We live in a fractured world where everybody gets an opinion on anything and facts don’t matter. Politicians spout off opinions on complex matters with little more than juvenile attacks without detailed support for the premise.
Arguments are not flawed as much as they are nonexistent, yet they command headlines that can pit family members against one other Hatfield and McCoy style. Here’s a good one.
My uncle built houses. Or, rather, he owned a construction company that built houses. He didn’t actually build the house himself, although it is likely he had the skills; perhaps sufficient to design, order materials, even assemble them in the right order, but that is a long and laborious process just so he could say he ‘built the house.‘
We all knew my Dad’s brother built houses. Likewise, Apple co-founder Steve Jobs could be title a business and market disrupter. Look at what he did to the personal computer industry, the music industry, the smartphone, tablet, and applications industries.
No. Wait. That’s wrong. Steve Jobs did not do those things. He merely ran the company that did those things.
Here’s the problem. Mike Judge judged Silicon Valley this way:
Steve Jobs didn’t build anything. The fact that an iPhone right now is what a Cray supercomputer was in 1993, and it’s all due to some hardware innovations. I don’t know who those people are, and I’ve asked! I’ve tried to find them. I’m genuinely curious. And nobody knows. They’re just engineers working deep inside AMD [Advanced Micro Devices] or Intel or something.
Someone is being a bit too literal.
Technology company leaders seem to put themselves at the top of their organizations as if they built everything themselves, without any help from others.
And we believe it, too.
It’s the lack of self-awareness that always strikes me and how they don’t ever acknowledge that they’re standing on the shoulders of many, many other people in the hardware side of things. You never hear about them, the people who actually built this stuff.
Did Steve Jobs save Apple? Or, did he simply help or perhaps guide Apple return to greatness, but also thanks to the efforts of many thousands of employees?
This seems to be how humans view the world. We assign or ascribe values or titles to something or someone where it may be obvious that a mismatch exists when the reality is considered in detail.
No, Steve Jobs, Apple’s co-founder, and probable savior did not build anything himself; you know, as in performing the design and manufacturing of each chip, or writing every line of code for each product’s software. Yet, when we say he saved Apple the premise is obvious and there are plenty of facts to back up the premise.
When we say that Steve Jobs built the Mac, iPod, iTunes Music Store, iPhone, and iPad, we understand that to mean he led the process that delivered the goods to the market, and that many thousands of people, processes, and technology, were cobbled together– no, managed– to make it happen.
But if one says ‘Steve Jobs didn’t build anything‘ then what really happened?
I’ve long believed in the duality of personal power and position power. Jobs had both, more so after his second coming than when he and Steve Wozniak started the company.
Personal power is a trait where someone can persuade others to do their bidding. Position power is where one’s position in life– parent, boss, teacher, authorities– can command others to do their building.
Leaders can have either personal power or position power, but things really begin to happen when a company or organization has a leader with both. Jobs had both and managed to get things done. With a different set of skills and methods, Apple CEO Tim Cook has both.
Even President Obama and President Trump had both. Personal power was used to convince voters in various elections. Position power was used to push the buttons of the government to get things done.
Sure, Steve Jobs didn’t build anything but he helped grow and manage the company that built and delivered market-disrupting products.