Who is Time Magazine’s Person of the Year for 2016? This one could be seen coming a year in advance. Donald Trump. The President-elect, who lost the popular vote by a huge margin, and just squeezed into the office via the Electoral College loophole, upset American politics like no one else.
Time’s Person of the Year dates back to 1927 and Charles Lindbergh. Politicians and world leaders are the norm, but a few business people made the list, including Walter Chrysler in 1928. President Obama made it twice; once before taking office, once after. Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg was selected in 2010. Intel’s Andrew Grove in 1997. But no Steve Jobs.
Person Of The Century
Apple’s co-founder and former CEO has graced the cover of many magazines through the years, including Time a number of times, starting in 1982 before the Mac was introduced, again in 2005 for the iPod, and oddly enough, for the iPad in 2010, but not the iPhone.
Yet, one can argue that Jobs introduction of the iPhone in 2007 heralded a more far reaching change to society throughout the world than any other Time Magazine cover or Person of the Year. The iPhone started the smartphone revolution, and since all smartphones today are mere copies of the iPhone, ipso facto, Steve Jobs has had more influence.
In fact, that influence upon technology and billions of people throughout the earth extends well beyond a mere iPhone. Apple launched personal computers and they, too, dominate the world, and most of them resemble the Mac with point and click and a graphical user interface. Jobs reshaped how technology retail stores function, filled the world with half a billion tablets and a billion iPhones, and arguably left the world a better place than when he arrived, thanks to technology and his story-making machine Pixar.
His fame is widespread and he garnered accolades aplenty, but Jobs never made TIME’s Person of the Year. Donald Trump did. Once. This year. So did Adolf Hitler. Dictator Joseph Stalin made the list. Twice. Franklin D. Roosevelt did it three times, twice in three years. In fact, the Person of the Year status seems almost wholly reserved for politicians than business moguls, Zuckerberg being the last in 2010, and Amazon’s Jeff Bezos in 1999. There have been a few Popes on the list, plenty of dictators, and a growing list of group recipients where Time’s selectors couldn’t make up there collective minds.
But no Steve Jobs.
First, there’s Time’s obvious political bias, dictator bias, and Bush bias (two presidents, three Bush selections). Second, Time seems to have a bias against business people, though it’s easy to see why Zuckerberg was selected since the online social sharing site has about 1.8-billion monthly active users, a few hundred million more than the collective number of iPhones, iPads, Macs, and iTunes customers combined, but without the personal computer and smartphone, where would Zuckerberg and Facebook be?
Unfortunately, Time Magazine does not have a Person of the Decade, or Person of the Century award, but it should. Jobs should be the list, but was topped by Time’s 1982 Person of the Year by The Computer, and certainly has had more influence in the world than Amazon’s Bezos.