can I get a hell yeah?

You are not Steve Jobs

Erin Caton
Apr 19, 2013 · 4 min read

A young CEO storms through his start-up, a tiny Godzilla, crushing the feelings of his staff like so many Japanese paper maché buildings. He rubs his forehead in meetings and loudly ponders why no one is as smart as he is. No ideas are to be considered for the product unless he initiated them. He is trying his damnedest to be just like his recently departed hero — Mr. Steve Jobs.

Now, here’s where I burn my bridge and never work at Apple ever again. I only have two personal experiences with Steve Jobs:

  1. In my first two weeks of being hired, he cut in line in front of me and a co-worker at the office cafeteria sushi kiosk. I said to my co-worker, “Who is this douche?” as I had never seen an Apple keynote at that point. My co-worker whispered, “That’s STEVE.” Okay, I noted to myself, Steve is a bit of a dick.

Even Steve Jobs wasn't Steve Jobs initially. He only outed himself as a giant jerk after he had a company that could afford to have a huge turnover, and he had a pile of minions that hero-worshiped him no matter what he did. He was an abusive husband to an entire company. But at least he had a track record of success. If you do not have his history, maybe consider being nice to your staff. And even if you do, consider this a cautionary tale. The best thing you can do for your product is to have your staff tell you the truth, and listen to it. Godzilla-CEO, you cannot build a product all on your own, you rely on your staff, who you presumably hired because they were smart and competent. If you treat your staff with respect and incorporate their good ideas into your product, they will give you the adoration that people gave Steve, without the downsides that come from ruling with fear. So go forth into the product sphere, play nice, and build great things together with all of the talented people who are working so hard on your behalf. You, your product and your staff will all be better off.

Business Erin

My work philosophies

Thanks to Jason Sims.

    Erin Caton

    Written by

    Chaos & product specialist, making a fuss in Toronto. Single mom, cancer survivor, food intolerant foodie, with MCS, lymphedema & probably more annoying things.

    Business Erin

    My work philosophies