Friday, October 7, 2011

Don't Settle?

The unfortunate passing of Steve Jobs has highlighted his accomplishments and his vision. But one bit of of his wisdom might require some qualification or at least discussion. Steve emphasized following what people love and not compromising that. Indeed, he pressed his engineers to solve insoluble problems, and they did. He didn't settle for their expert advice. There is much to be said for persistence. Since he was writing the checks he could be as persistent with his engineers as he wanted.

But then we see that applied to governance and it's not nearly so inspiring. In our nation's capitals politicians have become fixated on their visions and refuse to settle, e.g., the need to raise taxes or to cut entitlements to reduce the deficit. No one wants to settle lest they be deemed a loser or having compromised his or her beliefs. Speaker of the House John Boehner rejects the idea of "compromise" out of hand.

I hope that Steve's followers will have his wisdom to distinguish between technological innovation and getting things done.