December 20, 2011

What can we still learn from Steve Jobs?

"As a student, Steve Jobs came to believe that if he ate only fruits he would eliminate all mucus and not need to shower anymore. It didn't work. When he got a job at Atari, given his odour, he was moved into the night shift. This exposed him to video games and business. Some years later he founded Apple (of course in a garage) and now Jobs is a legend.

Yet, to me, Steve Jobs also shows that we tend to overestimate the omnipotence of CEOs. Apple's profits soared after Jobs was fired in 1985, because he was good at inventing stuff, but not - at the time - at turning them into profit. His day-to-day influence over the last years must have been limited, given his deteriorating health. The company did well in spite of his absence. Perhaps that may prove to be his best business lesson: to make yourself superfluous".

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