairly right-wing, if we have to put definitions on it. Businesses are how we, as a society, make money. My employees are really, really good at what they do and they get paid really, really well for it. My business provides them with jobs and the opportunity to make that money. And they step up and provide me with a living. It works and I treat our interaction as a transaction between adults. They work and I pay them.

        On the flip side, I remodeled the building so they’re not working in an asbestos hell. The area of downtown I live in isn’t really super strict about that kind of stuff. I could cut the corner and say fuck it and save that ten grand. But that’s not the right thing to do.

        Bottom line is that Jobs has demonstrated, again and again, that he values money over human lives. He’s not alone. Most CEOs are like that. And it’s Dunbar’s number. When you have 15,000 employees, you simply can’t care about all of them.

      • “My employees are really, really good at what they do and they get paid really, really well for it.”

        Amazing. I mean, you mean to tell me that you know the requirements of your business in terms of the values you want to trade more than, say, a blogger who’s in the top 6 million in the world?

        Dumbfounded. You petulent, arogant SOB.

        My biggest laugh in all of this, in the links I got, are how Jobs berated all his lowly employees with status enough to be involved in personal meeting with him.

        How about a new movement: Six Figure Workers’ Rights.

      • Wow, Richard. First Sean – who I’d always assumed you were on better terms with – and now this guy? You’re going to end up with about five readers if you’re not careful, dude. Yeah, I know – you don’t care… ;)

        Anyway, fight the real enemies of the paleo worldview. Like, um…Jimmy Moore! Mr. pumpkin-pie-is-paleo-because-I-want-something-sweet – http://livinlavidalowcarb.com/blog/jimmy-moores-nostalgic-low-carb-paleo-pumpkin-cheesecake-recipe/11798.

        While you guys argue about how many angels can fit on the head of a pin, hucksters like Moore are making a mockery out of a movement you all helped build. Just sayin.

      • I guess I should have used [sarcasm] tags in my reply, Erica.

      • Jimmy Moore, a “real enem[y] of the Paleo worldview?”

        Well, first of all, I’m not much interested in a “worldview” if I take that to mean some uniform dogma or catechism. I’m about paleo principles, applied individually.

        As to Jimmy, I doubt there’s anyone who has been more supportive of Paleo over the last couple of years. He’s had dozens of interviews of Paleo peeps on his podcast, including me. He’s reached out numerous times for input from many of us, even to the extent of the conflict between evolution and his own religious views.

        http://livinlavidalowcarb.com/blog/can-a-christian-follow-a-paleo-low-carb-diet/9381

        He live blogged the Ancestral Health Symposium on Twitter, tirelessly to his 5,000 followers and did a number of posts of his blog and podcast interviews surrounding the event. Upon his return home he announced to his tens of thousands of readers that he and Christine were going LC Paleo (where she has been resistant to even a plain LC approach all along).

        http://livinlavidalowcarb.com/blog/thanks-to-ahs11-ive-shifted-my-diet-to-a-low-carb-paleo-approach/11494

        Then he began tweeting his food pics and not only were they compliant, but very creative.

        http://livinlavidalowcarb.com/blog/a-sampling-of-my-recent-gourmet-low-carb-paleo-meals/11621

        He’s even ventured out beyond the conventional and comfortable.

        http://livinlavidalowcarb.com/blog/jimmy-moores-adventures-in-odd-bits-cow-tongue/11534

        So there you have it. A little context widening and people can judge for themselves, I suppose.

      • I wholeheartedly agree with you about Jimmy. He is a wonderful guy, trying to heal his own health and help others along the way.

        In case some people don’t ‘get it’, you can actually do what you love (Steve Jobs, Jimmy Moore) and make a living doing it.
        Shocking I know.

        Follow your heart in life, you never know what will happen.

      • A wonderful guy? I suppose so – if you agree with him and his Taubesian worldview. If not, your comments (all of which are moderated, by the way) will be censored, edited beyond recognition, or simply ignored. And if you disagree one too many times you will just be banned. It’s the free and open exchange of ideas on blogs like Richard’s and Stephan’s and Dr. Harris’ that make for such an invigorating read. Jimmy is a marketer – marketing a diet that doesn’t even work for him, I might add – and LLVLC is a franchise. Nothing more.

      • A franchise? ok. To each his own.

      • Well, Gary is a friend of mine too, as is Stephan. And Mike Eades, and any number of others generally driving in a better direction.

        That Jimmy changes his mind and approach over time is the most important thng about him.

        As to the cmment thning, I wouldn’t know. I’ve never tried to change Jimmy’s mind about anything, or even admonish him. I just do what I do and he still seems to be interested in what I’m doing.

      • It goes far beyond the Dunbar number. Jobs was playing for keeps in a cutthroat global market. He pretty much beat everyone and it wasn’t because he was more ruthless. He was as ruthless as required, but he lived by his own standards of product and service excellence, uncompromisingly.

        People hate him because he wasn’t mediocre enough.

  7. I was all set to “chastise” you for not getting rodizio from Pampas (I especially like the coração de Frango) but then you had to go and point out what was at the Apple store. I’m really kicking myself because I was literally two blocks away that day and didn’t know anything like that was going on. I should have guessed.

    Steve has left a couple dents on the universe. Love him or hate, you can’t deny that.

    • Zach

      A few years back there was a bunch of hoopla about this guy writing a book and had a blog: no impact man.

      I judged it a sad and pathetic way to live your one and only life. I still do. I want to leave as a Big Fucking Impact Man.

      • Amen!

        It’s taken me longer than some, but I’m now starting to figure out how I’m going to make my own Big Fucking Impact.

      • Fuck impact. I want to leave as I Lived My Own Life Man. If I have impact along the way, it’ll be as a side effect.

      • “Fuck impact. I want to leave as I Lived My Own Life Man.”

        I want to live my life in high impact, if I can. I’ll be sorely disappointed if I don’t.

      • Maybe it is an inner demon of mine. Maybe psychosis. Does not matter.

        From the time I was 16 years-current I have wanted for my ideas to have sex. To pro-create. Ideas (like money) want to breed.

        The price is large. The payoff? A Fulfilled life.

      • Jscott: Your ideas can have sex. Get a blog, be yourself and not like anyone else, and never moderate comments.

        Even when I don’t jump my lover at 2-3 am, my comment action is virtually masturbatory for which I am eternally grateful.

        And the more disentious, the better.

        It feels so good.

      • Perhaps I will blog again. Until then I will live in the comments.

  8. I wouldn’t call people who eat at the Cheesecake Factory “foodies.”

    And it’s funny how I absolutely adore my iPhone … but type this on a Dell PC laptop. Best of both worlds?

  9. Ever notice how you don’t see Disney characters being used to peddle junk food to kids? Steve. http://www.zdnet.com/blog/apple/jobs-gets-out-of-the-happy-meal-business/192

    The one thing I appreciate most about Steve is his insistence on building ‘insanely great’ products, for expecting and delivering excellence, not cutting corners, valuing design and user experience over a few lousy bucks. In the end, his methods also happened to make Apple the most valuable corporation in the world — but it certainly wasn’t always like that.

    “Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me… Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful… that’s what matters to me. ” – Steve Jobs

    • But, but, Angelo, he employed Chinese workers, didn’t pay them high five figures, they didn’t get a month of paid vacation per year and they had to work in conditions that might have made an American depression era soup line regular envious.

      We need to all hang our heads in shame. We contributed to his exloitation.

      Viva la revolucione

  10. Interesting read!

    I worked for corporate America for the last 10 years… moved up through the ranks in a very large pet retail company as a pet training instructor then they sent me to groom school then promoted me to manager where I quickly rose to the top in my district so they made me an academy instructor. Then we got new upper management… she flat out told me she didn’t think I could be happy as a manager because I was too nice! It didn’t matter how I’d traveled all over the district helping out where I could and that I’d been a successful manager for the last 7 years! Because I wasn’t making my employees sign a stupid chart I was being deemed unacceptable no matter how successful the groomingsalon was.

    I was forced to step down and go to work for a girl that I had hired and trained! Then that store got a new manager and I got injured and the new manager was threatening associates that if they got hurt on the job it would be a write up… long story short I let him intimidate me and didn’t file a report… haven’t been able to work in almost 10 months now and lost my job after 3 months because some asshole was looking after the all mighty dollar instead of looking out for his employees!

    Personally I don’t think you have to be an asshole to be successful!

  11. Yeah I did for about 8 months but hated the new job so much that I went back part time lol… I guess I just kept hoping that things would change… I have never had an employer or supervisor not like me… when I first went back two vip’s, from a competitor, used to work for this company and were the manager and dsm that promoted me…made me an offer to be a training manager for them but NOoooo I felt I had to be loyal to the girls that got me hired back….

    Ya know I’m hoping that the Paleo way of life will enable to go do what I love…work with animals again…for the fucking competitor and show them all lol

  12. Thanks, Richard, for yet another interesting post. I think sometimes people confuse an appreciation of what someone has accomplished with an adoration of that person. I have used Apple products for years, long before they had a resurgence in popularity, because Apple makes quality products that last and do what I need them to do. I don’t worship Jobs but I do appreciate the leadership and intellect he provided that produced innovative stuff for me to use. I don’t care if he was a bastard to his work force – no one forced them to work for him. And if he outsourced his work to cheaper workers, my guess is that they appreciated the opportunity. There seems to be a feeling in this country that everyone has to be a nice guy. If I make a billion dollars by working hard and being innovative (not likely as a teacher) and being a smart businessman, I am expected to be willing to give a huge portion of it back to everyone else. We are raising a generation of whiners.

  13. At the risk of raising Richard’s blood pressure and also causing anger in all those people who hate Steve Jobs – Why does any one outside of his immediate circle of friends and family care?

    I accept that his company made a difference to the world, but so do lots of companys.

    I guess that about 10 million other people died the same day. Each of there deaths will have ripped the hearts from the nearest and dearest. Some of them will have been nicer people than Steve. Some of them will have been worse.

    But, and it’s a big but, none of them, not even Steve fulfilled the prophesy of the coming of Christ……

    • “Why does any one outside of his immediate circle of friends and family care?”

      Values. It’s only that simple. Everyone gets to go to hell in their own go-cart.

      And it goes goes both ways. When a politician dies, I laugh and applaud — any and all politicians. Some fucking moron in this thread compared this to adoration over Diana. When that happened, I called her a “sleep ’til noon do-nothing parasite,” and laughed at her demise on a ListServ I frequented at the time.

      Incidentally, I don’t begrudge anyone for _not_ participating in the mourning over Jobs and even I would not have gone out of my way to stick that post-it note on the Apple store window. But I am proud of standing up for and appreciating the values _I_ hold dear and special.

      That people would actually mock me for that on my own blog tells me everything I ever need to know about the both of them.

    • That’s about how I feel about it, someone famous dies the world weeps, your dad or mom dies and nobody notices. Chances are if Steve Jobs had lived another 30 years and died at the age of 89, he would have gotten some attention but nothing like this, he wouldn’t be as famous as his death wouldn’t coincide with important product launches give or take a few years.

      James Dean is still famous cause he died young, and he died before his movies were a distant memory.

      We spend our lives being told “Look at that bright shiny object!” Okay Jobs came up with some great bright shiny objects, but in the end, if you are fortunate or unfortunate enough to live so long, it will mean absolutely nothing to you.

      On the other hand if you die tomorrow maybe the iPad2 will mean something to you.

    • Another thing to point out is that people value Jobs for different reasons. Could be as simple as the products, could be cult of personality, entertainment value, inspiration to “think different” or any combination of other things altogether.

      For me it’s a combination of things. I was a PC guy exclusively from my first x386 in 1990. I used to make fun of Mac heads and argued with my cousin all the time. Then I finally gave in 4 years ago this month and could not be more pleased with that decision all the way around, and so since when I drive past Corp headquarters as I often do on the I-280 I do so with a nod of appreciation for never having been disappointed, only always satisfied and occasionally thrilled. So proximity is a factor. Then there’s entertainment value, such as when an entertainer whose films or music has inpired you over the years.

      Everyone has their own reasons to love and hate.

  14. Richard, I enjoyed your post and I think you’re on to something when you say “Maybe something else stinks, like, say, the way it’s [capitalism] so often done now?” and that Jobs perhaps gave us a glimpse of something better.

    A British philosopher, Julian Baggini, wrote a really good article about this point in the The Guardian this week:
    http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2011/oct/06/steve-jobs-changed-capitalism

    All the best, Bill

    • Bill:

      Thanks for that. That article is so dead on in terms of my thinking it’s uncanny. Love this section the best, given the naysayers in this comment thread.

      “Take the old adage that the consumer is king. In some ways, this is as true for Apple as it is for anyone else. It stands or falls on the basis of whether people will buy its stuff. But Jobs’s success was built firmly on the idea that in another sense, you should not give consumers what they want because they don’t know what they want. No one thought they wanted the first desktop Mac, iPod, iPhone or iPad before they existed. Jobs repeatedly created things that people came to want more than anything else only by not trying to give them what they already wanted. This challenges the idea that consumer culture inevitably means pandering to the conventional, to the lowest common denominator. Markets are not necessarily conservative: truly great innovations can become popular.

      “Jobs has also provided the clearest evidence yet that excellence comes at a cost. Against both the optimistic open-source movement that thinks all good things can be made collaboratively for free, and the race-to-the-bottom chains that believe the answer is always to be the cheapest, Jobs showed that you could, and must, charge a premium price for a premium product. Far from condemning his company to a niche, by following this principle, Apple actually became, briefly, the biggest company in the world. The lesson has still to be taken on board elsewhere. In news and broadcasting, for example, we are all learning that you can’t sustain quality by giving things away.

      “It’s not just about cost, however. Jobs was unpopular for the way in which he tightly controlled Apple’s copyrights, refused to license to third parties and tied his devices to his own suppliers of content. This was seen as undemocratic, demagogic even. But whether or not he was always right, his success shows that there is something to the idea that true excellence often requires tight control. It’s the principle that guides the best restaurant kitchens, the best production lines and even many of the best films, plays or dance productions. Jobs should have killed the idea that everything works better if it’s open, collaborative and non-judgmental.”

  15. Richard I may not agree with everything you say but I’ll always defend your right to say it! I personally have an android phone and don’t agree with all the lawsuits going on between apple and other android companies. I don’t think anyone should be allowed a monopoly.

    I DO love reading your blogs because they make me think and I’ve learned alot from you and a few others!!!

    I do agree that you get what you pay for I charged premium prices for my grooming services and almost always made the customer happy the general exception was usually someone that wanted something for nothing!

    I also understand what others are saying about losing someone… my Daddy just passed on the 7th of last month. I most certainly didn’t agree with things he did and we didn’t speak for over 13 years but I was given the gift of being able to say goodbye.

    I mourn the loss of any life though.

    I DO think Jobs contributed alot to my current lifestyle and appreciate that!

  16. which is the ghetto small establishment?

  17. i meant gelato*

  18. @Chris
    “we’d all see that Jobs treats his “tribe” like shit, sells a shoddy, cookie-cutter product..”

    Treated his tribe like shit? Maybe. Shoddy, cookie-cutter product? You sir, know not of what you speak.

  19. Samantha Moore says:

    “Jobs has also provided the clearest evidence yet that excellence comes at a cost…(that) you can’t sustain quality by giving things away.” Excellent.

  20. Shame about Steve’s early death. He was a damn fool vegan wasn’t he? I said over and over again over the last few years seeing the photos of him from his keynote appearances – “He really needs to eat a nice big steak!” Veganism did him no favors in his fight against the cancer.

    • I think the reason he looked like crap is he had cancer of the liver

      • He had a malignant tumor in his pancreas, diagnosed in 2005, I believe. He got a liver transplant a couple of years back. I suspect that the meds he had to take to keep him alive likely killed his liver.

  21. So agree with you Mart! It’s too bad that our western medicine still advises veganism… I just had a doctor tell me to get off meat in August… urgh! Then I found out I had a vitamin D3 deficiency and adrenal fatigue yet they just stuck me on pain meds thyroid meds and antidepressants! Now I’m trying to fix myself with good nutrition and supplements!