At first glance it might be hard to find too many similarities between Bill Gates, Andy Grove and Steve Jobs apart from the fact that the companies they founded changed the very nature of their respective industries. However in their new book Strategy Rules: Five Timeless Lessons from Bill Gates, Andy Grove, and Steve Jobs, David Yoffie and Michael Cusumano point out that there is far more in common among the former CEOs of Microsoft, Intel and Apple than meets the eye.
Yoffie, the Max and Doris Starr Professor of International Business Administration at Harvard Business School, has been writing case studies on these companies since the late 80s and was also on the board of Intel; Cusumano, professor of management at MIT’s Sloan School of Management, has written a book on Microsoft, and both had a deep insight into just how these companies functioned under their founders. A few years ago, the duo got thinking about how there could be some powerful lessons hidden there on how these men built what are now among the world’s most powerful companies. The catalyst for the book though was the passing of Steve Jobs, soon after he stepped down from actively managing the company. “We wanted a completed record (as CEO) for all three of them so that we would know for sure what worked and what didn’t,” says Yoffie.
Grove took some big, unconventional steps at Intel, like the ‘Intel Inside’ branding campaign and the decision to sole source the 386 microprocessor. “No one in the semi-conductor industry had done this before. Intel was at a little over a billion dollars when it made this multi-billion dollar bet. Even when it came to branding, most of the board thought Grove was crazy,” says Yoffie, who was actively involved with Intel at the time. Infact, once when Grove came back from vacation, he found that the entire campaign budget for ‘Intel Inside’ had been scrapped in his absence. He persisted and eventually, both these moves proved to be extraordinarily successful. This was a risk, but Grove made sure that they spread the bet over time with the capex never going over the long term historical averages, and never actually put the company at risk.
It’s not that they are Smart or Genius, they have special qualities of being Visionary, Risk Taking, Non-Materialistic , Perfect Salesman, Reality distortion field & Pioneer/Innovative.
Many of the people are dropouts like Steve Jobs, Elon Musk etc.
People like Steve Jobs, Traitorous eight, Elon Musk and PayPal Mafia they are have achieved most successful people in silicon valley because of the above qualities.
Visionary:- They had the clear road map of how technology will evolve like Steve Jobs had predicted iPad 30 years ago but technology was not evolve at that time
They were great motivators and intimidators. People strived hard for their praise, and they often got them to do that by intimidating them,” he says.Finally, all three had a paranoid streak and never took success for granted even when they were most successful, by not getting arrogant or comfortable in their success. “All three of them believed that they next problem was around the corner and this really made them push the boundaries at all times,” says Yoffie. All these traits contributed to how they ran their companies and how their employees reacted to them.
All the strategic rules they followed are fairly straightforward and easy for any leader to implement, irrespective of the industry he is in. Among the current generation, leaders like Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerbergand Tencent’s Pony Ma are cast in a similar mould. There are a few things leaders end up doing which prevent them from growing their business to its full potential. “Most leaders look back to see what they’ve done successfully in the past and take incremental bets rather than look forward for potential game changers and take big bets,” says Yoffie. If you can think of your organisation and how you can harness the creativity outside the firm to make yourself more successful, it’s easy for anyone to implement these rules irrespective of where they stand in the organisational hierarchy.
Risk Taking:- They would end up taking big risk , they can go to length to which others could, Sometimes they knew that they could easily fail on their ideas that would change the world and yet they took the risk and sometimes go almost bankrupt to become rising billioniares.
Steve Jobs almost became bankrupt in mid-90’s before Pixar IPO which made him billionaire.
Finally, the trio were also similar in possibly the one big mistake they made — the choice of successor. “While the jury is still out on Tim Cook, it appears all three chose someone complementary to themselves, but not a substitute. Steve Ballmer was the perfect complement to Bill Gates and he was critical to making Microsoft successful but couldn’t do what we describe,” says Yoffie. It was the same for Craig Barrett at Intel. The trick then, lies in finding a successor who displays similar characteristics to you, but also has the self-awareness to follow the five strategic rules clearly.
I think none of the IITians have these qualities of taking risk on new ideas such as Touchscreen smartphone or Electric cars.
New Ideas doesn’t means E-commerce or Payment system or drones these already exist.
Non-materialistic:- These people don’t waste their money , instead they invest in making new companies for better part of humanity so that we have the tools to live in comfort..
I don’t think any of the IITians would leave a high package for their passion. They only want jobs created by these successful people that are secure.
Perfect Salesman:- Whether on stage or at back of stage they know the perfect marketing , adverstisement and salesmanship strategy.
Steve Jobs , Elon musk and other entrepreneur have the perfect Showmanship. They believe that if you don’t show to the people the technology People would’nt understand and it’s usage.
Steve Jobs unveiling the iPhone or Elon musk unveiling the Model 3 .
- Reality distortion field:- They believe that they can bend the reality
What does this mean ? These are the things normal people don’t understand.
They had their own ideas, their own vision of what a thing/person can be, they were deep down to the believes of their ideas that this could revolutionize the industry and the most importantly they would give tasks to other people which other people thought impossible yet it was possible due to their believe.
It was also visible in their showmanship when they said “It’s going to cost just $1000” making other people believe that it’s less but after looking other competitor they would say “Why i would give $1000 which is too much expensive”.
- Pioneer or Innovative:- Majority people disbelieve that it’s competition it’s not being competitive It’s being innovative/pioneer.
These People have the thing common is that they were Pioneers in their fielddue to their Pioneering & Innovativeness.
Design and creating a product from scratch is very hard or inventing new technology such as iPhone or PC
Ex:- Steve Jobs was pioneer of personal computer revolution but later became an innovator by using the right pieces of technology to create the iPhone, technology was already there for it’s creation for long time.
Bill Gates was pioneer of software industry.
IITians should focus on this point as they are educated in a system where they study the existing topics of a book that took people many many years to research they focus on creating some thing new.
There are thousands of Smart Peoples and Genuises but there are few who are crazy enough to change things.
Just like Steve Jobs said ““Those who are crazy enough to think they can change the world usually do.”
What ever people say about you it’s doesn’t matters , what you believe that matters.