Dennis Ritchie and Steve Jobs are being compared to each other a lot lately.
FIRST of all, comparing these two is like comparing apples (pun intended) to oranges. Dennis Ritchie was a programmer, engineer, and revolutionary scientist for computer software. Steve Jobs was a creative, entrepreneur, and a visionary. They both were in the computer world, but they aimed at two different targets. Ritchie wanted to create a foundation that has never been created before. A whole new and revolutionary approach to computing and he did it with flying colors. Jobs took the foundation that he created and used it to create something that TONS of people wanted so badly and they love it. It was the best use of Ritchie’s creation(s) and if anything, I feel pretty confident that Ritchie would have been a huge fan of Job’s work.
Now, it is very sad that I didn’t even know of Ritchie’s existence until I saw all of these tumblr posts, but that’s the nature of publicity. He never made himself a public figure, and a man with as many accomplishments as him, could have done it, but I doubt his goal was to be in the public’s eye. Now Job’s is an artist. He took the existing tools and foundation to create a visually appealing, easy to use and operate, work of art. Then he took that and built an empire (Apple) by selling it. I’m not proud of this next line - but its very true/sad: In this world right now, if you make butt-loads of money, you get attention. Especially if you WANT to. (Ex: Steve Jobs) So because of the attention, he became a public figure. End result: big commotion when you die.
I’m not saying one is better than the other, by any means. I’m saying they were both great people with amazing creations. It’s just so frustrating when people say the Steve Jobs had no real innovations. That’s like saying Picasso didn’t make anything good, because he didn’t invent paint, or a graphic designer’s work is no good because he didn’t create the Adobe programs. An engineer builds from scratch. An artist uses the tools to create something beautiful. Both deserve as much recognition as the other. The artwork wouldn’t exist without the tools, and the tools would exist without it’s inventor.