Why I Would Want Steve Job's Job

February 07, 2007

Lately I have written a number of more serious essays, so it's time for something lighter.

If Steve Jobs has to step down from Apple Computer for whatever reason, I am ready to take on the job. Why am I the perfect candidate (in my own mind)?

  • I have been passionate about Apple since I bought my first Apple II+ in 1979 or so, and since 1984 I have used Macs exclusively at home. One time I had a PC for a few months but it died.
  • From 1984 until 1994 I ran two small Macintosh software companies (Data Tailor, and the SU5 Group). Of course the most people we ever had was 13.
  • In 1995-1996 I worked at Apple when it sucked. Shortly after I left Steve came back and it stopped sucking. So I know where the offices are and have plenty of examples of suckiness at Apple to avoid.
  • I competed with Bill Gates and Microsoft Excel in the late 80's and failed. Then again, we didn't have a $12B pile of cash either. If we had it wouldn't have sucked to compete.
  • New products and new technologies are built by people with vision. I can see OK and use my eyes to see what's going on in the world.
  • Although I can't work for a dollar a year, I don't need a free airplane and am willing to work for a living wage (which in Cupertino requires quite a bit). Options are definitely optional.
  • I would refuse to be CEO of any other company at the same time.
  • I look good in a black turtleneck and jeans. I hate ties, suits, and the whole business dress thing.
  • Unlike Steve I am generally a tactful person. Like Steve I hate crap, moronic managers, pencil pushers, yes-people and engineers who refuse to take chances with technology.
  • Unlike Steve I am an engineer with 25 years experience and can talk the talk and walk the walk and all that.
  • I would never fire someone during an elevator ride. It's safer to wait until later.
  • My sister is a VP at IBM so there is a precedent in the family. It means nothing here but always a good thing to mention your family members doing well.
  • I have no desire to tear down my house. This would play well with the local government. Of course I would have to move so I can't say if the new house would remain standing.
  • I would always show up for meetings on time. Being German I hate being early or late. This would probably scare people at Apple.
  • And finally, the job would be a blast. Being at the forefront of new technologies, new products, new possibilities, and surrounded by an army of passionate Apple employees would be my idea of a dream job.

OK, dream over. Back to (finding) work.