The World Watches Every Steve Jobs Move As He Battles Cancer
Steve Jobs has led a charmed and interesting life. He has built two companies from the ground up (Apple and Pixar), generating billions of dollars for himself, his family and shareholders in the process. Apple, which currently boasts a market cap of over $322 billion, has developed a fanatical following due to aesthetically pleasing gadgets such as the iPhone and iPad. Apple's functional and elegant products are a direct result of Steve Jobs' influence.
For everything that Steve Jobs has in his life, one thing that he doesn't have is privacy.
Jobs has been battling neuroendocrine cancer for nearly a decade and has had to take multiple leaves from Apple as a result.
Jobs runs one of the world's largest companies, and because his fingerprints are all over Apple, the investing public tries to glean clues about Jobs' health from public appearances. Is he looking frail? Has he lost weight? Jobs is monumentally important to Apple, and news regarding his health can wipe off tens of billions of dollars from Apple's market cap in a snap of the fingers. If you don't believe me, look at what happened on January 18th, 2011 when Apple announced that Jobs was taking another leave of absence from the company (Apple gapped down over 20 points that day).
Most recently, Jobs was featured on gossip site Radaronline.com. The site trumpeted that it had obtained a "WORLD EXCLUSIVE VIDEO" that showed the Apple Chairman and CEO "appearing to have issues with his balance" as he walked to his car.
I can understand why people are so interested in Jobs' health, as he runs one of the largest and most influential companies in the world. Practically everyone nowadays owns an Ipad or an iPhone or an iMac, and many millions of people in the United States have either direct or indirect exposure to Apple in their investment portfolios.
However, it's really too bad that Jobs can't go through his treatment in private without interference from the outside world. Watching Jobs as he struggles to walk from a cafe to the passenger seat of his car just seems wrong.