Should Apple share credit for Gore’s Nobel Prize?

algorenobelThis morning, the entire front page of Apple.com is devoted to a congratulatory message to Al Gore for winning the Nobel Peace Prize. What the message doesn’t say (overtly) is that Al Gore is on the board of Apple and that his primary communication tool for spreading his message has been Apple’s presentation software, Keynote. (An earlier version of the front-page didn’t sport that Adventurer Al photo in the screen-grab to the left, but a shot of him making a presentation.)

Frankly, I believe Apple should share in the halo of Gore’s honor. Even his most devoted fan will admit that, historically, he’s never been noted as a good communicator. However, with Keynote — and those at Apple who may have assisted him with graphic design, software training and, well, learning how to present like Steve — Al Gore proved that great story-telling (not bullet points or his former presentation go-to approach, the intellectual metaphor) can, as the New York Times says rather indelicately this morning, turn a “loser into a laureate.”

Granted, it was some extremely talented documentarians who turned Gore’s Keynote presentation into a masterpiece of advocacy media, Inconvenient Truth. Indeed, in the way that Gore, who technically didn’t receive the Oscar (the film was about him but the film-maker, Davis Guggenheim, is the Oscar-winner), made the acceptance speech, perhaps Apple and Guggenheim should share the Nobel stage with Gore. (Note: That was a joke.)

Sidenote: I don’t think Gore will or should run for President this year. While he’s perhaps never had more global accolades than are being showered on him now, his family is going through a very real personal trauma that for someone like Gore, will have more impact on his decision than all of the “Draft Al” efforts that may spring up.

(Related past blog post: “Green is the new red, white and blue” explains my “greeness.”)

  • Yeah, I wasn’t sure what to make of that when I first saw it. I love Apple and really like Al Gore (since he stopped being a politician at least), but I’m not sure if people trying to either buy a computer or download some widgets really need a love letter from Steve Jobs to Al Gore shoved in their face.

    Lets also remember that since Gore joined Apple’s board the stock price has gone from $7 a share to $167 a share – no doubt he’s done okay with Google’s stock as well (he’s a senior advisor, whatever that means).

    An iNconvenient Truth

  • Rex Hammock

    Thanks, MG.

    re: Gore’s financial performance. Here’s a snip from that article in the NY Times I pointed to:

    “In contrast to other Nobel Peace Prize winners in recent years, Mr. Gore is a multimillionaire who has built a media and high-tech empire around himself and his environmental work. He is an adviser to Google, sits on the board of Apple and is the chairman and co-founder of Current TV, a cable network with 38 million subscribers. He receives up to $175,000 per speaking appearance, although he waives or reduces his fee for some nonprofit companies and schools. Fast Company magazine has estimated his net worth at more than $100 million.”

    Also, I bet he can fly on the Google founders’ plane any time he wants — so being Al is better than being President. (Again, that’s a joke.)

  • Hi, Rex,

    Is the “very real personal trauma” that Gore and his family is going through the legal trouble that his son is having on drug charges, or something else?

  • Rex Hammock

    Jeff, Yes, that’s what I was referring to.

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