steve jobs and the role of failure and the failure of socialism

Discussion in 'Economics' started by zdreg, Aug 27, 2011.

  1. zdreg


    Nick Schulz of the American Enterprise Institute writing at on Aug. 25:

    [Steve] Jobs failed better than anyone else in Silicon Valley, maybe better than anyone in corporate America. By that I mean Jobs did what only the greatest entrepreneurs can do: learn from their failures. I don't mean learn from their mistakes. I mean learn from their abject, humiliating, bonehead, epic fails.

    Everyone today thinks of Jobs as the genius who gave us the iPod, MacBooks, the iTunes store, the iPhone, the iPad, and so on. Yes, he transformed personal computing and multimedia. But let's not forget what else Jobs did.

    Jobs (along with Steve Wozniak) brought us the Apple I and Apple II computers, early iterations of which sold in the mere hundreds and were complete failures. Not until the floppy disk was introduced and sufficient RAM added did the Apple II take off as a successful product.

    Jobs was the architect of Lisa, introduced in the early 1980s. You remember Lisa, don't you? Of course you don't. But this computer—which cost tens of millions of dollars to develop—was another epic fail. Shortly after Lisa, Apple had a success with its Macintosh computer. But Jobs was out of a job by then, having been tossed aside thanks to the Lisa fiasco.

    Jobs went on to found NeXT Computer, which was a big nothing-burger of a company. Its greatest success was that it was purchased by Apple—paving the way for the serial failure Jobs to return to his natural home. Jobs's greatest successes were to come later—iPod, iTunes, iPhone, iPad, and more.

    Jobs is a great entrepreneur for another reason. Lots of ninnies can give customers products they want. Jobs gave people products they didn't know they wanted, and then made those products indispensable to their lives. I didn't know I needed the ability to read The Wall Street Journal and The Corner on a handsome handheld device at my breakfast table, on the Metro, on the Acela, or in any Starbucks I entered. But Steve Jobs did.

    I didn't know I wanted to mix and match my music collection on a computer and take it with me wherever I went, but Steve Jobs did. I didn't know I wanted a portable multimedia platform that would permit me and my kids to hurl angry birds out of a slingshot at thieving pigs. But Steve Jobs did.

    All those successes were made possible by failure after failure after failure and the lessons learned from those failures. There's a moral here for a Washington culture that fears failure too much. In today's Washington, large banks aren't permitted to fail; nor are large auto firms. Next up will be too-big-to-fail hospital systems. Steve Jobs is a reminder that failure is a good and necessary thing. And that sometimes the greatest glories are born of catastrophe.
  2. Yeah, but did you see that CNBC documentary on Jobs ?
    Especially that one scene where he was talking down and almost chastising a programmer "Is that the best you can do ?"
    Here, this poor guy looks like he's been working all night....

    That was a huge "turn-off" to me regarding Steve Jobs.
    He's a prick. I HATE THAT.
  3. A prick to some, a perfectionist visionary to others.
    Depends on your pov.
  4. Most CEO's are dicks, that's why they can command. Machiavelli said it is much better to be feared than to be loved, as in politics same for business. Also, as a Syrian arab, there is probably the little Arab in Jobs, commanding others to obey.
  5. Thanks for the post. Perseverance in the face of failure is something a lot of great entrepreneurs have in common. Indeed the ability to keep trying over and over even when you fail is probably more important to achieving great success than intelligence, skill, connections, money, or any other factor.

    One of the things that has helped make the US a more entrepreneurial country than most others is our bankruptcy laws and societal tolerance of bankruptcy and starting over. In many countries it is so shameful to go bankrupt and so difficult to discharge debts from a failed business that many people are too afraid to take the risk of starting one.
  6. This is the most disgusting piece of distorted fallacious logic I have ever seen in many years since I studied logic and formal fallacies at graduate school.

    Steve Jobs is simply a statistical outlier. Thousands like Steve Jobs, most good men with good knowledge and dreams, tried to learn from their mistakes and did that hard but were never given a second chance. Failure is permanent and catastrophic for most people and businesses. You do not let banks fail because Steve Jobs learned something from his mistakes. This is ludicrous and a disgusting piece of degenerate thinking.
  7. For a full functioning productive society founded upon capitalistic ideals, Creative Destruction must be embraced. Not to be shunned.
  8. jd7419


    Are you serious?
  9. The possibility of failure is an integral part of free-market capitalism. If the government steps in to prevent certain industries from failing (paid for at the expense of the rest of society) you no longer have a free market, you have something else.

    Also, if failing existing businesses are not permitted to fail, there is no room for new, better ones.

    Failure is not permanent for most people and businesses. Plenty of people start over after failing, including some of the most successful people out there.

    As for not letting banks fail, are you really saying that it is ludicrous and degenerate thinking to not want to use tax dollars taken by force from the public to preserve the business models of people like Lloyd Blankfein and Brian Moynihan? I can't agree.
  10. zdreg


    you led banks fail because they made bad business decisions. executives who made these decisions and squander the resources they managed deserve to be kicked out. people like wilbur ross etc. would have bought these assets for pennies on the dollar. they would have recapitalized the entity and would have attempted to turn it into a profit making organization for themselves and their shareholders. this is the capitalist way failure paves the way for the next up cycle. protecting failed enterprises leads to misallocation of resources and stagnation.
    #10     Aug 27, 2011