How’d he do it?

His maverick management style pure legend. He’s defied considerable odds: founding-leaving and a triumphant return, cancer, stock option debacle, liver transplant, ran against the entire PC industry with proprietary products, some notable flops (Apple III, Newton, MobileMe), litigious shoot from the hip legal policy, battles with Adobe and Google, Reuters, high prices, some dubious labor practices, IPO that raised more capital then since Ford in 1956 … the list goes on.

As you likely know he recently resigned as CEO, turning over the day-to-day management to Timothy Cook – “turned over” – he’s Chairman today.  Jostling with ExxonMobil for highest market cap. Before the recent Federal Debt Limit raise held more cash than the US Treasury. Turned over? Do leopards change their spots?

Branding, products that just work and outstanding customer service have all been keys to success. Yet in my estimation Steve Jobs greatest strength, his undeniable brilliance, his pure genius is his ability anticipate consumer demand that’s second to none in the past few decades, perhaps beyond.

Relatively recent innovations, the iPhone, iPad, iPod and iTunes comprised 39%, 17%, 13% and 5% respectively — fully 75% — of Apple’s Q1 2011 revenue.

Trust the art not the artist” seems an apt descriptor of The Chairman of the Board.

I think Steve Jobs is a brilliant innovator. Who else might you add? Would you put him in a class with: Edison? Bell? Westinghouse? Land? Ford? The Wright Brothers? Jerome Seinfeld? Not so fast on the last one, one created a show about nothing, the other, a product where apparently it’s almost as easy to replace an organ as a battery 🙂 Someone else or not at all?

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