RIP Steve – question on "freedom"

I’m a bit late to this particular blog post title, I suppose.

I’m reading Walter Isaacson’s biography of Steve Jobs and it’s riveting. What a privilege for those who have been able to work with such a man (and for him, to be able to change the world,) even counting the curses that came with both of these things.

I remember my single (one-sided) interaction with Steve. Inspired by his penchant for returning peoples’ emails sent to his email address, I sent him this one. Reading his biography I now understand that the thing I was questioning was at the core of his operating strategy, and I can only imagine the speed at which he dismissed my suggestion, if he ever read it. But the question only grows in importance.

FROM: Michael Morgenstern
TO: [email protected]
SUBJECT: Question on “freedom”

Thank you for the brilliant computers you have created, though I am increasingly critical of your business model.

I get that you want to deliver a top-notch user experience and vet all programs. So why not allow hackers a backdoor to download apps not on the app store? You could put a button that says “I understand that Apple has not vetted this experience.” Instead you go after those who try to do this.

To me, the difference is about respecting your users’ informed choices over your own, a quality I look for in a company. Do you have another explanation that would really silence likeminded critics?

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