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Oh, Steve Jobs, Why Do You Hate Me?

All last week I worked frantically on an article previewing this week's Macworld conference. The big news prior to the conference was the rumor that Steve Jobs was sick -- declining rapidly, too sick to work. "Nobody, however," I wrote, "has presented a single scrap of evidence that Jobs is actually sick. It's all a bunch of gossip." Several hours after I posted that article, Jobs release
All last week I worked frantically on an article previewing this week's Macworld conference. The big news prior to the conference was the rumor that Steve Jobs was sick -- declining rapidly, too sick to work. "Nobody, however," I wrote, "has presented a single scrap of evidence that Jobs is actually sick. It's all a bunch of gossip." Several hours after I posted that article, Jobs released a statement that he is sick. I really hope this isn't a sign of how the rest of the week is going to go for me.In the statement, Jobs says he's been losing weight throughout 2008. He said it was a "hormonal imbalance."

"The remedy for this nutritional problem is relatively simple and straightforward, and I've already begun treatment," Jobs says. But he adds that it's going to take him time to put the weight back on -- until the spring.

While Jobs is trying to gain weight, I've been trying to lose it. I weighed myself this morning -- up 3/10 of a pound. Yes, I think this is a sign of how the rest of the week is going to go for me.

Jobs hints at why he pulled out of the Macworld keynote, and why he did it in an abrupt announcement in mid-December: "A few weeks ago, I decided that getting to the root cause of [the weight loss] and reversing it needed to become my #1 priority."

For what it's worth, I don't think I have anything to be ashamed of in the story that went live this morning. I wrote that there was no evidence that Jobs was sick, and there wasn't. And even now he says he will continue as CEO:


I have given more than my all to Apple for the past 11 years now. I will be the first one to step up and tell our Board of Directors if I can no longer continue to fulfill my duties as Apple's CEO. I hope the Apple community will support me in my recovery and know that I will always put what is best for Apple first.

So now I've said more than I wanted to say, and all that I am going to say, about this.

And, while this isn't my finest moment in journalism, I'd still rather be me than the folks at Gizmodo, who claimed last week that Jobs's health is "rapidly declining," based apparently on the evidence of one guy, an anonymous source who had previously leaked them accurate product information.

Last week, when I wrote that article, we didn't know the state of Jobs's health. And we still don't. Jobs might be lying, he might be in denial, he might be kidding himself, he might have been misdiagnosed and be more sick than even his doctors realize. But the same thing could be said of any of us -- you, me, Barack Obama, Steve Ballmer, anybody on the planet. However, we don't have any evidence to suggest he's any sicker than he says he is, so the simplest solution -- and the best one -- is to take everything at face value: Jobs is sick, but he's being treated. He didn't say anything about it earlier because he doesn't expect it to affect his performance as CEO.

By the way, there's more to my article this morning than discussion of Jobs's health. Starting on page 2, it goes into discussion of new products that Apple will probably release at Macworld, including new iMacs, Mac Minis, and a preview of the Snow Leopard update to Mac OS X. Also possible: A media server, update to iWork, and the perennial Mac tablet rumor.

And now, if you'll excuse me, I think I'll go check the office for booby traps. Because I think it's going to be that kind of week.

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