Steve Jobs can Resurrect the USA's Economy
So long Steve Jobs. Thanks for the innovation and economic stimulation. We'll try not to let you down, we'll do our best to take some lessons from your life to build great companies and maybe even help our ailing country.
I know you'd want to make sure that Americans realize the key to the US being great again isn't digging holes and filling them in with new pavement. Growth will come from the innovation and investment in technology. The iPod, iPhone, iPad and the Macs have brought billions of dollars of revenue, jobs and growth to the United States. Yes, they are assembled in China, but that's OK because 80% of the revenue and profits stay here in the USA with the skilled labor that makes the chips, designs the system and writes the code. The coolest part is that the majority of AAPL revenue comes from outside the US (in Q1 2011 the $23 billion in revenue included only $9.2 billion was from the Americas) - that means a lot of other countries are sending us money.
Are these four lessons enough to save us? Yes, I know only if we all buy in. I get that, let's at least try:
Lesson#1 - invest in technology and technology training. People around the world will send money to US companies if they make great products, but we need stimulus to help catalyze the current generation of entrepreneurs in their parent's garage.
Antonym - do the same thing we did 80 years ago. No one in Germany, or Japan is sending money for the road that was rebuilt from the traffic circle to Sankaty in Nantucket, and the guys who built it? Collecting unemployment again.
Lesson #2 - you don't have to be first, you just have to be the best. MP3 players were around for years, but my Mom never used one. The iPod changed that. Same with phones, laptops and tablets none invented by Apple. All perfected by you. Let's take great ideas from around the world and make them better.
Antonym - "this is how we have always done it". Someone should be able to sue a major corporation because the coffee was hot and they burnt their tongue.
Lesson #3 - work harder than everyone else, take accountability, have passion and discipline. Apple engineers would at times work 48 hours straight, stay at the office over Christmas, just to be the first to market, or to make sure the product was the most amazing it could be. That dedication is born from passion and pride.
Antonym - let's get fat, sit around watching mindless television shows, complain about work life balance and expect someone else to solve the tough problems for us. Then bitch when they don't.
Lesson #4 - Make a dent in the Universe. Do great things that will change the world. Think really big. Attack tough problems - from energy and communication, to tort reform and terrorism. we need to solve big issues as a unified force that makes the US collective so powerful.
Antonym - do just enough to keep the status quo and try to amass as much political power as possible for personal gain.
Steve, we will do our best to apply these lessons. We'll try to stay hungry and stay foolish.
Written on my iPad.