Lessons NOT to learn from Steve Jobs

“First of all, you are not Steve Jobs,” Doug Hardy writes for Forbes. “As the tsunami of well-deserved hagiography surges through the business press, entrepreneurs can be forgiven the temptation to discover the trick or method that will turn them into world-changing geniuses.”

“Copying the outward appearances of Steve Jobs, his behaviors and quirks, rather than internalizing his principles, is the temptation of every wannabe business revolutionary,” Hardy writes. “Also, expecting similar business results just by aping his particular tastes won’t make you magic or power your stock price. Ask Microsoft.”

Making the most of Jobs’ lessons is a matter of unraveling what made him great from what made great copy, and so here are a few distinctions:

• Temperamental is not the same as demanding
• Pretty is not the same as beautiful
• Choosing the best ideas is not the same as having the best ideas
• Persistence is not the same as stubbornness
• Presenting brilliantly is not the same as having something brilliant to present
• Being successful is not the same as never failing
• Don’t be Steve

Hardy writes, “Studying Steve Jobs’ personality and achievements, the word ‘inimitable’ comes to mind, and in that word might be the most important lesson. The way to succeed like Jobs is to reflect on how he worked and how he lived and why he succeeded. He was an original, and the surest way to fail is to imitate him.”

Read more in the full article, including explanations of the bullet points above, here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Ellis D.” for the heads up.]


    1. Also, if you want to be Steve Jobs, be prepared to give up your family and a life as a human not centered on work. Don’t get me wrong, I love what Steve Jobs did for me, I just wish he did more family time. Maybe the two cant coexist.

      1. For me family has to be first. I’d rather be a hero to my wife and kids than to millions of people I’d never know. Nobody at the end of their life ever wished they had spent more time at work.

        1. The type of person you describing is a workaholic… someone who is seldom (if ever) in it for the adulation (or whatever) of millions of other people.

          Any person who has a real, driving creative passion is in for the work. Look at the bios of all such people throughout history. Their work comes before all else.

          IMO, NoBlindness is probably right that the two can’t co-exist. FWIW, I think this is a good thing (although not for families, probably) because the world would surely be a poorer place in all ways if all those driven people had let go of their passion to placate family.

          1. I know several multi-millionaires I would consider successful businessmen (and women) who happen to intimately involve their family in their business. Instead of I have to go to work, it is “Hey guys, let’s go to work.” I agree that it is not easy to do but I think many could do the same if they were willing.

            (Me thinks a lot of people use work as an escape from the responsbilities of family and raising kids. That is our true responsbility.)

  1. You can be the greatest manager in the world, but if you don’t have the people and ideas to create top notch innovations, you do clones of other people’s work (Winpone8, Rimshot, Googorola).

    The magic sauce to success is the “innovation idea system” that sets a group or company off on a long road.

  2. But he forgot the most important thing that Steve would have said : “move on, quit living in the past, live your own life, enough about me do something yourself, stop talking about me all the time and grow up”. Steve lived his own life and he would expect everyone else to live theirs. He didn’t want or need all the attention. The constant praise is all about the people doing the praising. I’m sure that Steve would have certainly said “quit it” by now!

  3. Steve Jobs was unique and inimitable. Don’t even bother trying to copy.
    However, there will be other geniuses, different from him, but bringing equally great contributions.
    So let’s not forget Jobs and not forget as well to keep looking ahead and moving forward.

  4. “The way to succeed like Jobs”… is to give up trying to succeed like Jobs.


    Every person is distinctly different from all others. We each have our talents and our failings. Being an imitation human is a waste of life. Being a sheeple is merely dull cowardice. Game playing, such as business and money, are only diversions. If you want a formula for living, there is none.

    Instead each of us can find, if we persistently strive for it with utmost patience, our best selves. Then we contribute our personal skills and insights for the benefit and survival of the whole planet.

    There was only one Steve Jobs. There is only one You. 😀

    Hallmark: “When you care enough to send the very best.” 😉

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