Sean Parker, immortalized in The Social Network as a hard-partying playboy, was up early this morning. Around 6 am, the former Facebook president posted a quote to his profile concerning "the deaths of our enemies." It's hard to escape the conclusion that he was referring to Steve Jobs. (Update: Parker responds to this story below.)
"We can come to look upon the deaths of our enemies," Parker wrote, quoting the gloomy German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer, "with as much regret as we feel for those of our friends, namely, when we miss their existence as witnesses to our success."
Parker is an investor and board member at Spotify, whose internet music service competes to some extent with with Apple's iTunes store; "Sean Parker Takes on Steve Jobs" was how The Daily Beast recently framed the rivalry. His old company Facebook seems to be an Apple opponent, too. Apple recently integrated Facebook's competitor Twitter into the iPhone and iPad, while Facebook is moving toward mobile phone operating systems. One Apple hand even purportedly called Zuckerberg "a fucking asshole," if you believe ubiquitous tech blogger Robert Scoble (apparently Zuck's cozy Steve Jobs dinner wasn't a bonding experience).
So it's not hard to see how Parker would be referring to Jobs, who yesterday said he was unable to continue as Apple CEO and would like to become company chairman instead.
Of course, it's possible Parker was talking about someone else. Or maybe he just happened to be thinking in the abstract of enemies and deaths and rubbing people's faces in one's professional success. It was six in the morning, after all, and Parker is known more for late night partying than early rising. But staying up all night pontificating might indicate a whole other box of trouble.
For now Parker should probably just focus on allaying any Jobs fans in his Facebook circle.
Parker reached out to us with an explanation: "You are totally misunderstanding the intent behind my post. It was in reference to Steve Jobs, but it was a gesture of respect for a worthy adversary. Who remains left to challenge us and inspire us when our most powerful enemies move on?"
[Photo of Jobs via Getty]