Who Will Be Harder to Replace-Steve Jobs or Barack Obama?

August/28/2011 18:14PM
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Steve Jobs is being heralded as the greatest business leader since Walt Disney. He’s put in the same category as Henry Ford. Apple was recently said to have more ready cash than the US Treasury.

Steve sold his Volkswagen bus to finance the building of a computer in his garage. His partner, Steve Wozniak, sold his Texas Instruments calculator. Thus, began Apple.

As Apple grew, the board felt, probably with help from McKinsey, that the company had outgrown Steve. The board felt the company needed a person who could manage the size and scope that Apple had become. Someone like Barack Obama. Obama wasn’t available, so they settle for a man named John Sculley. Sculley was given the top job and Steve Jobs left to found a company he named NeXT. Apple floundered under the leadership of Sculley. HP and the others ate Apple’s lunch.

Jobs returned to Apple in 1996 as an advisor when Apple bought NeXT. In that year with Apple hanging close to bankruptcy, he once again became CEO. In 2001 Apple introduced the iPod. It transformed the music industry. Apple’s stock price hit $403.41 in July, 2011, and briefly Apple topped Exxon/Mobil as the world’s most valuable firm. Ten years ago when the iPod was introduced Apple stock was selling for $10 a share.

Now, due to health reasons, Jobs will leave again. What will this mean for the fortunes of Apple?

It seems Mr. Jobs has been driven by one idea. Technology is complicated and it needs to be simplified like a household appliance so anyone can benefit from the product. He has driven this idea up and down the company. He has refused to accept anything less. His products reflect his vision.

In my judgment, while handpicked by Jobs, his successor, with the best of intentions, will watch Apple go back into decline. You see, regardless of how Obama feels about leadership, and it’s value in this country, I believe it is real and exists. Jobs was good for everyone in the country. He created jobs, lots of jobs, and lots of value for customers and shareholders. He created a lot of tax dollars that the government could waste. He could not have been paid too much for the value he created. He was unique and it wasn’t good luck or good timing or good anything that made this happen. It was Steve Jobs.

Barack Obama, on the other hand, has a unique talent. He can read a teleprompter. Not too unique, with training, a few thousand Americans could be coached to do as well or better than he.

Barack Obama is to America what John Sculley was to Apple. A curse that almost destroyed the company. He looks the part, acts the part, and has all the right things on the resume. But, he can’t do the job.

Sculley screwed up Apple, plain and simple, and almost killed the company. Like Obama he was clueless.

Here’s the real question. Just as Apple realized Sculley was a mistake, America is beginning to realize Obama is a mistake.

Apple swallowed it’s pride and brought Jobs back. Can America find a Jobs to turn this mess around before it tanks? Jobs could have never been elected president of this country. He looks too much like Ron Paul. And, he was a good fit for Apple, but not America. But, we need to put looks and style aside and listen to the messages and find someone who has the vision and passion for the job of fixing this country that Steve Jobs had for fixing Apple after Scully wrecked it.

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