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Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

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Let Us Not Overvalue Our Heroes

by Joi Ito
October 27, 2013, 8:00 AM

I think that Steve Jobs was brilliant.  I think that he was an amazing risk taker, but I also think heroes are overrated. 

I think that he had an amazing company, he had amazing people, and he also made mistakes.  I mean I think deciding that the optical disk was the only way you’re going to be able to pop to your next killed that thing.  And he did that despite a lot of people telling him it was a bad idea.  I think he learned over a long period through failures that he had.  And I think it’s important to listen to and think about Steve Jobs in the context in which the design is important and all that. 

There are a lot of lessons to learn, but it’s also important not to overvalue or overrate heroes.  I think we always look for heroes.  I think it’s really important to have a community.  I think it’s really important to have openness and diversity and I think in general, you know, I think leadership and heroes are overrated.  So that would be my cautionary – and again, at a high level, it’s very easy to say things, but when you try to apply them, it becomes a little bit more complicated. 

In Their Own Words is recorded in Big Think's studio.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock


Let Us Not Overvalue Our He...

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