Bon Jovi May Be Right About Steve Jobs – But Don’t Blame Steve Jobs

(personal note – I have taken a few days away from blogging – and from a whole lot of other stuff.  I hope to be back in full swing in a day or two…)

News item (Huffington Post): Bon Jovi rips Steve Jobs for killing the music industry

“God, it was a magical, magical time. I hate to sound like an old man now, but I am, and you mark my words, in a generation from now people are going to say: ‘What happened?’ Steve Jobs is personally responsible for killing the music business.”
Interestingly, his criticism isn’t about illegal downloading or any skewed road to success; instead, Bon Jovi is complaining about the actual experience of listening to music, which he thinks has been downgraded by iTunes downloads and iPods.

He may be right.  But, the complaint will be the same for the book industry – “The Kindle killed the book business.”  And for television:  “the internet and dvrs killed the networks.”

The list is endless, and the point is inescapable.  Technology marches on, and it is not pretty, it does not wait, it is not fair. (this is a paraphrase of a quote from some business book I have presented, and I can’t quite remember which book.  My apology to the author).  In fact, google the phrase “technology does not wait,” and the quotes are numerous…    When technology arrives, the world changes.

I was in Austin reading a book (yes, an actual book) to my granddaughter over the weekend.  The title of the book was Opposites.  She is 14 months old, so it is pretty much a point to the picture and try to hold her attention for a few seconds experience.  One picture was an elephant (no guarantee that I am remembering the animal, or even the title, correctly) talking the right way and the wrong way on the telephone.  But in both pictures, there was a phone with a cord and a handset.  My granddaughter may never live in a house with such a phone.  In fact, my son and his wife do not have a phone at their house – they each have a cell phone.

So, Bon Jovi can blame Steve Jobs for killing the music industry.  And he may be right – but he is wrong.  Jobs was just the guy at the time.  If not him, someone else would have introduced a magic music machine based on the new digital technology, and the world of music would have changed.

We may as will get over it.  We may not like it, but it happened, it is happening, and it will continue to happen.  Technology marches on.

2 thoughts on “Bon Jovi May Be Right About Steve Jobs – But Don’t Blame Steve Jobs

  1. Frederic Houde

    Bon Jovi should understand that Steve Jobs via iTunes is offering what people wants. We don’t want (including myself) to buy a CD that we can lose, scratch or dump somewhere. We like to have access to our music on our ipod, apple TV, iPad, Computers or whatever. This way, the music is everywhere. He should instead thanks Apple who succeed in building a revenue source for artist in a market affected by iilegal downloading and peer to peer sharing.

  2. Phil Mendershausen

    Randy’s point is quite obvious, but it is as usual elegantly and elaborately stated.

    My concern with the march of technology is with those left behind, still unable to use a mouse or leave a greeting message, who are destined to waste so much of their life just trying to communicate using technology that is outdated and which, when shuttered, will leave them in an even darker place.

    And my concern is also with those millions whose jobs are being replaced by electronics/robotics and are too inflexible to learn another way to provide for themselves; hello food stamps, cardboard and living out of the car.

    And most pathetic of all, defunding of education that is all the rage today. People have no hope of self sufficiency with real learning moving out of reach, and the siren-like hawking of “instant gratification techniques” will consume their last dollar.

    Who will protect us from ourselves? Touche’ Randy !!!!!!!!!


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