Is Steve Jobs the 2nd Greatest Innovator of All Time?

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Two most important innovators of all time aren't on that list.

First off, Bi Sheng. Invented movable type. Secondly, Johannes Gutenberg. Invented the printing press.

Anything that ANY other named inventor in the history of the world has accomplished pales in comparison to those two. Nothing that anyone has ever made before or after has affected more people than the printed word.

This is one of the few times I'll ever say this, but; This list makes me weep for humanity.

The Random One:
Perhaps the second loudest.

Edison is the loudest, indeed.

This is truth...

I hate Steve Jobs so much. More of a spiteful hipster/dictator than any sort innovator.

Dennis Ritchie.

Created C Programming Language and UNIX. Foundation of every major software innovation and invention since the 70's. None of it possible without him. Steve Jobs stole from his friend Steve Wozniak, all of the 'innovative' products made by Apple have been invented and developed by someone working for Steve Jobs, none of it by Jobs himself. Man was barely involved in the development of their GUI. As far as I can tell, all he really did was market the products well. To make people think that their dollars were going towards innovative products.

Steve Jobs has no place at the table genius engineering greats. As much as Microsoft as seen as the evil empire, no one can deny that Bill Gates was/is a genius in his field. Not to mention he has and continues to donate a significant proportion of his income to charity, as well as advocating for raising his own taxes. Steve Jobs closed Apple's charity endeavors when he returned as their CEO. They were never reopened, and neither did he ever partake in much charity himself.

image
Edison gets #1, Mark Zuckerberg on the list and not a single mention of Nikola Tesla? Shows just how out of touch kids are these days...

Did he come up with new, exciting ways to entertain ourselves? Yes. But when I go down the list of things mammals need to survive:
Food & Water
Shelter
Moderate Climates

He didn't improve any of them. He improved the 4th item humans tack on to that list: Entertainment. I'd like to reserve the 'greatest' awards for people that accommodate the first 3.

FFHAuthor:
Two most important innovators of all time aren't on that list.

First off, Bi Sheng. Invented movable type. Secondly, Johannes Gutenberg. Invented the printing press.

Anything that ANY other named inventor in the history of the world has accomplished pales in comparison to those two. Nothing that anyone has ever made before or after has affected more people than the printed word.

This is one of the few times I'll ever say this, but; This list makes me weep for humanity.

QFTW

Good man, I like your suggestions for you speak the truth!
If anything has changed humanity in it's most basic and fundamental way it would be these.

I came here to defend Tesla, but found that several hundred people beat me to it.

Keep on rocking Guys.

PS. Seriously why isn't Tesla on this list

M-E-D The Poet:
Actually I was just reminded of something

If Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg are such great innovators

Why don't we put in the writing team for deus ex too?

They came up with some innovative ideas right, I mean those games sold lots of copies and

There was some sense in that logic right?

If sales where what counted call of duty would be on that list

Steve Jobs was the best promoter - every year releasing the same gadget and adding +1 to the last digit and charging 300 for what is just the same gadget with a few add ons.

Arizona Kyle:

M-E-D The Poet:
Actually I was just reminded of something

If Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg are such great innovators

Why don't we put in the writing team for deus ex too?

They came up with some innovative ideas right, I mean those games sold lots of copies and

There was some sense in that logic right?

If sales where what counted call of duty would be on that list

Well yeah but the deus ex games wrote the textbook on Human Modification it's pro's and it's cons and the ethic battle that occurs when we'd ever get that far

FFHAuthor:
Two most important innovators of all time aren't on that list.

First off, Bi Sheng. Invented movable type. Secondly, Johannes Gutenberg. Invented the printing press.

Anything that ANY other named inventor in the history of the world has accomplished pales in comparison to those two. Nothing that anyone has ever made before or after has affected more people than the printed word.

This is one of the few times I'll ever say this, but; This list makes me weep for humanity.

I'm still rooting for A the guy who figured you could eat plants (Humans used to be carnivores, not omnivores) or B The guy who invented fire

With C being the outsider : the guy that came up with living in houses

Well, everyone has already said, in some form or another, how I feel about how off-base the list is, especially the Steve Jobs part. Anyways, I thought the reason for the Apple snub of Flash was just as much about Jobs being pissed that Flash (while still a pretty crappy player) was leagues ahead of Quicktime in usability, codec support, and resource usage, and managed to crush Quicktime under its heel by simply walking into the room (youtube helped). As for HTML5, isn't Google the primary supporter of that?

Anyways, I submit for inclusion into the list (and I am admittedly less knowledgeable than many here), and I'll keep this at recent names:

Larry Page and Sergey Brin - Google
-For all the issues people may have with their search logarithm and ad support, where would the internet be without them?

Jeff Bezos - Amazon.com
-Here the idea of innovator is much clearer, seeing something done and making it work economically. In this case, what Wal-Mart wishes its online presence was: a one-stop shop for everything, at competitive prices, and people don't despise you on site.

This list has made me cringe with anger. ANGER I TELL YOU!

Jobs? Really?
When is that sympathy for his early death going to wear off? Sure, he did a few good things with the home computer, but is he the 2nd greatest inventor of all time?
image

FFHAuthor:
Two most important innovators of all time aren't on that list.

First off, Bi Sheng. Invented movable type. Secondly, Johannes Gutenberg. Invented the printing press.

Anything that ANY other named inventor in the history of the world has accomplished pales in comparison to those two. Nothing that anyone has ever made before or after has affected more people than the printed word.

This is one of the few times I'll ever say this, but; This list makes me weep for humanity.

Gutenberg didn't make the printing press, he made moveable type. Still a huge friggin' deal, though. and wasn't he called "Man of the Millenia"?

No offense, but Leonardo Da Vinci should be at the TOP of this list, where's everyone's sense of history? :P

After reading the Steve Jobs biography, this man is undeniably the world's most innovative genius, apart from Da Vinci. Despite his bizarre behaviour, he totally changed the world and our culture through marketing products and making technology personal and must-haves.

MASTACHIEFPWN:

FFHAuthor:
Two most important innovators of all time aren't on that list.

First off, Bi Sheng. Invented movable type. Secondly, Johannes Gutenberg. Invented the printing press.

Anything that ANY other named inventor in the history of the world has accomplished pales in comparison to those two. Nothing that anyone has ever made before or after has affected more people than the printed word.

This is one of the few times I'll ever say this, but; This list makes me weep for humanity.

Gutenberg didn't make the printing press, he made moveable type. Still a huge friggin' deal, though. and wasn't he called "Man of the Millenia"?

I thought that as well, but the facts are a little different.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Printing_press

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Movable_type

What the shit? Nikola Tesla should be there instead of Edison, and Dennis Ritchie instead of Steve Jobs.

If you do some research on Tesla, he did some pretty crazy stuff, some of which we can't do today. He was a bit mad and terrible with PR, but overlooked a lot.

C F:
Nothing you've heard before now; nine pages of the same reaction. I wonder if the definition of "innovation" changed in the past decade...

I mean, seriously?
Edison?
Zuckerburg?
Earhart? Might as well chalk up Christopher Columbus, because obviously the focus somehow translated from "people who came up with actual creative ideas" to "famous people who had good publicity."

Leonardo Da Vinci.
Tesla.
Whoever invented scissors. That's what the list should look like. Because let's face it:

All in, my friend, Busseration, can't begin to describe how Stevey embodied my form at a distance, took it upon himself to wear the purple. I couldn't even wear the purple! Fuck that noise, jackity.

But I digress, I really think Winston Gupta was onto something. By combining the sleek fascism of corporate desk and the cool Mowed Dean effect of 12 waist high sneakers, we could create a new fashion armada that APPLE APPLE APPLE is the creator of all of western society. Duh. I think that was the plan all along, rewind back to 1978, where all is before the time when the domination of corporate and lay culture began, which is after 1978, when APPLE.

Partake amongst friends of myselves, we're okay, but Stevey never was too bright, and hoped that my friend, Buggeration, was hoping too, and that he'd make it through the night with no shoes and no soup to balance between the grooves on top of his feet, as he shuffled through a cold Seattle morning, he knew that he could no longer walk the streets with bastard Gupta hounds snapping at his heels. So he began to assume form, form was created out of divine Flow, from this the White Armada began, and we were held in situ.

Holy Jesus is this society a big double ended ass vacuum altogether. I think I can command it to change.

Kwil:
Tim-Berners Lee. Henry Ford. Louis Pasteur, for goodness sakes.

Amelia Earhart? Seriously? What did she innovate? I mean hell, it's not even like she was the first woman to fly.. she was the 16th woman to receive her pilot's licence.

Where did this survey find these young adults? Remedial schools?

Hey!

don't insult remedial kids! not even they are that stupid :p

Samus Aran but a man:
What the shit? Nikola Tesla should be there instead of Edison, and Dennis Ritchie instead of Steve Jobs.

and the scum on the bottom of my shoe in place of zuckerberg.

I would consider Steve Jobs more of a marketing guy anyway, he didn't really take the technology places it wouldn't have gone anyway, he just dressed it up nice for everyone. More mainstream personal computing was certainly a good thing but not "2nd best innovator of all time" good.

Also, Edison was plagiarist and a liar.

No love for Da Vinci though? The guy not only invented everything, but he could also write with one hand while drawing with the other and he was a body-builder. He's the only person in history who pioneered in more fields, invented more things than everyone else, and can also beat up all subsequent innovators.

NO

Could not be bothered reading through 11 pages of replies to see if this person was mentioned by someone else, but: DENNIS. FRICKIN. RITCHIE.

Who is he, you may be asking? If you consider yourself any kind of hardcore techie and you don't know who he is, consider your tech-geek membership null and void. He was the one who developed the C programming language. To cut down on explanations, here is an image a friend gave me.

image

Honestly, the whole idea of "greatest innovators" seems like the wrong question to be asking. Innovators as they seem to be outlined by the poll (Steve Jobs and Thomas Edison certainly fit this description) seem to be people who hoard patents in order to create a profitable market for a product that they control. In other words, people who use technology to make boatloads of money.

Is this really something that we should be considering praiseworthy? I mean, Steve Jobs was an important figure in the technology industry, and innovation was an important part of what he did (his specific sense of vision wouldn't really have applied to, say, investment banking). But first and foremost, Jobs was a businessman, and his motivations were always directed in that manner -- towards earning the greatest profits. Can anything that he did really be said to even be a fraction as important as the work of, say, Alan Turing, the British mathematician and cryptanalyst whose work laid the foundation for the very field of Computer Science? Turing's not winning any popularity contests and you don't see people carrying around phones with his company brand logo on it, but there's a good reason why the award issued every year to select scientists for their contributions to computing is referred to as the Turing Award. That award, incidentally, was won by Dennis Ritchie (who was mentioned by others in this thread) together with Ken Thompson for their work in deveoping unix.

Similarly, I'm sure there are many great medical researchers working for big pharmaceutical corporations which have portfolios of hundreds of gene patents, but if you compare them with Jonas Salk, who not only developed the polio vaccine but insisted upon giving it away for free, who is the truer scientist? You see, in my mind, once you start thinking about profit, you lose something already of yourself. Sooner or later you're going to have to compromise on scientific principles of objectivity if you're concerned about what will make the most money for you, or your investors, or shareholders. Innovators, ironically, often thrive upon stifling the innovations of others so that they can take the credit for themselves -- something that Edison excelled at.

Maybe if you ask people who the greatest scientific researchers are, you'll get some real answers containing people who actually contained a brilliance going far beyond simple business acumen. At least, you'll get a list without Mark Zuckerberg.

Not a chance. I doubt I'd put him in the top 5. Touch screen not them, MP3 player not them, everything to do with computer was done better by someone else. Making a computer completely inaccessable to its owner (I.E. only Apple can fix it if it breaks) I guess thats them but I would call that the opposite of Innovation. Nothing in the computer itself was innovated by them. Hipster commercials were them... Maybe?

I guess if I knew what made him an innovator I would reconsider but Overcharging for a sleek looking product has been happening since the word "Capitalism" was first used. The first blue tulip bulb was sold for what would now be over 2.3 million dollars.

As far as innovators go where is Flemming or mendel and Ben Franklin, Hell the science community as a whole has someone who does more than him at least 1 time a year. Bill gates and Microsoft perhaps?

Seriously though I could name more innovative people (of all time) all day. The first person to turn milk into cheese or to dry out meat into jerky. Those were things that made the human race capable of survival on the grand scale it lives in today.

I am very glad to see the rest of you have similar beliefs in his overrated(ness).

I figured I should post some real innovators of all time.

Ci Ln (invented Paper)
Albert Einstein (amazing advances in science, too long to list them all)
Gutenburg (Printing Press)
Jesus christ (One of the most popular religions in the world is around because of him)
Mohammad (The other most popular religion exists because of him)
Buddha (I think you know where Im coming from here)
Isaac Newton (without his Laws of Motion much of the machinery today would not be here)
James Watt (inventor of the Steam Engine, Helped lead to the combustion engine)
The Wright brothers (without them Amelia would have 0 reason for being there.. oh wait she does)
John Dalton (strides in mapping the weight and numbers of the elements)
Graham Bell/Marconi (inventors of telephone/Telegraph, Largely responsible for global communication)
William Rontgen (the X-ray, prevented thousands of annual deaths and greatly advanced medicine)
Noble (invented many great things has one of the most prestigious awards in the world named after him)
Oliver Evans, Michael Faraday, Austin Burt,Elisha Otis, Felix Hoffman, Whitcomb Judson.... So many people more innovative than everyone on that list. LOL

Gosh guys obviously the best innovator was the guy who found out sticks made fire, duh!

Honestly though this is disgraceful, Steal and patent troll innovations then overshadow real inventors and innovators? Good enough for society! Honestly he innovated shit, he literally just did what people were already doing for years but people think he "revolutionized" them because he used stupid gimmicky hipster advertising and petty buzzwords to appeal to people who knew nothing about technology.

Jarvis Heart, does anyone know what he did?

He made the first artificial Heart. It was a failure but at least he did something.

I think that perhaps a lot of you are not looking close enough at the topic at hand. Innovation not inventing, one is actual creation and the other is taking an invention and making it available to the general public.

In these terms Jobs and Edison deserve recognition but not as much as they received in this poll.

I can't remember where I read it, but Edison's predictions of the future were kind of hilarious. Books with nickel pages so thin, thousands could fit in a book, and weigh less than a regular book. I'm not gonna lie, that sounds really dangerous. Sliver thin metal. Seems like you'd be more likely to lose a finger than turn the page. For comparison, Tesla predicted cell phones and computers.
That being said, I'm looking at the chart and not seeing the problem. It says Innovator, NOT inventor. True, Jobs didn't invent anything, but he developed a system that manages to consistently sell inferior products at insane prices to people who think it makes them a special little snowflake.
I feel like Henry Ford should be in the middle of that list. His assembly line innovations define the global economy right now.

Barda236:

fix-the-spade:
If people taught history properly, Edison wouldn't even be on that list, the man was a patent troll and a thug.

Also, a list of innovators that does not include Da Vinci (or Tesla?!?). I despair!

Amen man. Tesla and Da Vinci were leagues ahead of their competitors. But alas, genius is seldom understood in it's own time. Tesla's ideas are still relevant even today. Engineers and scientist periodically go through his notebooks looking for ideas.

.
Da Vinci's credibility as the inventor of all of those beautiful schematics and some of his constructs is questioned. One may say that he had copied some himself and only because no other source survived depicting these inventions we now think that he was the inventor.
I agree with Tesla.
Dudes.... Dmitri Mendeleev. Periodic table. It's base Chemistry.

Steve Jobs was not an innovator. Steve Jobs was a marketer.

Gyro Gearloose by far.

Acrisius:

Dude, this was freaking MIT. Last I checked, that's a pretty prestigious place. Just goes to show that higher education/more money doesn't at all equal common sense or wits. Though if you look at the poll, you can tell that only like 5-10% of everyone who answered it seem to be somewhat educated or smart. Basically, everyone who named Eddison just did what they probably were taught in first grade. Everyone who voted Steve Jobs is a fucking hipster. And then a few people voted Bell or Curie. Kinda representative of society as a whole almost :D

It's an MIT poll, not a poll of MIT students. Read the fine print on the image, it was a survey of 1000 18-25 year olds Nationally. An actual survey of MIT students would hopefully be rather different, with a skew towards people with actual technical innovation.

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