In the wake of Apple CEO Steve Jobs’ announcement that he will leave his post, it seems the media found another question as enticing as “What will happen to Apple?"
Who is Jobs’ historical doppelganger?
Given Jobs’ reputation as a pioneer, innovator, hands-on boss and oft-sainted figure, various outlets and analysts placed him in some pretty good company.
Perhaps the most obvious jump was to technological scions like Thomas Edison and Alexander Graham Bell. The Atlantic Wire’s Eric Randall identified a few writers, including the New Yorker’s Ken Auletta and the Wall Street Journal’s Therese Poletti, who went for Edison.
Why Edison? Because "the scope of the technologies that sprang from or were transformed by Jobs’s Apple laboratories — the Mac, the mouse, the laptop, Pixar, iTunes, iPod, iPhone, iPad—is awesome, as was that from Edison’s Menlo Park."
What about Graham Bell? The New Jersey Star-Ledger’s Linda Ocasio points out that both “advanced mass communications.”
But if neither the telephone nor electricity is your thing, comparing Jobs to another technological pioneer, Henry Ford, has caught on as well.
RBC Capital Market’s Mike Abramsky wrote a note suggesting that Ford and Jobs are similar as “unique creative forces whose companies carried on for years” while IndustryGamers caught up with Panoptic Management Consults CEO Asif Khan who called him “the Henry Ford of the personal computer industry.”
If cars are not your thing, how about animation?
Time.com’s Harry McCracken went Hollywood, comparing Jobs to Walt Disney because, like Disney, Jobs is a “self-made Californian” whose business incorporates technology and the liberal arts. Plus, both were “irritable, obsessed and visionary” bosses.
Still, perhaps the most unlikely comparison ventured into the realm of sports, where PCWorld’s Tony Bradley said Jobs was like Michael Jordan.
“Steve Jobs is to Apple as Walt Disney was to Disney, or Michael Jordan was to the NBA–the "Willy Wonka" that sees beyond reality to bring that magic.”
Larry Bird may be the “basketball Jesus” but Jordan’s status as the best basketball player alive – even thought it pains me to admit it — is unquestioned.
So that leaves just one more comparison – the man who turned water into wine.
No media outlet — so far as TheWrap has seen — has gone that far, but Twitter has.
Koji Kabuto, under the handle matuzalem tweeted: “Is There an Apple Without Steve Jobs? Is there a Cristian Church Without Jesus Christ? Yes its been over 2,000 years since his alleged death.”
ANP’s Jan-Albert Hootsen sums it up pretty well too: “Steve Jobs, the only CEO in history whose resignation will get more coverage than the second coming of Jesus.”
So there you have it, forget about Edison, Ford, Graham Bell, Disney or Jordan, Steve Jobs is more newsworthy than the son of God.