Jobs, Ritchie and America’s Media Obsession
“When you do things right, people won’t be sure you’ve done anything at all.” – God Entity
Two deaths this week reinforce America’s media obsession with marketing over engineering. One death is heralded as the passing of a demigod (Steve Jobs), while the other received obscurity (Dennis Ritchie). The former was the marketing genius behind Apple success. The later was the co-inventor of Unix and, more importantly, the creator of C. Without Ritchie’s innovation and hard work, there would be no technological foundation for a company like Apple.
But such myopic coverage is nothing new in theUS. It is the norm. Unlike other countries, the actual architects of technology of rarely recognized in our country. Instead, the focus is on consumption, on the shiny surface of things.
But this is the way of things. If we, as engineers, do our job well, no one will really be sure that we did anything at all. Unlike Jobs, engineers are not demigods. But our creations allow our business leaders and market visionaries (like Jobs) to shine – at least for a little while.