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Last week I was in Japan doing a deep dive on Panasonic, a firm I've observed for decades but never really got to know until recently. I've studied Apple in depth since the '80s and I find the contrasts between the firms and their key founders Konosuke Matsushita -- for whom Panasonic was originally named -- and Steve Jobs fascinating. This trip happened shortly after the death of Tim Russert, who received the kind of national adulation typically reserved for a beloved politician, causing me to rethink the definition of success.
I understand and appreciate your broader points in this article about success being measured by the other things than popularity and renown, a la Trump and Russert. Contrasting Jobs and Matsushita is certainly reasonable, as their relationships and management styles with their employees were/are quite different. However, I think you have allowed your distaste for Apple and Steve Jobs in particular to taint your points so heavily that I can find little of value among them.
For example, your conclusions about what Jobs and Matsushita learned from Eastern religions--that Jobs learned how a religious leader could manipulate his flock, while Matsushita learned how to treat employees like family--make for a great contrast, but I don't think there is any evidence ANYWHERE that Jobs was influenced in this way. Your evidence, please?
Also, trotting out employee loyalty to contrast Jobs and Matsushita ignores the fact that loyalty to ones company has been an ingrained cultural norm in Japan for many decades--it has nothing to do with Matshshita's management style.
Never having been an Apple employee, I have no idea bout how the rank and file feels about the possibility of being "Steved", but I suspect morale at Apple is very high. If Apple employees are as underpaid as you suggest, and are as abused by and fearful of Jobs as you imply, why would they stay? Yet, the most talented and creative engineers in Silicon Valley continue to work for Apple. I think loyalty to their company's ideals, which are essentially Steve Jobs' ideals, plays a large role. Contrasting these ideals between Jobs and Matsushita would be far more interesting and enlightening than continuing to slip in hits and slights against a company and man you appear to irrationally hate. I have to wonder if Steve Jobs killed your dog, Rob. I mean, really!
Your next paragraph about contrasting customer views is very confused, and struggles to find ways to depict Apple negatively. My personal loyalty to Apple comes despite Steve Jobs, not because of him. My first three Apple purchases--a Performa 450, a 20th Anniversary Mac, and a Newton MessagePad--were all developed after Jobs had left Apple. I'm still bitter that he killed the Newton line. But I have to appreciate the products developed since, and I certainly feel my 5 year old PowerBook is the best computer I've ever owned, and am ready to buy an AirBook in the near future. Why? It has nothing to do with Steve Jobs and everything to do with the quality and user experience I consistently encounter and expect as a matter of course with Apple products. If another company can achieve and surpass that, then I have no hesitation about trying their products. Apple's success comes because most Apple fans have had similar experiences, not because we are unthinking followers of the Cult of Steve.
I hope you can shake off your dislike of whatever is irking you about Steve Jobs and Apple enough to write intelligently and honestly about them in the future. I liked the premise of this article a great deal. It's really a shame that the legitimate contrasts that are there between Apple/Panasonic and Jobs/Matsushita couldn't have been outlined more fairly and thoroughly. Perhaps a followup article could delve more deeply, but if you are unable to separate out your biases, Rob, then pass this task on to another writer, please.