Steve Jobs: Woodworker?
It might not seem appropriate to talk about Steve Jobs in a blog post supposedly dedicated to the business of woodworking. But I’m going to fall back on a technicality here, that being that the very first Apple computer was made of wood.
Well, of course, the innards were not wood but the case was and not too badly crafted either.
Paul Jobs, Steve’s adoptive father, was a machinist with a company that made lasers. He taught Steve basic electronics which obviously served him well in later life. But he also taught him something that I think was much more important: How to make things. Steve made the Apple computer literally by hand.
Apple’s success is directly attributable to Steve Jobs’ understanding of how things are made. This understanding combined with an uncompromising determination to be a hands-on CEO is why Apple is where it is today. Sure, there was a lot of delegation involved. But Jobs maintained a keen interest in every aspect of Apple, right down to the smallest detail. He worked closely with every department manager, every director, every team leader, and every outside source that the company dealt with.
We might not learn a lot about woodworking from observing Steve Jobs’ management style. But we can learn a heck of a lot about how to run a successful business.