It is better to focus on Steve Jobs’ failures

I was taken back by the title of this article. It says instead of looking at Jobs successes we should look at his failures.

We should be celebrating his failures as it helped him become much better over the period of time. He gave us the imacs, ipads, ipods only after his failures taught him some lessons:

Jobs failed better than anyone else in Silicon Valley, maybe better than anyone in corporate America. By that I mean Jobs did what only the greatest entrepreneurs can do: learn from their failures. I don’t mean learn from their mistakes. I mean learn from their abject, humiliating, bonehead, epic fails.  

Jobs was the architect of Lisa, introduced in the early 1980s. You remember Lisa, don’t you? Of course you don’t. But this computer — which cost tens of millions of dollars to develop — was another epic fail. Shortly after Lisa, Apple had a success with its Macintosh computer. But Jobs was out of a job by then, having been tossed aside thanks to the Lisa fiasco.  

Jobs went on to found NeXT Computer, which was a big nothing-burger of a company. Its greatest success was that it was purchased by Apple — paving the way for the serial failure Jobs to return to his natural home. Jobs’s greatest successes were to come later — iPod, iTunes, iPhone, iPad, and more.  

He points how Jobs gave people products which people did not know they neeed:

Jobs is a great entrepreneur for another reason. Lots of ninnies can give customers products they want. Jobs gave people products they didn’t know they wanted, and then made those products indispensable to their lives.  

I didn’t know I needed the ability to read the Wall Street Journal and The Corner on a handsome handheld device at my breakfast table, on the Metro, on the Acela, or in any Starbucks I entered. But Steve Jobs did. I didn’t know I wanted to mix and match my music collection on a computer and take it with me wherever I went, but Steve Jobs did. I didn’t know I wanted a portable multimedia platform that would permit me and my kids to hurl angry birds out of a slingshot at thieving pigs. But Steve Jobs did.  

All those successes were made possible by failure after failure after failure and the lessons learned from those failures.  

Jobs experiences tell you Washington needs to be more tolerant to failures:

There’s a moral here for a Washington culture that fears failure too much. In today’s Washington, large banks aren’t permitted to fail; nor are large auto firms. Next up will be too-big-to-fail hospital systems. Steve Jobs is a reminder that failure is a good and necessary thing. And that sometimes the greatest glories are born of catastrophe.

🙂

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