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The cult of Steve Jobs

Posted on 06 October 2011

These days, it is easy to measure how well-loved a celebrity is.

By Terence Lee

Facebook and the Twitterverse lit up with updates this morning about the death of Steve Jobs, the founder and visionary of Apple.

You can literally tell how well-loved certain celebrities are by the number of tweets dedicated to them after their death.

When Amy Winehouse died earlier this year, not many people made noise. Sure, her fans mourned, but my Facebook wall wasn’t flooded with updates about the soulful singer.

And I doubt that when Bill Gates dies, people will give the same outpouring of love.

A friend of mine tweeted that she’s going to hug her iPad from now on. Another told me that she’ll love her iPhone and iPod Nano even more.

Steve Jobs is Apple, and Apple is Steve Jobs, that much is clear.

The difference between companies like Google and Apple is the management style. Stevie was charismatic, stylish, and creative. Less geeky engineer but more of effortlessly cool designer.

He led from the front, jumped into the fray, and got involved in a product from conceptualization to production to launch.

A former Apple product manager once visited Singapore and told me that whatever Steve Jobs wanted, he got. Working in the company was all about pleasing his exacting standards.

He was not just a CEO. He was God.

Sure, he may have passed on, but he has left a legacy in the products he created. He will live on in the Internet’s Elephant memory, and in pop culture. He is forever the dude with the black turtleneck, blue jeans, and snickers, the inspirer of a thousand parodies (make sure you see this one, I-rack = Iraq, for you non-Americans).

Apple is not in an enviable position though. With Steve Jobs gone, they face a monumental task of changing their company culture and maintaining their vitality without his vision and creativity. Otherwise, they risk becoming just another monument for their founder.

Anyway, as far as I know, there’s only one other guy since the advent of social media whose death has left the whole world mourning.

He’s none other Michael Jackson. You can put Stevie right up there with him. For the folks in Asia, news of their deaths arrived in the morning. It sets the tone for the rest of the day — morbid, yet at the same time awe-inspiring.

I doubt that even Lee Kuan Yew, when he passes on, will be able to inspire the same kind of global reverence Steve has.

Just some food for thought.

Image of Bill Gates and Steve Jobs courtesy of Tony Hue.
Image of Steve’s outfit courtesy of Photo Giddy.

This post was written by:

- who has written 81 posts on New Nation.

Terence is an online media nut that is obsessed with writing and publishing on the Internet. Recently, he took up photography to expand his repertoire, and hopes to learn videography soon. He has worked in both online and print publications such as The Straits Times, Today, Mind Your Body, The Online Citizen, and Funkygrad. He is currently the assistant editor with SGEntrepreneurs, a website that covers entrepreneurship in Singapore and Asia. Terence can be found on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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