Business Magazine

Steve Jobs v. Henry Ford

Posted on the 06 October 2011 by Wallstlawblog @Wallstlawblog


**RIP STEVE JOBS

What follows is real. Parental discretion is advised.

-INTRODUCTION

This post is a bit off-topic, but it is a
real online discussion from tonight on a social network with a name that rhymes with mace-hook.

That discussion, in which I quickly became very annoyed and nasty began with a really dumb comment / question about the passing of Steve Jobs.

Except for the initial comment, which I paraphrased, the entire below discussion is a cut and paste of direct quotes.

-THE PARTICIPANTS

Mr. X (not his real name) started the discussion.

Mr. Z (not his real name either) - the guy who brought Henry Ford into the discussion.

Me (WSLB editor and publisher Brett Sherman).


-THE DISCUSSION

MR. X:

Here's my question. Why all of the praise for Steve Jobs now - You weren't talking about him so much before he died...

ME:

Because his genius was self-evident. The guy completely changed the nature of innovation. You didn't need to talk about Steve Jobs or his accomplishments too much because everyone knew all that stuff already.

Aside from being a business genius (no pun intended) he - more than anyone - understood how to translate impossibly sophisticated technologies into simple little affordable devices that enhance lives.

MR. Z:

Bullshit.

Henry Ford changed the way of Transportation. Without him you wouldn't have trucks delivering food to grocery stores.

You can live without ANY apple product. Steve Jobs was a brilliant guy. I do not question that. But give me one thing Apple puts out in 2011 that we can not live without?

ME:

Can't live without? I would begin with a "no offense" disclaimer, but I actually plan to offend.

That comment is beyond stupid. Moronic might fit, but me thinks this is one of the very few occasions when the term asinine works really well. Also, if I may be so bold, a bit unibomber-esque.

You can live without anything other than food and drink and shelter. People had little else for 99.9% of human history.

-TEN MINUTES OR SO LATER...

ME:

Oh - and there would be trucks delivering food without Henry Ford.

He did not invent the car, he pioneered assembly-line manufacture of automobiles so average people could afford them. Someone else would have done that - he just beat them to it.

He was a paranoid and rabid anti-semite, an admirer of Hitler; he went to Germany, consorted with Adolph and company - his newspaper published a series in the 1920s on the "Jewish Problem" in which the term "final solution" was coined. For his excellent anti-Jewish propaganda, he was awarded a medal (literally) in Berlin by Goering. Ford operated a subsidiary in Nazi Germany that supplied the German war machine with troop moving trucks throughout the war.

And his great contribution to society - using the assembly line on an industrial scale was the blueprint for a little place called Auschwitz. Several million people could have lived without that place, no?

Perhaps a better hero next time? Jonas Salk, for example.

----

By Brett Sherman,
Wall Street Law Blog


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