So I’m not certain if this happens to my Microsoft peers but it has happened quite often to me over the past few weeks. The conversation usually starts with, “Well, you guys must be happy about Steve Jobs, it’s probably easier for you when he’s not around.”
It’s kind of hard to know where to start to parse a question a like, it’s pejorative in a way that just wouldn’t be possible if you were talking to most people about most subjects, such as their job, their spouse, their race, their children, or their health. But for some reason people think you can say just about anything to anyone that works for Microsoft. Please shed no tears for me, trust me we’re all used to it by now, just an observation I thought I’d share.
So I’ll go on the record for myself. Steve’s health is none of my business but based on what’s he’s communicated it sounds like he’s got some challenging health problems and I’m glad he’s dedicated the time to take care of himself. People can be stubborn that way and I’ll offer myself up as evidence, my 20 pound weight gain since I started at Microsoft since 2006 has gone politely unmentioned by my wife but fortunately my Doctor harbors no such sense of propriety.
But more to the point, I don’t think WE can afford or bear to lose a man like Steve Jobs right now. Perhaps he’s not nice to colleagues and his working style may not suit many of us but we owe alot to the guy collectively as designers and technologists.The dark place that we are in right now with our economy would be in a much darker place if he weren’t around. So if you pray, pray that Steve gets better and if you’re a cynic I’d offer up a trope from The Dark Knight. Depending on what side of the fanboy club you fall on Steve Jobs is either Batman or the Joker with Microsoft, or I suppose Bill Gates, being the other. In short, we need Steve Jobs, we do our best work when he’s around and I think he in turn does his best work when he’s where he belongs, which is at Apple.
Need a reminder of this? Watch this video from a past All Things Digital Conference.