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Customer Discussions > Steve Jobs forum

What's So Special About Steve Jobs?

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Showing 1-15 of 15 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 22, 2011, 12:24:38 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 22, 2011, 12:26:39 AM PST
T. J. Young says:
What I don't get is this guy was a CEO. He pushed certain products forward, and moved a company (argueably an industry) into advancing well beyond its time.

But he didn't go to the benches and create the tech with his hands. He didn't create the tech on his own. He said, "Make me this" and a bunch of engineers made the products. He said, "Make these changes" and they did.

But why does he get all the credit? What's really so special about what he did?

I don't want this to be a flame fest... and I'm not trolling. But I've never understood how people can EVER claim a CEO, General (in an army), or otherwise top boss can make everything happen. There are some exceptions where the CEO was a small dog who started a dream and made the first products him/herself. But it's rare today. I'm sure Jobs was very influencial... but can any one piece of technology be tied to his own hands?

Posted on Dec 22, 2011, 12:56:14 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 22, 2011, 1:04:22 AM PST
5055 says:
According to what is known, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak hand built their own Apple Computers in their garage, which I believe started in 1976. He definitely did contribute his part in getting these machines built and out the door for viewing eyes to see. But, as the company got larger he was able to hire people to mass produce. On an end note, I do believe the man did his fair share of concepts and dirty work on the way computers are today. I don't see Steve Jobs as a savior of any kind, but I must admit....The man was smart and he definitely knew how to be successful....In my opinion that takes a lot of hard work. He achieved so much that very few people know how to do. Our world would definitely be a different place if it wasn't for the mind of Steve Jobs....At least technology wise. It takes a lot of hard work to get to that point, so I say he did his fair share of hard work. Just think, if Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak never started the very first Apple builds....What would technology look like today? Would it be as advanced? I would have to say no, probably not.

Posted on Dec 25, 2011, 12:32:45 AM PST
T. J. Young says:
I wont disagree. I am fairly certain he was VERY intelligent and innovative. I don't know his history about the building of computers in the garage... but I'll take your word for it. But does taking a concept and building a successful company mean that YOU are responsible for it? If I hire 1500 people to build a company for me, and then go out and do an interview would I say I was the reason for its success? No.

I just think people give Jobs FAR too much credit. But like I said, I don't know if he did in fact get involved in the development of the latest technology. Maybe someone can fill me in. But everything I've seen so far... he had a vision and asked others to help him get there. Why is it everyone credits him with accomplishing it?

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 25, 2011, 4:50:17 PM PST
Music Critic says:
I too have a hard time calling Jobs a "genius". In my opinion, what Jobs was, was a great entrepreneur. He should be properly compared to men like Ray Kroc. Ray Kroc didn't invent the hamburger, didn't invent the restaurant, didn't invent the fast-food chain, heck - he didn't even invent McDonald's restaurant! But he did create the fast-food chain we now know as McDonald's and turned it into the multi-billion dollar operation it is today. Was he a genius? Well, whether he was or wasn't, I think Steve Jobs was or wasn't in much the same way. He took a concept - the "personal computer" - and turned it into a multi-billion dollar business (Apple), then took a totally different concept - the digitally animated film - and turned that into another billion dollar business (Pixar). However, Ray Kroc is on Time's list of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century (he's number 20), and Jobs is not (to be fair, Pixar didn't strike it rich until 1995, and Apple didn't re-establish itself until after the launch of the iPod in 2001). The problem with evaluating Jobs' impact is that both his accomplishments and his death are so recent. I think more time must pass before he can be put into context. However, even if Jobs' influence on humanity or his genius is eventually ranked below that of Kroc, or Bill Gates, or Einstein, there is no doubt that he was very influential to a lot of people, and that influence will be felt for quite some time. But in my mind, "genius" applies to people who either personally invent something really significant, or make a really game-changing discovery. Building a business - even a multi-billion dollar business - doesn't count. By that standard, there would be a lot of genius's - Rockefeller, JP Morgan, Sam Walton, etc, and the term "genius" (almost ironically) would be devalued. Just sayin'.

Posted on Dec 28, 2011, 8:27:49 PM PST
Have you read the book? It never claims that he was the technical wizard. It even mentions that Wozniak was the more technically inclined. But what he did what no one else did was take these "scary" objects at the time that nobody wanted or had a real need for and made them not only appealing but almost irresistible. From the Apple II to the iPad, all the products he took part in were totally different after he touched them. Look at the most recent, the iPad. Before his vision tablet PCs sucked. They were underpowered, big, and didn't do things well enough to justify not using a Smart Phone or laptop. The iPad is released to such success that it AGAIN (as Apple and Jobs himself did many times before) changed the entire tech industry. Look at how many iPad rip-offs we have now. His power came from taking the items that were only "for geeks" or items "that I'd have no need for" and making them must haves by designing extraordinarily simple to use and visually appealing products.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 29, 2011, 5:33:42 AM PST
Music Critic says:
You say that like you disagree with me, yet I can't find a single point of contention. And what I said has nothing to do with the book (which I have read, btw).

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 3, 2012, 1:57:28 PM PST
Kendall ME says:
That what makes CEO a "Great innovator" - he asked his employees to make something, that he was sure is possible to make, and what nobody made before, and what will be "revolutionary". You need to know a lot about industry to make this kind of requests. That what made everybody to say "Steve Jobs is a genius!"

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 5, 2012, 7:18:28 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 5, 2012, 7:18:53 AM PST
eduwriter says:
Read the ending of the book. He answers your questions in his own words.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 6, 2012, 11:31:03 AM PST
P. Faust says:
I think so; if not for him and his obsessive/compulsive personality, the strides taken by the Apple contributors would not have happened. He pushed and pushed and innovated and demanded and was a sorry excuse for a human being but he was a genius at getting people to achieve their maximum potential.

Posted on Feb 24, 2012, 2:36:28 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 24, 2012, 2:36:46 AM PST
Eric M says:
I don't think Steve was a sorry excuse for a human being. I can think of many worse. His flaws, in fact, were not that many and probably on par with the average American (some better, some worse).

Posted on Feb 26, 2012, 4:37:57 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 26, 2012, 4:39:55 PM PST
fascinated says:
He was a visionary, synthesisor (art, music, technology, human instincts), inspirational free spirit that didn't keep himself bound to any laws. I envy him for having lived such unique life.
He was also abusive, tyrant, self centered, controlling but how many goody goodies change the world?

Posted on Mar 22, 2012, 4:22:33 PM PDT
S. Carter says:
These same employees whom he directed to come up with the Apple products, whom you feel should get all the credit...let me ask you something. Do you think these same engineers would have come up with these ideas on their own? That's the genius of a guy like Steve Jobs. They come up with billion dollar ideas and instruct an army of people with the talent to bring their ideas into fruition. The engineers obviously couldn't supply the ideas to make Apple the company they've become, it took a visionary.

In reply to an earlier post on May 10, 2012, 7:49:25 PM PDT
This question illuminates the big weakness of the book, imho. Isaacson established his theme and pounds it over end over, but it is too shallow to carry my interest more than half way through. Too much about his personality flaws and not enough about his genius. It probably tells us more about Isaacson's discomfit with his own much more modest success and gives short shrift to explaining Jobs' extraordinary sucesses which he attributes to perfectionism and persuasiveness.

Posted on Jul 12, 2012, 9:59:05 AM PDT
kaioatey says:
Jobs never learnt to program. But he was a good reader of people - at first insinuated himself into their company (like Woz) and then hired them for Apple. That was the key.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 14, 2013, 10:57:09 PM PDT
Tug Gokaydin says:
You should keep in mind that it is not the technical knowledge but the vision and understanding the needs of the people counts more than the technical know how. This what made Steve Jobs an exceptional CEO and visionary.
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Discussion in:  Steve Jobs forum
Participants:  13
Total posts:  15
Initial post:  Dec 22, 2011
Latest post:  Jul 14, 2013

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Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson (Hardcover - October 24, 2011)
4.4 out of 5 stars (6,370)