Originally Posted by jungmark
Originally Posted by rcfa
So when the discussion is about why no company would hire a guy like Jobs to run the company
, then stop deflecting to whether or not maybe somewhere at some level a guy like Jobs might end up getting hired into some subordinate role that has insignificant bearing on the future of the company, and certainly no bearing on the topic of discussion.
Oh, I think I misread it. In any case just because most companies won't hire a creative guy as CEO, the CEO doesn't drive/decide every detail. If a creative really wants something, he/she should be able to explain why. I don not know of any mid size to large companies that only rely on the CEO for everything. That is why there are mgmt teams.
Agreed in principle. In practice, business school types only know Excel and numbers, not product experience, design, aesthetics, etc.
The result is, as you see in all of Apple's competition: e.g. plastic cases instead of recyclable and durable aluminum: because it saves some money
The issue is, designers/creative guys can well explain why aluminum is better, but the suits will laugh them out of the room (or fire them), because they quickly run the numbers in their head, and realize how much money they can save going with the cheap plastic alternative.
The feedback loop, the leap of faith, to do what's good, durable, etc. i.e. the "build it and they will come" approach is something 99% of business people just don't get. Apple just would never have had the products it has, if they had conventional CEOs; not because no engineer would love to build (to stick with the example) machined aluminum laptop cases, but because no suit with an MBA would ever OK such a "needlessly expensive product".
One of the best passages in the Jobs biography is where it says (something like): "Jobs never worried about money, first because he didn't have any, then because he had more than enough." Very few people are in that position, and very few companies are run by people like that. And that, more than talent or anything else, sums up the difference between Jobs and most other people running companies.
If you want to know where Apple is losing its own identity, it's not whether or not there's enough innovation, but if you see strategies like planned obsolesence creep into the business model (e.g. AppStore not allowing the last supported version of an app of a legacy device). These are counter to what Jobs did when he was at his best: back then, he did what was right, and he figured, eventually that would translate into customer loyalty and future sales; just like he didn't worry about one product cannibalizing sales of another product. The latter is (mostly) still the case with Apple, but the planned obsolesence is unfortunately becoming a reality with Apple, and quite in contrast to why I initially switched to the iPhone from a Palm device; the latter not being upgradable anymore (initially they were, then they became greedy and stopped upgrading devices that were fully upgradable).
The devil is in the details; some of it is just greed (which may have affected Jobs in his later days, too) and some of it is Apple slowly losing its way. Time will tell.