If Steve Jobs were German…

October 6, 2011 § Leave a comment

…he probably would still be waiting for a permit or some other authorization for his garage business. On the other hand, he wouldn’t have dropped out of college because he was worried about draining his parents’ savings because his college tuition would be nearly free.

But had he dropped out, he is unlikely to have achieved the greatness that he did.

My son told me this morning that Steve Jobs had died. I was shocked. Not that I didn’t know he was very ill. He had, after all, just left the company he built and loved only a few months ago.

But I guess I just didn’t expect him to go that quickly.

The Germans complain a lot about the U.S. education system and point to our standing in the Pisa rankings as way lower than theirs.
But the fact is we must be doing something right in the United States. Most of the top 10 technology companies are made in the USA: Apple, Google, Microsoft, Intel…
Sure Germany has SAP, but how many others? And how many that have such a worldwide influence and that are not just good technologically — but have been really forward thinking?
A friend of mine said Germans are good at manufacturing what other people come up with. I don’t think that’s entirely true. But there is definitely a difference in the “go-get-it” attitude that you find in the States. This is, after all, a country where people are insured up to their eyeballs.

On the plus side…in the 15 years since I’ve lived here, things have changed for the positive and there are more “Quereinsteiger” than I ever saw in the 90s. Those are folks who haven’t followed a traditional path. But this is still in its infancy compared to the States.

In short, if Steve Jobs were German, I don’t think Apple would be what it is today. I’m not even sure there would be an Apple.

Here’s the best proof of this. Listen to his 2005 Stanford University Commencement speech:

and read some of the thousands of comments to it:

“Well I guess God will get the iphone 5 first before us since Steve up there.”

“Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me … Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful… that’s what matters to me.” –Steve Jobs quote in The Wall Street Journal (Summer 1993) RIP Steve Jobs. You made the world a better place.”

The speech already has over six million hits as of this writing.

Steve Jobs is dead. What a loss.
May he Rest in Peace.

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