Let Us Not Overvalue Our Heroes

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 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

Flops, brought to you by A.I.

"To err" is to be robotic — apparently.


KAZUHIRO NOGI
/ Getty Images
Technology & Innovation
  • About 3.1 million individuals could lose their job to self-driving cars.
  • A.I. is not a monolith. It makes a lot of mistakes.
  • To better understand how to navigate our economic future, we should pay attention to these mistakes.
Keep reading Show less

Russian reporters discover 101 'tortured' whales jammed in offshore pens

Protected animals are feared to be headed for the black market.

(VL.ru)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Russian news network discovers 101 black-market whales.
  • Orcas and belugas are seen crammed into tiny pens.
  • Marine parks continue to create a high-price demand for illegal captures.
Keep reading Show less

NYTimes exposé reveals how Facebook handled scandals

Delay, deny and deflect were the strategies Facebook has used to navigate scandals it's faced in recent years, according to the New York Times.

(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • The exhaustive report is based on interviews with more than 50 people with ties to the company.
  • It outlines how senior executives misled the public and lawmakers in regards to what it had discovered about privacy breaches and Russian interference in U.S. politics.
  • On Thursday, Facebook cut ties with one of the companies, Definers Public Relations, listed in the report.
Keep reading Show less