Steve Jobs Tribute in Bloomberg Businessweek Magazine

Normally, Businessweek comes on Friday. For some reason this week, the magazine showed up today instead. I didn’t think much of it when I walked out to the driveway, actually. There it was, folded up in its weatherproof bag, just like usual.

I brought it inside and opened it up, and saw that they featured a tribute to Steve Jobs on the cover. It was spare and gorgeously typeset, with nothing but the title of the magazine, the iconic photo of the salt-and-pepper Jobs, and “Steve Jobs 1955-2011.” (link)

Photo 5

I opened up the magazine and started to flip through it, and was immediately engrossed. The first sixteen pages were a slideshow of moments from Jobs’ life juxtaposed with individuals engaging with Apple products, and engaging in life. All of these were overlaid with quotes of his, some familar, some new.

Photo 4

As I went through the issue, I honestly was pulled further and further into the stories and the images, and was completely enthralled. I shared it with Lisa, who was similarly taken in. Other than the photos and stories of Jobs’ life, there was nothing else between the covers.

Photo 6

I can’t clearly articulate how well done, how beautiful, the work is that was done in this magazine. I’ve honestly never seen anything like it. Yes, it says it’s the “October 10 – October 16” edition of a weekly magazine, but it feels much more like coffee table book, a biography, a memorial. A tribute.

Then I realized something…Jobs passed away on Wednesday, and this issue showed up overnight between Friday and Saturday, meaning that they must have scrambled mightily, stopped the presses on the issue they had planned, and delivered it within 48 hours.

There was one more thing.

I flipped back through the magazine, going from cover to cover to make sure I hadn’t missed something. I went back and looked at every page, and my suspicion was confirmed.

There was not a single ad in the issue. Not on a cover, not on a flap, not on a page, not even a classified. Not only did they scrap (or at least defer) everything in the issue they were planning on running, but they did it in the classiest way possible.

Phenomenal job, Businessweek team. Really, really well done.



29 Replies to “Steve Jobs Tribute in Bloomberg Businessweek Magazine”

  1. That is amazing. Just when you thought the future of magazines was an app on the iPad, they do the analog thing justice. Very cool, and very classy.

  2. I was just going to read the online version as I do every week, but on the strength and sincerity of this post Im going to get out of the house and buy a copy, cheers

  3. Of course, this was planned, written and laid out in advance since Jobs stepped down from Apple. I doubt they were working 48 hours straight to pull it together. But classy nonetheless.

  4. @Suzanne Nuckel
    Are you implying Apple paid Businessweek to make this issue, or what exactly is the point you are trying to make?

  5. no, I think his point is all the magazines and media institutions in the world prepare such “news” before it really happens. that’s the reason sometimes they mistakenly publish such things on the net. and even they are voting in the beginning of a (financial) year to plan who is most likely to die this year kinda thing, and keep it updated. but, the posters point here is that I think the contents are prepared in 48 hours but they stopped (and threw away all the current printed magazines) the printing of the next issue, and pressed this one. this is not so easy without any ads either.

  6. I am a subscriber of Businessweek on Zinio (digital edition) and got this issue on Oct 7th 2:30am Dubai time. So they prepared it much faster than you mentioned. Fantastic job!

  7. “There was not a single ad in the issue. Not on a cover, not on a flap, not on a page, not even a classified.”

    You mean aside from the fact that the entire thing was an ad for Apple?

  8. @Joe, that would imply that Apple paid BusinessWeek which of course it did not so it’s incorrect to call it an “ad” (which I’m sure you know and were just being snarky. Lame).

  9. For those of us outside the US, do you know of any reliable way to order printed issues of this to be sent overseas?

    I have the digital version but would much rather have the printed one.

  10. I’m impressed by Bloomberg’s foresight. Every publication in the world knew that Steve was dying. Every publication could have planned out a tribute like this one. Only Bloomberg Businessweek did so.

  11. Some of these stories have been written years in advance, which makes it not so much an exercise in good taste, but in cold, calculating, judgement of a business opportunity. Businessweek generally sells poorly on the newsstands, and this is one chance it will have all year to stand out.

  12. Hi Bo…I just watched the video from the iPad version, and they said they had just wrapped the scheduled issue when they found out about Jobs’ passing. So they started over. It sounds like they had some of the articles prepared for the eventuality, but the pulling the whole package together and shipping it was actually a start-from-scratch all-nighter.

  13. They pulled anall nighter in order to redo the pages they had finished and tranmitted to the printer on their closing night (Wednesday). The main work had less to do with writing and more to do with the logistical process of publishing a magazine. I guarantee that 98% of what was published was written last year.

  14. I’m having a terrible time finding this issue on stands…can someone please point me in the right direction. I’m in Spokane, WA…my parents and other relatives are in Southern CA…no one is having any luck.

    On another note…like everything Steve Jobs did, so scripted, hand crafted…I wonder if he had a hand in pulling this together? Chose Businessweek, chose articles, photos, etc.

    Makes you wonder, no?

  15. Thanks for the recommendation – I just bought a newsstand copy today, and am very glad I did. A wonderful issue, fitting its subject. Thanks again!

  16. The Steve Jobs Tribute issue was the best magazine that I have ever seen. It completely blew me away. There have been many magazines that tried, but didn’t accomplish ever this kind of a eulogistic celebration of a icons life. It started with the cover and and ended very pointedly with the good bye on the back cover.

    GREAT “JOB” well done!

  17. Did the article mention he had Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia? It is a rare medical condition that causes incelet tumors to grow throughout the endocrine system. When I leaned of this j thought about what a great opportunity to shed some light and knowledge on this very rare condition. To my surprise I have noticed “they” are keeping it on the down low. I am saddened because I have MEN type 1. I have two children, 14 and 16 that both have a 50% chance of having the geneticeric disorder. I had the same operation as Steve had 2 years ago, 5 years ago. I wish I could understand why his family is not using this opportunity to being awareness to MEN type 1

  18. Omg, people are like sheep. ‘S Jobs this! S Jobs that! Amazing Business Week! We love you!’

    They wrote 98% of the material last year you say? NO THEY DIDNT! They wrote it immediately after he died, all of it. They stopped the presses and sent this to print because Jobs is so beautiful you see.

    Not a single add in the whole issue because S Jobs cant be marred with advertisement. This is all too pure for adverts. This is a tribute. What? the whole thing is an advertisement for Apple and BWeek kiss asses? HOW DARE YOU.



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