If there is one person that epitomizes the public imagination of the essence of creative and enterprising genius, it would have to be Steve Jobs. Steve Jobs is the visionary co-founder of Apple Computers. This is the man who brought us the iPod, the iPhone, iPad and a wide variety of computer products most prominently the Mackintosh computers. If you are using a mouse to click on icons and open files on your computer, you have to thank Steve Jobs for that. He may not have invented a whole range of things and he may not have been the most original innovator but he was one of the world’s best technology salesman. Through his personal story, style and engagement with a devotion in McIntosh buying and Apple going public, Steve Jobs embodied the American esteem for innovation, originality and creativity. Many people wondered after Steve Jobs died of cancer whether America could produce another Steve Jobs. The answer of course is a resounding yes. There are many smaller companies fast rising, thanks to the innovation and creative thinking that were supplied by their visionary founders. You don’t have to look far were Steve Jobs lived. Just down the road is a Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook and further down are the google twins, Larry Page and Sergey Brin. There are hundreds of them not just on the west coast but also on the east coast thanks to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. It is no mystery that America produces tech visionaries like its going out of style.
How hard is it for a Non-American society to produce a Steve Jobs?
The right culture. There is something about American culture that tends to poise people to truly pursue their creative limits. This culture embraces the weird, new, and the unusual. If you live in a society that tends to reward conformity and frowns on people who rock the boat or people who have unusual lifestyles or appearances, then that society is less likely to produce a Steve Jobs. People who come out of the woodwork and are able to innovate but tend to be out of mainstream, is quite rare. Remember, children are like wet clay. They latch on to whatever values we imprint on them at an early age. If society tends to look at innovators as weird, unusual or even crazy, chances for innovation at that particular society are quite low. Don’t get me wrong. There is still going to be some sort of innovation just like in Japan and China but their innovations tend to improve on something that has been pioneered by a true visionary before. The Japanese didn’t invent cameras or television sets but they improved on them. That is the kind of innovation you would get from a society that tends to be very conformist.
A society that rewards risk taking
In addition to welcoming innovation and personal weirdness, a society that produces Steve Jobs must reward risk taking. You have to remember that Steve Jobs is a college dropout. There were no safety nets for him. He just basically drifted from job to job but what made him distinctive was that he had a lot of passion for the things he liked to do. In other words, he took a lot of risk and there was a lot of emotional urgency and emotional power in the things he does. This translated over to his future ventures. If a society wanted to create a Steve Jobs or create more Steve Jobs, it would have to change its value system so that people who like to take risks are no longer looked upon as slightly dangerous or weird but people who are on to something. A society that tends to avoid risks is a society that is mediocre, if not outright poor. So if your society would like to create a Steve Jobs that would generate a lot of employment and also applause and prestige from the world over, that society must change their value systems so that risk taking is rewarded.