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The Other Side of Jobs

Steve Jobs' private memorial service was yesterday, and former President Bill Clinton and U2's Bono were the star attractions. California even proclaimed it Steve Jobs Day. I agree with all the accolades -- the guy made a huge difference. But somehow when someone passes, flaws are forgotten.

One brave Gawker writer, Ryan Tate, wasn't afraid to discuss the less than flattering side of Jobs. Many Apple products are made in less than ideal conditions -- low pay, long hours and lax environment controls. Also, there are the times that Apple went after reporters simply because they were breaking news about the company -- tactics as aggressive as I've ever seen.

Jobs also controlled what one can see and do with iPhones and iPads.

And, of course, there was his famous temper. That may be the sign of a driven, passionate man -- but is it really a fair way to treat loyal and presumably highly-intelligent employees?

For the record, Tate has a history with Jobs. He wrote Mr. Jobs an e-mail complaining that the iPad blocks porn -- a restriction on freedom of speech. This turned into a massive and well-publicized flame war. Clearly Tate has an axe to grind, but the points he made in his recent piece, to my knowledge, are entirely accurate.

I feel uncomfortable mentioning all this given Jobs' recent passing, but lionizing someone just because their gone isn't totally honest.

What is your take? Do his flaws matter at this point? Be honest with me at dbarney@redmondmag.com.

Posted by Doug Barney on 10/17/2011 at 1:18 PM


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