Thoughts (primarily) on the passing of Steve Jobs

First, I am saddened the same as most people to hear of the passing of Steve Jobs. Outside of Steve’s contributions to technology, reason enough to be sad would be the relatively young age at which Steve left us; in modern times, 56 is quite a young age at which to pass on, barely two-thirds of the 78.7 years life expectancy in the US.

I agree in principle with, and in fact admire, many of the advancements in technology and user interfaces which Steve played a part in. It is remarkable that Steve took a company on the verge of failure and transformed it into something that has made even Microsoft sit up and take notice. This is no small feat and Steve has earned his legacy in the history of computing and technology. I also agree with the substance of the statements made by President Barack Obama, Bill Gates, Disney president Bob Iger, and Mark Zuckerberg.

I say all this despite the fact I have been actively boycotting Apple’s products in the recent past up until the present (for reasons that should be obvious to frequent readers of this blog), and this is unlikely to change for the forseeable future.

Will this seem odd to many people? Certainly. But this isn’t the first time.

I once had a copy of the book Winning with the P&G 99 by Charles Decker, purchased in the middle of my active boycott of Procter & Gamble (among others) for their sponsorship of the Jenny Jones talk show, which ended upon the show’s cancellation in 2003 (and, thankfully, predated P&G’s acquisiton of Gillette, thus I never had to quit shaving with Mach3 or Fusion razors as a result of the boycott).

The tactics of a company, including marketing, PR, and basic business strategy, are still relevant to my career as a marketing and PR consultant, whether or not I personally purchase their products. The same general principles apply to Apple now that applied to P&G then (though at the time of purchasing the P&G book I was not actively in marketing consulting then, but in a more general self-directed study of business). And thus the same general principles apply, also, to the work of Steve Jobs as did to the staff of P&G during the time of my active boycott of the company’s products.

I have more to say, but it’ll come in a followup post in about a week or so. Right now is simply not an appropriate time.