Every now and then, someone who is brilliant says something stupid — often the result of spending too much time riding a jet stream of high praise. Steve Jobs, the co-founder and chief executive of Apple Inc., did such a thing last month when he all but declared the death of reading.
Asked about Kindle, the electronic book reader from Amazon.com, Jobs was dismissive. “It doesn’t matter how good or bad the product is,” he told John Markoff of The Times, “the fact is that people don’t read anymore. Forty percent of the people in the U.S. read one book or less last year.”
This is nonsense on several levels. But before we get to reading, let’s stipulate that Jobs is deserving of his 2007 ranking by Fortune Magazine as the most powerful person in business. Anyone who can cause revolutions in five industries, as Fortune noted, is a titan— capable of touching a billion lives.
Tip to Greta.