There isn’t a CEO in the world who wouldn’t do well to try and emulate the late Steve Jobs in some way, shape or form. He was a visionary, and took Apple from a relatively low point to being one of the most successful companies in the history of the world. But trying to be him, or just like him, would be a vain endeavor.
An hilarious tipster brought to our attention that Jack Dorsey, a Twitter co-founder and Square founder and CEO, may be attempting the latter. In fact, the tipster was gracious enough to bundle up all the evidence in a cute little Tumblr.
EXHIBIT A: ON GETTING FIRED
In 1987, Jobs was fired from Apple, from which he went on to work with NeXT and Pixar, later returning to be the CEO of Apple. But when he was asked to leave the company he had helped build, he told Playboy the following:
I feel like somebody just punched me in the stomach.
Dorsey suffered through a similar situation, wherein he was made chairman of Twitter but no longer an employee. He told Vanity Fair:
It was like being punched in the stomach.
EXHIBIT B: “THIS HAS NEVER BEEN DONE BEFORE”
Steve Jobs was a part of many unprecedented changes. The iPod changed the music industry. The iPad changed the computing industry. The iPhone? The iPhone changed everything.
But Jack Dorsey is a pioneer in his own right. He built a massive social network that has changed the way news travels. He is totally disrupting the credit card industry. So it only makes sense that the two would have the same feelings on their accomplishments. But apparently, they also have the same exact wording to describe it.
Jobs in 2010 at the D8 Conference:
Dorsey speaking with Kara Swisher in May 2011:
EXHIBIT C: “PROUD OF WHAT WE HAVEN’T DONE”
In 2008, Jobs explained that part of what makes Apple so successful, moreso than other tech companies, is that they’ve managed to turn such a huge profit on so few devices. He said to CNN Money:
I’m actually as proud of many of the things we haven’t done as the things we have done. The clearest example was when we were pressured for years to do a PDA, and I realized one day that 90% of the people who use a PDA only take information out of it on the road. They don’t put information into it. Pretty soon cellphones are going to do that, so the PDA market’s going to get reduced to a fraction of its current size, and it won’t really be sustainable. So we decided not to get into it. If we had gotten into it, we wouldn’t have had the resources to do the iPod. We probably wouldn’t have seen it coming.
In February of this year, Dorsey had this to say in celebration of Square’s 3rd anniversary:
EXHIBIT D: SURPRISE AND DELIGHT
“Surprise and delight” is an incredibly common phrase in the tech world. Companies are always looking to please customers. In fact, “delight” is a word I hear a lot out of Microsoft executives. But lo and behold, it’s yet another thing that Mr. Jobs and Mr. Dorsey have in common.
Jobs at a 2010 Apple press conference:
Dorsey in 2011:
EXHIBIT E: THE BEATLES
Both Steve Jobs and Jack Dorsey have a fondness for The Beatles. Jobs even went so far as to use the iconic four-man band as an example of how to manage and be a part of a team:
Dorsey also makes The Beatles a regular part of his work life:
EXHIBIT F: “PUT IT ON THE SHELF” PHILOSOPHY
As has been made perfectly clear, Apple is all about focus. Rather than releasing hundreds of products a year, the company spends months and years developing a single product, perfecting it as much as possible. In any production environment with these standards, timing becomes very important. Sometimes, you must simply “put it on the shelf” and return another day.
Not surprisingly, Dorsey feels the same way:
Our tipster has a whole page full of examples, so I encourage you to head over to the Tumblr Steve Jobs Spirit and check it out. We’ll close with a word from the blog itself.
Stop trying to be me. Stop trying to be the next me. Be the first Jack Dorsey.