Stop trying to be Steve Jobs

What do the CEOs of a health company meant to test blood sugar levels and a PC gaming peripheral manufacture have in common, a shared idol, Steve Jobs. Steve Jobs has been called many things, a hero, a thief, he has been glorified and vilified, but no matter your opinion on him, his impact on the world today cannot go without notice. Nowhere is this impact more visible than in the tech industry, and it’s many aspiring CEOs and startup founders. To them, Steve Jobs is a god, his world famous keynotes a bible, and his effective policies the beatitudes to success in the cuthroat tech industry. Except they’re not. What tech CEOs like Elizabeth Holmes, who is said to have had an unhealthy obsession with Jobs and Min Liang Tan, who reportedly tried to emulate Job’s often criticized harsh and abrasive attitude towards his employees in the hopes of becoming a so called “Asian Steve Jobs”, fail to pick up on, is that it wasn’t simply a “reality distortion field”, an insatiable quest for perfection or any other single attribute of Job’s character that made him such an effective leader, no, it was all of them working in unison that allowed him to accomplish the things that he did. People who fail to comprehend this, like the aforementioned Holmes and Tan, simply try to emulate Job’s nature, while often missing out on his most important characteristic, his strive to make a positive impact on the world. As mentioned before, Holmes and Tan both tried to adopt the natures of Jobs in the hopes of finding fame and fortune, they wanted to be called the next Steve Jobs, but even if they did get their face printed between the red borders of the cover of Time with those words above it, they would be meaningless. Steve Jobs never cared about the money. He never cared about the notability and recognition . Steve Jobs cared about making a positive impact on the world through great products. He was willing to risk falling into complete obscurity and becoming a footnote in the annuls of Sillicon Valley with the original iMac, a tremendously costly project that, in the case of failure, would have almost definitely destroyed his company. He was willing to delay the original Mac and loose profits for the sake of putting out a better product. His indifference to fame and fortune allowed him to do these things, and our world is all the better for it. If Jobs had been the dumbed down version of himself people like Holmes and Tan romanticize him as, we would surely not have had the Mac, the iPod, or the iPhone, arguably three of the most important technologies of the last century. At the end of the day, the true way to be the next Steve Jobs is not be the next version of Steve Jobs, but to be the best version of yourself.

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