Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 19th Jan 2014 23:57 UTC
In the News

Steve Wozniak about the movie Jobs (crappy Google+ still doesn't have comment links, so scroll down a bit):

Actually, the movie was largely a lie about me.

This is what happens when a businessman is hyped up into the stratosphere and turned into a messiah - other people get marginalised to further deify the supposed hero.

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RE[3]: Wozniak vs Jobs
by tupp on Tue 21st Jan 2014 09:24 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Wozniak vs Jobs"
tupp
Member since:
2006-11-12

Leaving aside the creation of Apple V1, NeXT and Pixar surely what Jobs achieved at Apple after 1997 goes a bit beyond mere salesmanship.

Not really. In the first place, "Apple V1" was also Wozniak, and Apple wasn't doing anything truly remarkable in those days, except bigger marketing (salesmanship) than the several other GUI vendors that preceded Apple.

Also, NeXT didn't really do anything remarkable, and we all know how that company ended up under Jobs' guidance (even Jobs could not sell such expensive, over-blown boxes).

Furthermore, Jobs was really just an investor in Pixar. He wasn't a filmmaker nor a film distributor -- he didn't know anything about making nor marketing successful films. Under his "leadership," Pixar was actually going down the tubes just before "Toy Story" was released, and Jobs was even considering bailing. Luckily, "Toy Story" was hugely successful, and it propelled Pixar into a string of other winning films. Jobs had no more to do with Pixar's success any other studio head/management has to do their film company's success -- films either hit or they don't. When they do, you can make several more movies, and if one of those hits you are still doing well. Even experienced studio heads who came up through the ranks can't predict a film's success. Additionally, everybody has heard the endless stories of how entertainment management continually make huge blunders, yet the majors still thrive in spite of all those errors.

Success often just happens in spite of a company's or product's faults, and that is precisely what happened with Apple/Jobs. Jobs was certainly driven and he took huge risks, but he was no creative/business genius. The risks that he took could have just as easily led to major failure (and they occasionally did lead to major failure -- NeXT, and the many failed and defective Apple products that Jobs pushed through).

Consider Mark Zuckerburg. He is one of the most successful people in the tech world, but his success is not due to any particular genius/business acumen on his part -- it just happened. Nobody has any way of knowing how to achieve such phenomenal success. Facebook hit people in a favorable/viral way. Of course, now, his company is fading, and there is probably nothing that he can do about it. He was just lucky.

Same thing with Bill Gates. When IBM first approached Microsoft to make DOS, Gates told them to go to Digital Systems. Lucky for Gates and Microsoft, Digital turned-down IBM, and IBM came back to Microsoft. That was utter dumb luck. There was no genius on the part of Gates -- he originally made a huge blunder in turning away IBM!

Just after Michael Jackson's "Thriller" album became the biggest selling album of all time, a reporter asked Quincy Jones (the album's producer), "How do you make a record that sells 37 million?" Jones replied, "I don't know how to do THAT. Nobody knows how to do that." Jones knew that that kind of success just happens.

Most of those who deify Jobs probably think that he actually knew how to plan and scheme to become so successful. However, the reality is that things just sometimes happen favorably for a few of those who are around early-on and/or continually in an industry. That is precisely what happened with Jobs -- he was no creative/business genius.

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