Sunday, October 03, 2010

Steve Jobs Should Never Have Been Fired

Steve Jobs, portrait by italian artist Grazian...Image via Wikipedia
New York Times: What Steve Jobs Learned in the Wilderness: But the Jobs of the mid-1980s probably never could have made Apple what it is today if he hadn’t embarked on a torment-filled business odyssey. ..... The Steve Jobs who returned to Apple was a much more capable leader — precisely because he had been badly banged up. He had spent 12 tumultuous, painful years failing to find a way to make the new company profitable. .... In this period, Mr. Jobs did not do much delegating. ...... Apple acquired the company in 1997 and used Next’s software as the basis for the new operating system, Mac OS X...... He didn’t invent the media player, the smartphone or the tablet, but he understood that no one else had yet come up with the equivalent of a Mac. ..... “He’s the same Steve in his passion for excellence, but a new Steve in his understanding of how to empower a large company to realize his vision.”

I am not an Apple person. I have never bought an Apple product, and I think I might stick to that. My smartphone is going to be an Android. I have no plans to get an iPad. I am psyched instead about the Chrome OS netbook. I love Google like some people love Apple. My blogs are on Blogger, not Wordpress.

But Steve Jobs fascinates me, and his story is legend. I am a Steve Jobs fan. Sure. Steve Jobs is no Mozart, not even close. But he strikes me as someone who perhaps really, truly appreciates genius, perhaps the genius of a Mozart, or of an Einstein. His Think Different campaign was modeled after Einstein.

Steve Jobs is not Einstein or Mozart. Einstein and Mozart belong with each other, not Steve Jobs. Steve Jobs belongs to a different club, the club of Larry Ellison and Steve Jobs. That club has few members. College dropouts not born into moneyed backgrounds who changed the trajectories of business history. These are by definition people that talent hunters, recruiters can not find for you. These are not people who are meant to be understood until after the fact, until they have done what needs to be done, and the excellence is out there for the world to see.

Steve Jobs in the wilderness reminds me of the scenes in the Mozart movie where the guy is left out to pasture. He is left to die by people who are too insignificant for the age they live in, let alone for the ages.

"Those people should not have that kind of power," Mozart says at one point. That is how I feel about people who fired Steve Jobs. Those dumbfucks should never have had the power to decide if Steve Jobs should even be fired. There I stand with Larry Ellison.

It took a Larry Ellison to get Steve Jobs back at Apple. Larry knows how to throw his weight around, and he threw his weight around on behalf of his new found best friend, Steve Jobs. It is not like the people who fired Steve Jobs finally decided that Jobs had learned his lessons and now he can come back. They were long gone.

When you give dumb people too much power, Steve Jobs gets fired and a company like Apple loses a decade of its life. Corporate monkeys did not know how to respect a Steve Jobs.

The Leo Apotheker Is Human Drama
New York Times: Mark Zuckerberg’s Most Valuable Friend: her regular meetings with the famously introverted Mr. Zuckerberg .... Facebook has successfully navigated one of the more perilous stages in a start-up’s life: a period of hypergrowth. ..... Ms. Sandberg’s close ties to many of the world’s largest advertisers, relationships she first developed as a senior executive at Google. ..... has freed Mr. Zuckerberg to focus on what he likes best: the Facebook Web site and its platform. ..... Mr. Zuckerberg, a 26-year-old engineer and product visionary, is socially awkward and reserved. At 41, Ms. Sandberg is the opposite: polished, personable, chatty and at ease in the limelight. ..... Sandberg, who has a Harvard M.B.A. .... Eric Schmidt, Google’s chief executive, says he considers Ms. Sandberg to be a “superstar.” ...... “A lot of people choose to hire people who look exactly like them,” Mr. Zuckerberg says. “Here we just value balance a lot more. It takes work to build those relationships, but if it does work, you end up with a much better system.” ...... Mr. Zuckerberg met Ms. Sandberg at a Christmas party in 2007, and they immediately took a liking to each other. What followed was an intense, six-week business courtship, during which the two dined together multiple times a week. Because both of them are Silicon Valley celebrities, they typically ate at Ms. Sandberg’s house so they could keep their talks confidential. ....... Sandberg also oversees the seemingly arcane operational details that can help a company run smoothly — especially a company that is growing rapidly...... “She’s good at strategy and dives deep and understands how teams work together.” ..... To this day, Ms. Sandberg looks a bit out of place at Facebook. ...... Their penchant for jeans, T-shirts and hoodies is in sharp contrast to her taste for elegant clothing. ...... She went desk to desk to introduce herself, cracking jokes and asking questions. It had the desired effect. ..... mentoring many younger employees — especial
Image representing Mark Zuckerberg as depicted...Image via CrunchBasely women, encouraging many of them not to shy away from important roles simply because they were planning to start families. ..... Although she was still in her 20s, she played pivotal roles, like helping ramp up aid efforts to Africa by opening Treasury’s door to Bono of U2. ..... “I had never heard of him and said to Sheryl that I only meet with people who have a first name and last name,” Mr. Summers recalls...... The two often socialize, and Mr. Zuckerberg, who was captain of his high school fencing team, has taught Ms. Sandberg’s 5-year-old son a few fencing moves.

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1 comment:

Sam Wanjere said...

Lovely piece about a journey full of twists and opportunities to either give up or rise.

Unlike the blogger, I'm indeed anti-Microsoft, but use both Linux (Ubuntu) and the Mac OS X, and I'd rate both at different stages of brilliance.

I'm a big fan too of anything open source. Must admit I'm inspired by this article.