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Steve Jobs – Connect The Dots

09/05/2011

Much has been written and said about Steve Jobs, Apple CEO, since his retirement from that position was announced recently. Jobs’ bout with cancer and his medical leaves of absence were public knowledge as he was CEO of a public company. Certainly Jobs’ departure was inevitable. But that didn’t make it any easier to accept when it actually happened. It was one of those things in life where you know it’s going to happen but it still takes your breath away when it does.

I recently found a magazine squirreled away in a desk drawer. I’m not sure why I saved it. There it was, Fortune, March 17, 2008, featuring Jobs on the cover and an article “The Trouble With Steve Jobs”. Inside the sub headline reads, “Jobs likes to make his own rules, whether the topic is computers, stock options, or even pancreatic cancer. The same traits that make him a great CEO drive him to put his company, and his investors, at risk.”

The article is stimulating and insightful. And, not particularly complimentary. If you can find it, read it. If you’d like Thought-Tech to send you an electronic copy request it here Jobs Fortune Magazine 2008 Article.

One of the best things about being a sports fan is the “Monday morning quarterbacking” or using 20/20 hindsight to debate decisions, calls, plays and mistakes, no matter what the sport is.

So it goes, too, with media. Connecting the dots in hindsight, then comparing them with future predictions is always interesting. Of course we know now that in 2008 Apple stock dropped 40 percent in a down market. At that time the stock traded for around $85. Today, even in another tough market Apple trades in the $380 range. In May Apple was identified as the world’s most valuable brand, with a $153.3 billion valuation.

In the Fortune article there’s a quote from Stanford University professor Robert Sutton, “Steve Jobs running the company from jail would be better for the stock price than Steve Jobs not being CEO”. Turns out, in 20/20 hindsight Sutton was correct.

Take 5 minutes to watch Steve Jobs deliver a commencement speech at Stanford University in 2005. Jobs tells three stories. The first is about “connecting the dots”. Jobs believes strongly in the value of connecting the dots. His insight is on this is that dots can’t be connected until after the fact.

Steve Jobs legacy is pretty well set. It will be interesting to see what additional dots will connect Jobs’ life story. Stick around.

For More On Steve Jobs, read “Steve Jobs Will Be Missed Like Family

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