While we lament the fact that Steve Jobs is gone as CEO of Apple and hope he stays as healthy as possible, it is worth pointing out something which is true but underreported and amazingly shocking. You see, I recently posted my six observations on why Steve Jobs was successful and suggestions on how others could emulate him and as an extension, Apple. But after reading an article on TMCnet’s sister site, TechZone360 from Rob Enderle , President and Principal Analyst, Enderle Group, I realize that we have a major problem as a tech industry because as Rob points out, nobody would hire Steve Jobs.
His personality quirks and lack of education wouldn’t even give him access to an interview at most tech companies that would really need someone like him. He continues to explain in-part why most CEOs suck and one point he makes is quite crucial – most chief executives don’t even know how to use the products their companies make – especially in tech.
He goes on to explain the skills needed to become CEO – being great in one-on-one meetings and self-promotion are not that helpful in actually running a company or managing people. Indeed, the people who are passionate, emotional and generally considered right brain types are typically kept out of the board rooms of corporate America and don’t often advance as quickly their politically correct counterparts who are more analytical.
As a car guy this gets me thinking about the difference between cars that BMW makes – right brain – creative, they evoke an emotional response – not always positive but emotional nonetheless. Then I think of Saturn, the now defunct division of GM – a series of cars which were obviously designed by a group – with no passionate leader at the helm. By the way, do you know what a donkey is? A racehorse designed by a committee.
Every industry and I mean every one I have ever seen, eventually commoditizes itself. Sometimes one company finds a way to break out of the mold, differentiate and charge more than the rest while often creating a better product.
Ice cream was – well ice cream until Haagen Daz showed us we could gain more weight per spoon than Breyers with the commensurate increase in taste bud enjoyment. Purdue showed us we didn’t need to have sickly looking chickens, we could have better poultry that was worth paying more for.
Steve Jobs showed us that everything he touched could be elevated above commodity status and for this the world owes him a debt of gratitude. But if we want to see more people like Jobs change the world for the better, we should all take a look at the article Enderle wrote and ponder it for a while because as he points out in his conclusion, even Apple wouldn’t hire Steve Jobs today.