jfg wrote:I think the most amazing thing is that at a time where everybody hates big corps and CEOs, his death is universally mourned. A guy who wasn't liked very much by his peers and led a very private life turned out to be one of the biggest celebrities of his era.
I don't think Jobs was that disliked among peers, definitely not within Silicon Valley. I'd say it has more to do with his bold temperament and his control freak tendencies which convey that perception.
I'd say Jobs is most admired because he was a classical entrepreneur. There's this romantic image of entrepreneurs toiling night and day building the next big thing in their garages over every detail, overcoming all the odds by a combination of determination, grit, and skill to be successful... when many don't really suit that archetype. Jobs was that guy. He was adopted, a college dropout, got booted from the company he co-founded, and battled what's usually an immediate death sentence in pancreatic cancer. He was sort of a common man with an uncommon will and set of abilities to get past the many obstacles in front of him.
The hyperbole is a bit much when describing Jobs, or putting him on a demigod pedestal as some have. That said, he is one of the great all-time entrepreneurs and CEO's, made greater by the way he achieved it by an independent spirit willing to learn and seemingly never afraid to fail.