Sunday, October 9, 2011

Steven Jobs (1955-2011)

No doubt you have already heard of the sad passing of Steven Jobs, one of the most successful entrepreneurs of his generation. Many have offered heartfelt obituaries and tributes explaining his significance to our world. Randall Holcombe praised him as the important innovator that he was. Peter Klein stressed that the success of Jobs points to the the beauty of market capitalism.
Markets aren’t winner-take all. Neither Steve Jobs nor Bill Gates nor Linus Torvalds nor anyone else decided what products we all should use and made us use them. We didn’t vote for our favorite computer or music player or phone, then all get the one that 51% of the voters preferred. No, we can all have the goods and services we like.
Grove City College's own Craig Columbus, executive director of our entrepreneurship program remembers "his ability to draw inspiration from other industries and sources, his willingness to shrink rather than constantly grow product lines, his unwillingness to rely on commoditized marketing studies or focus groups, his obsession with simplicity and functionality, his decision to accept a $1-a-year salary in order to place the emphasis on value creation." What especially struck Columbus, however, was Jobs' ability to weather his failures, ultimately transforming his company and society. Vaclav Smil, on the other hand, puts Jobs' contributions in a more historical context and affirms that "It takes nothing away from Steve Jobs to say he is no Thomas Edison."

All of these are good reasons to celebrate the life and work of Steven Jobs. The death of an entrepreneurial giant also reminds us, however, of less pleasant things. It has been appointed unto men to die once and then comes the judgement (Hebrews 9:27). As great and as socially beneficial his work is, Jobs still died. That is true of all great men. Ludwig von Mises and Murray Rothbard we brilliant economists, the most brilliant of the 20th Century I would say, however they both died and one day will be called to account for how they lived their life and how they responded to Jesus Christ.

The good news is that while the wages of sin is death, the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ (Romans 6:23). Perhaps the most profound question that has even been asked was phrased by Jesus in economic terms. "What will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul?" (Matthew 16:26) The only way to escape forfeiting our soul is to repent of our sins and embrace Jesus as Savior and Lord. As Christ Himself said to Nicodemus, "Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God"(John 3:18).

No comments:

Post a Comment