“Malcolm Gladwell is getting a lot of attention this week for an article in The New Yorker in which he says that ‘in the eulogies that followed Jobs’s death, last month, he was repeatedly referred to as a large-scale visionary and inventor. But [Walter] Isaacson’s biography suggests that he was much more of a tweaker,'” Frederick E. Allen writes for Forbes.
“To support this view, Gladwell explains that Jobs lifted the basic idea of the mouse and the graphical user interface from Xerox, introduced the iPod five years after the first MP3 players appeared, and came out with the iPhone 10 years into the smart phone era,” Allen writes. “He also describes inventors in England who brought about the Industrial Revolution by making incremental improvements rather than grand inventions.”
Allen writes, “In making this argument, Gladwell misjudges both Jobs’ achievement and the nature of invention, I believe. By Gladwell’s definition, most of the greatest inventions would be tweaks. The Wright brothers hardly gave birth to the idea of an airplane. Dozens of inventors were trying to build kite-like structures with broad wings and engines to power them; the Wrights methodically gathered all they could learn from those others and figured out how to use a lighter internal-combustion engine and warp the wings for control to succeed far better than anyone else.”
Read more in the full article – recommended – here.
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “krquet” for the heads up.]