“Pirates of Silicon Valley”
1. How would you describe both Jobs’ and Gates’ innovation process?
a. Internal: An innovation process must have a defined goal, mission, and vision to keep the innovation competitive and successful. A firm should start with internal planning and move on to the execution of their innovation once goals and objectives have been defined. Steve Jobs was a rebel who built illegal blue boxes and spent his youthful energies pulling pranks that repeatedly got him suspended from high school. He wasn’t a technical genius (that was his partner Steve Wozniak) but he had an intuitive sense of design and usability, and an almost improvisational approach to business decisions. Jobs was, in essence, a jazz musician who relied on his innate creativity, and turned his lack of formal training into a strength rather than a weakness. His vision, to create a computer for ordinary people’s use, seemed wildly far-fetched to most people at the time. Furthermore, IBM laughed at this idea and even questioned why an ordinary person would need a computer. Finally, despite being turned down by investors and laughed at for his ideas, Apple was born in his garage, and the Macintosh was born. Jobs believed in closed-systems (or fully-integrated systems), meaning that one company designed the computer, the software and all connected devices and peripherals. This belief is what gives Apple products their unique look, and also why Apple products work so well together. Jobs had a successful internal innovation process because he had the technological expertise, a clear vision guiding him to success, and a supportive team that was prepared to work late nights and long days to make this vision become a reality. Bill Gates’ internal innovation process began with the help of his friend Paul, writing code for computers. They eventually dropped out of Harvard to pursue their passion of programming and with the invention of BASIC a new vision was born. They got signed by...
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