It would seem that there is a common trend with the way businessmen with creative and highly innovative ideas act. There is an arrogance and cockiness to them, that although may seem justified by their accomplishments, are in fact unprofessional and self-defeating.
In “Something Ventured”, a documentary about venture capital, Steve Jobs is highlighted in the movie for his development of the personal computer. It talks about the beginnings of Apple and how it was financed through early VC money by some of the first venture capitalists in the world. These VCs were pure businessmen looking to generate returns and create lasting businesses. When confronted by an arrogant and unprofessional Steve Jobs the strictly business professionals fired him from his own company. This type of behavior is shown in several CEOs as they believe they are the reason for the company’s great success and show very little respect for those who have helped them succeed. Another example of this type of CEO would be our new social media rock star Mark Zuckerberg.
It is my opinion that these types of leaders are not what great companies are made out of and in fact companies who rely on these types of leaders will not stand the test of time. This isn’t only my opinion; there has been studies done on the types of leaders that make great lasting companies. In Jim Collins’ research in Good to Great, there is an undeniable relationship between a great company that is built to last and the humble leaders that serve in them. These are the leaders we need in order to make companies truly successful.
Although Apple has done well during Steve Jobs’ reign, my prediction for Apple’s future is a mediocre one. I don’t think Apple has what it takes to keep its competitive advantage. New companies will imitate and innovate while Apple will lose its edge in the near future. It is because of the arrogance that the company was built on. The attitude is self-defeating and you can see that in Steve Jobs’ life. A quote Steve made towards the end of his life gives a defining insight on why arrogance ruins, “I will spend my last dying breath if I need to, and I will spend every penny of Apple’s $40 billion in the bank, to right this wrong. I’m going to destroy Android, because it’s a stolen product. I’m willing to go thermonuclear war on this.”