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Steve Jobs: Lessons on Risk

steve jobsThis interview between Morgan O'Rourke and the author of Steve Jobs, Walter Isaacson provides an immense insight into how Steve Jobs was willing (and unwilling) to take risks that fundamentally propelled Apple to a level of recognition and fame unparalleled in modern business. Isaacson reveals a man who was willing to take intelligent risk: whether the end result was clear or not. For instance, Jobs would make decisions that could, effectively, destroy his company:

He would call it “betting the company” on a strategy. It wasn't like they were going to make 40 peripheral products and see which one worked. They bet the farm on the iPod, which was the first real peripheral they built, and they bet the farm on the iPhone. He was able to package these new devices in a very artistic and appealing way. Sony was trying to make mp3 players, and Microsoft was trying to make tablets. But none of them had the passion to make them really well and to just bet that if you made a great one you would be able to sell it for more than anyone else and sell more copies.
What can the CIO learn from Steve Jobs? Being a leader doesn't mean playing it safe, nor does it mean being a maverick and betting the whole house with each decision. Jobs had the balance somewhere in between — willing to take risks when it made sense and banking on the information that was before him. 

About Anne Grybowski

Anne is a former staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success, with a degree in Media Studies from Penn State University.

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