The Show That Stands

Steve Jobs was a phenomenon, much more than just another successful CEO. Heis one among those visionaries who proved time and again that persistence on achosen path can lead to reverential success.

Jobs was a visionary, I said, someone who actually changed the way people perceived somethingviz. Digital media! Years ago, there was another man- Dennis Ritchie who wrote somecodes that laid the foundation for almost everything today including Jobs’ iPhone.
Ritchie isbelieved to be the father of C language and a co-creator of Unix (which laterinspired many other things including Linux). We all knew about him as students.In fact some of us, like me, made it a point to buy the book he had authored onC language (it had a white cover page with a dull blue design on it, andmuch more boring content inside for an average newbie to programming) when westarted learning the language in school. If parallels were to be drawn, therecan be no dispute that Ritchie stood way too ahead of Jobs as the biggervisionary (who actually made deeper impact on the society and our life over the years).
Whywould I draw such parallels? To those who haven’t seen it already on the newsand social media, Jobs and Ritchie passed away around the same time. While oneof them was given a heart wrenching farewell all over the globe, the other was simplyoverlooked. And it should not be a surprise that since we are discussing ithere, it cannot have been the way that appears normal.
Yes,while Jobs was mourned all over the world, Ritchie largely drew no one’s attentionon death. (Here I am reminded of an editorial that I read which said that itwas surprising how Jobs was so popular in India when there was not a singledirect Apple store and the i-products were so expensively priced that anaverage person was very unlikely to be in possession of one)
One of the images going viral on Facebook about this topic
Why didthe world hail Jobs while many never remembered Ritchie beyond their schooldays (though we all still remember/use C or its direct descendent programminglanguages)? Ok, a quick quiz. Who was Dr.Martin Cooper? Who is Steven Sasson?What did Mathew Gray do in 1993 for the first time that changed internetforever? Any answer? Now match mobile phones, digital camera and search enginesto the questions respectively. Do you see that we do not know who created someof the things that we have actually begun using as a part of us?
Rememberthe mega launches that Jobs held for all i-products? The gung ho over what couldbe the new Apple product, his routine jokes (‘there is one more thing…’), stagepresence, drama over his role in Apple corporation etc. Remember the media appearances and booksby Bill Gates at the peak of his success? Remember frequently seeing the face of Jimmy Wales on Wikipedia? The publicitystunts by Richard Branson? We do,of course we do! That could precisely be a major reason.
If youare an exceptionally brilliant inventor your product will become famous. Butif there is a story, a drama, a brand you build around yourself and most importantly continue to create news (good or bad, sometimes futile controversies) until your end, people willinvariably remember you and your contributions. Because the more infrequent your face or name becomesthe sooner you shall be forgotten! Not that we people are a thankless lot, but thingsevolve so fast that even five years mean a lot more than what they used to be.Five years back from today facebook was perhaps just a new idea, twitter was just about launchedand there were no iPhones!
In suchrelative speed of time and technology changes, it should not be very surprisingwhy Ritchie’s achievements and his adieu to the wonderful word he helped inshaping was lost in the smoke cloud created by the departure of this person whobrought digital multimedia so close to the common man (which again was based onRitchie’s codes to begin with)!
After all, it’s your show alone that remains inpeople’s minds and hence only a showman for life shall get a tearful goodbye and boundless gratitude from people for all that he did for them in his life! This perhaps is what the management guys call ‘Personal Branding’.

3 thoughts on “The Show That Stands

  1. >Awesome Post..I have read lot of editorials regarding this on lot of sites..but simply yours is the best da..And I completely agree why some people are more famous than other..Great post again..

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