This idea states that it is the "great men" who are responsible for making the world we see today, through their force of will, powerful ideas and charisma.
And as it happens, that's how the public sees Steve Jobs today. So it's good to hear him tell a story that reminds us that he had a very different perspective on this idea.
For example it can be good for Apple that public (and competition) saw Steve through the great man theory. Public loves heroes, and competition where thrown off with the possibly false explanation for their success ("we can't beat the great Steve").
I've been wondering if the same thing is happening with Elon Musk today. He plays the loveable underdog hero part well for PR (whether it's true or not) and doesn't never mention his staff or anyone by name or what they have done.
(When your hero dies, it can be a problem. Except if you make people believe that the hero's ideals still live through the others that we're close him/her.)
Large organizations often take very smart people and very good ideas and then produce crap. The most successful organizations usually have one very strong leader with visionary ideas yet an incredible attention to product detail. Apple, Microsoft, Oracle, Google, Salesforce, Facebook... take away that one leader and they struggle. Because large organizations thrive on teamwork and not taking any big risks (if you are right, everyone basks in your glory, if you are wrong, your ass is on the line.)
Apples latest maps application was far from polished. Then their CEO fired the one guy who seemed willing to shake things up. I am looking forward to their next big thing, to see how polished it is.
As a matter of fact their CEO fired the one guy who wasn't willing to shake things up. In fact, I think he was fired for that very reason.
Contrast with organizations like Chrysler, which under Lee Iacocca, became fantastically successful... Until he turned his gaze elsewhere and the organization of yes-men he built crumbled to the ground, unable to accomplish anything of their own volition.
Jobs appears to be an Iacocca-style leader. A great visionary with incredible personal willpower, who guided a company from obscurity to domination. And yet now that he's gone, you have to ask, who is left that has sufficient personal willpower and initiative to keep driving Apple's stock upward? Did Jobs' abrasive managerial tactics leave anyone with those qualities?
Those charismatic leaders who really shake things up also polish something else to a dull, boring gloss: other people.
Here you can see how the people he left in Apple look and talk:
The point is, these insights are proverbial.
People need to stop avoiding friction between opinions and ideas and instead embrace it. That's how great things come about.
Replace "Steve Jobs" with "Bill Gates", and you'd have a dozen people mocking the title and no discussion on the post.
300 words isn't so much that it's cumbersome to read, but it definitely primed me to think that his point was somehow specific to apple and investing when it wasn't at all. I'm not surprised that people have decided to nitpick it.
"And as you evolve that great idea, it changes and grows. It never comes out like it starts because you learn a lot more as you get into the subtleties of it."
I think this really relates to the hacker community because it shows that you can start with SOMETHING (Just go try something), and then later you can change it and modify it. The idea you start with is never the idea that comes out on the other side.
I have a seemingly simple, offline business that we had to pivot more than once to get it just right. We used feedback from our customers (and more importantly, would-be customers) to evolve and succeed. Thanks for posting this!
Having said that, just having a highly talented team without good leadership is disastrous. The role of the leader is more important than the sum of talents of the team. He inspires the team to a common vision and ignites passion. The term 'passionate team' becomes meaningless without a shared vision.
Apologies for the snark, but this type of comment is lazy and pointless. Trolling at it's most insipid.
Here is an idea; if it bothers you that much, don't read it and don't comment on it either.
If people like the article, they should comment with why. If people don't like it, they should likewise do so. That way people can have discussions. The "if you don't like it go somewhere else" line of thinking is vapid and the world would be worse off if everybody did that. People should challenge each other.
I disagree. It started a discussion and then you replied with how it isn't really out of line for things that people like.
Cognitive bias in action.
Yes, I agree. That's why it is good that the person commented and you replied. If they had just ignored the article, they wouldn't have received that information. How would anybody ever learn anything if we just read and discussed those things we already agree with?
Btw, here's some of his advice that I alway try to remember:
The interview snippet itself isn't bad; while I see the point he was making, it's not terribly strong or well-stated, and quite honestly it doesn't deserve its own proper name. It's worth reading, but if it had been Jobs' intention for this to be worthy of the title "parable," I'm quite sure he'd have been able to throw it back in the coffee can for another few cycles and turn it into something worth repeating.
It is a story with an instructive principle. Shrug.