I have been astounded by how much has been written about Steve Jobs since his death and how little much of it actually said.
The New Yorker, though, had a very short piece which I think is the best I’ve read and has much we can all learn. It’s called How Steve Jobs Changed, and describes how one of the keys to Apple’s success was Jobs making compromises about how much control the company would have on its products. Instead of keeping it completely closed, as he initially insisted upon, Apple subsequently opened up the iPod to mp3 compatibility and let thousands of outside developers create apps for the iPhone and iPad.
The last line in the article, I think, is particularly useful for us teachers and others in education to keep in mind:
“In giving up a little control, Jobs found a lot more power”
It’s similar to the community organizing principle that says power is not a finite pie — if you get some it doesn’t necessarily mean I have less. In fact, the more power is distributed, then the bigger the entire pie becomes….
It sounds to me like a good guide for a classroom management strategy, a good way for a principal to lead a school, and a good plan for a superintendent in a school district…..