This week Steve Jobs has resigned as CEO of Apple. Due to his illness he is no longer capable to stay on. I don’t have many heroes but he is one. And not just in his role as CEO. The story of his life is fascinating. Born as an unwanted child of a teen age mother, adopted, college drop-out and then founder of Apple. Making Apple a huge success with the Apple II and the Macintosh and then he had to leave Apple in 1985. He founded Next and turned a small company ‘The graphics group’ into a giant named Pixar (well know of Toy story and many other movies) and sold it to Disney. Then Apple bought Next and Jobs returned to Apple, saving it from bankruptcy and reforming it into one of the most valuable companies in the world. And he changed my world with his Mac’s, IPod’s, IPhones and IPads. For me he is an inspiration as a manager, presenter and innovator.
Clearly he is somebody with a great vision, but one of the things that sets him apart from others is that he is able to transfer that vision to an entire company with over 30.000 employees. At easygenerator we are with just over 20 people and I have to work hard to get our vision into the hearts and minds of our employees. The other brilliant thing about Steve is that this vision translates into products that set trends and in some cases are real game changers. For me as a CEO and a manager he is a great example and an inspiration.
Steve Jobs is a brilliant presenter. He is famous for his product presentations like the launch of the Macintosh and the IPad. Even more impressive are some other presentations like his Stanford commencement speech. I wrote about it earlier in my post about storytelling. What I like most is that he brings it very naturally even though they are designed and tuned to perfection. Nancy Duarte analyzed his IPhone presentation in her book ‘Resonate’. It shows that the buildup, the rhythm, the switches between what is and what could be are near perfect, yet he brings it so natural. I give presentations on a regular basis and I can only envy him for his talent.
I consider myself an innovator and again Steve Jobs is an example. The impact of his innovations on our everyday live is enormous and they enable others to do great things. The IPad made it possible for me to have a paperless office, I don’t even have a pencil anymore. We only have a great application like Flipboard thanks to the IPad. He did even influence the lives of all windows users. Windows was (and is) a bad imitation of the graphical interface of the Macintosh but it was still a giant improvement in comparison with Dos.
I can only hope that he will win his battle with his disease and that he will remain an inspiring example for many years to come.