Steve Jobs – The Opposite of a Flash in the Pan

Like all captains of industry Steve Jobs polarizes opinion. No one denies his success and most admire his vision but there are some who see him as arrogant and meglomaniacal. I am squarley in the camp of the fans. I don’ t know the man, have never met him or even heard him speak, but I just marvel at his leadership and sense of mission. And I love all the Apple gear.

My favourite business quote of all time is:-

“The reasonable man adapts himself to world. The unreasonable man adapts the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man” George Bernard Shaw
There is a shorter one along the same lines (don’t know who said it):-
“In order to grow you have to have a point fo view about the future”
This about sums up Steve Jobs.

The financial boys have a view that no-one “comes twice”. In other words most successful entrepreneurs, and they are few, only manage to pull off a profitable game changer once in their career. Jobs has done it again and again…..

•    He reinvented the PC with his Mac operating system
•    He then reinvented it again with the introduction of both design and functionality.
•    He reinvented music with the iPod
•    He reinvented mobile with the iPhone
•    Currently he is kind of reinventing everything digital with a variety of crowd sourcing, cloud computing, new aggregator devices etc

….and almost always profitably (there have been a few financial mishaps). He has done all this with a clarity of purpose and a determination (despite some recent health problems) that are simply inspiring.

Yes I am a big Mac fan – once you go mac you never go back – but I am an even bigger fan of the man behind it.

So I want you to read this.

It is very teccy since it deals with Jobs’ personal response to the criticism that he is killing off Flash, the propietary Adobe software upon which much of the development of the web has been based. Apple’s new generation of devices don’t work with Flash and many people have criticized this as a typical piece of Jobs’ arrogance and myopia. Read what he says (it doesn’t matter whether you understand all the tech references). It is clear, well reasoned and explains that he is not trying to get at Adobe just trying to drive his vision of how digital should work. It is masterful.

We are witnessing an amazing battle between Microsoft, Google and Apple. My money is on Google and Apple because their motivation is not just to make money, it is to facilitate knowledge sharing and creative pursuit. The kind of stuff Maslow puts at the top of the triangle of human development. I think Microsoft will lose out since although they started with the same goals (and the Big Blue, IBM, once one of the most powerful businesses on the planet, perished as a result) they became the control freaks. In fact, they became like IBM.

And by the way Bill, you’d be better off investing in eductation in Africa rather than trying to cure malaria.

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