Business Case Studies, Executive Interviews, Eileen Fischer on Steve Jobs

Help
Bookmark
Tell A Friend

Executive Interviews: Interview with Eileen Fischer on Steve Jobs
March 2010 - By Dr. Nagendra V Chowdary


Eileen Fischer
David Conklin, is a Professor of Marketing and the Anne and Max Tanenbaum Chair in Entrepreneurship and Family Enterprise

Download this interview
  • What does Steve Jobs mean to you?What does the brand ‘Steve Jobs’ stand for?
    The personal brand Steve Jobs has achieved is a fascinating one. His own brand is closely coupled with the aesthetic and technological appeal of the Apple products. He is viewed as a design-focused CEO who drives his company to innovate. His confrontational, anti-corporate personal style help to reinforce this image for innovation: what Jobs does and what Apple creates is still seen as somehow bucking the staid, institutional trends of others in the industry, which is wonderfully ironic, given the iconic status of Jobs as a business leader.

  • Many describe Steve Jobs as the greatest marketer ever. What are your impressions about Steve Jobs as a marketer?What is your assessment of Apple’s and i-series (iPod, iTunes, iPhone, etc.) marketing strategies? How was it that, for all these years, one of the top-rated Global 100 brands never had any brand ambassador?
    Jobs has been brilliant at contributing to his own brand while building that of Apple (or if you prefer, at building the Apple brand, while contributing to his own). There are scholarly articles that suggest it is bad for companies to have CEOs who are celebrities. In the case of Apple, though, there is a great synergy. The attention he gets benefits Apple, and the attention Apple gets benefits him. And the kinds of association that each has benefits the other. Isn’t he really Apple’s brand ambassador?

  • In one of the widely watched and read speeches (Commencement address at Stanford, in 2005), Steve Jobs observed, “ Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do”. What specific qualities make Steve Jobs stand out as a unique and enigmatic leader?Was it his love for what he was doing or was it his love for what he created?
    There can be little doubt that Jobs has loved doing what he does. It seems he takes great pride and satisfaction in that which has resulted. But if we’re going to take any “teachable lessons” from his case, then its important that we do not discount the role of media in creating a persona for Jobs. It’s the media coverage, as much as any personal qualities he possesses, that make Jobs seem unique and enigmatic. The stories of the founding of Apple, of Job’s departure from it, and of his triumphant return, have been made into legendary business tales that take on a life of their own. What we know of him, and perhaps to some extent how he views himself, has been co-created by the media and other stakeholders over the years.

  • There can be little doubt that Jobs has loved doing what he does. It seems he takes great pride and satisfaction in that which has resulted. But if we’re going to take any “teachable lessons” from his case, then its important that we do not discount the role of media in creating a persona for Jobs. It’s the media coverage, as much as any personal qualities he possesses, that make Jobs seem unique and enigmatic. The stories of the founding of Apple, of Job’s departure from it, and of his triumphant return, have been made into legendary business tales that take on a life of their own. What we know of him, and perhaps to some extent how he views himself, has been co-created by the media and other stakeholders over the years.
    One way of looking at the story of Jobs/Apple is as a perfect illustration of the basic premise that identifying and meeting unmet marketplace needs is a great way of succeeding in business. The Apple offerings which Jobs helped to bring to the market have provided consumers with something that other products and services don’t. The trick, of course, is to keep having offerings that are preferred to those of competitors by a viable segment of the market. It’s something Apple has done well, thanks in part to Jobs.

  • What distinguishes Steve Jobs 1, the young man who started Apple, and Steve Jobs 2, the guy who came back to Apple and turned it around?
    Experience with both success and failure. Learning fromthe failureswas probably as critical as learning from the successes.



Contact us: IBS Case Development Centre (IBSCDC), IFHE Campus, Donthanapally, Sankarapally Road, Hyderabad-501 504, Andhra Pradesh, INDIA.
Mob: +91- 9640901313, Phone: +91 - 08417 - 236672, Fax : + 91 - 08417 - 236674
E-mail: info@ibscdc.org

©2003-2010 IBS Case Development Centre. All rights reserved. | Careers | Privacy Policy | Terms of Use | Disclosure | Site Map xml sitemap