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26/08/2011 | US: Steve Jobs And The Entrepreneurial Spirit

Most of the reactions to the resignation of Steve Jobs as CEO of Apple have been predictably mournful, even elegiac. We choose to celebrate his great career ó and what it says about America.


When the history of the digital age is written, Jobs will hold a special place as perhaps its greatest creator and entrepreneur.

Apple’s departing genius has created one iconic product after another — Apple I, Apple II, Macintosh, iMac, iPod, iPhone, iPad — the list goes on and is still growing. Many have become life-changing accessories for average Americans or productivity aids for businesses.

Often prickly, sometimes arrogant, but never dull, Jobs himself has always been consumed with creating things of both great utility and great beauty.

The college dropout was never a “numbers guy.” He left that to the MBAs and investment bankers.

What he was — and remains — is a visionary and entrepreneur in the truest and finest sense of the word, part of a grand tradition in America of inventor-entrepreneurs who don’t merely create new products, but products that change how we work, play and think.

Nick Schulz, a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, put it nicely on National Review Online: “Jobs gave people products they didn’t know they wanted, and then made those products indispensable to their lives.” Just so.

Jobs is in that long, proud line of great innovators who built our industrial might: Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the telephone; Thomas Edison, who came up with the phonograph, incandescent light and movie projector, and Henry Ford, whose Model T and modern assembly line revolutionized industrial production.

Yes, Jobs belongs in their company.

As he leaves his full-time duties as Apple’s CEO, Jobs reminds us that this is America’s greatest strength. Just as Italy turns out opera singers, Germany engineers and France chefs, we turn out great entrepreneurs.

From the very beginning of our nation, people like Jobs have fueled our growth — both material and personal — through their creativity and risk-taking. And we’re all better off for it.

At the end of trading Thursday, Apple stock was worth roughly $345 billion — making it the largest industrial company by market value in the world. It employs an estimated 35,000 people here in the U.S.

Not bad for a company started in 1976 in a California garage by a pair of dropouts, Jobs and Steve Wozniak.

So as we demonize “millionaires and billionaires,” we should remember that, in addition to making products we love and need, they also create wealth and financial security for thousands and thousands of people.

This isn’t an obituary, but an appreciation. Jobs will still be working at Apple, but he’s very ill and won’t live forever. We take solace, however, in the fact there will be another Steve Jobs. And another. Because this is what America does — create opportunity for those who have a vision and want to do great things. (Estados Unidos)


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