RUSH: I am reminded that I haven’t had a chance to comment on the Steve Jobs resignation since I was away when it happened. I was away. He resigned as CEO. He’s staying on as chairman of the board. TMZ, the gossip site, published a picture of Jobs a couple of days ago after he resigned (ostensibly a couple days after his resignation), which portrayed Jobs as very ill and not looking good at all. I have told people… In fact, I was in Hawaii last week when all this happened, and when it happened, I said to my golf buddies, “Steve Jobs is one of the five people that I haven’t met that I would like to meet.” They said, “Who are the other four?” and I said, “I don’t know. I can’t name ’em off the top of my head.”
But I want to reserve my comments on Jobs. Everybody is talking about Jobs writing obituaries, practically, and I don’t want what I would have to say sound like that at this stage, but what he’s done is amazing, and his stated philosophies. If you haven’t seen it, one thing you should try to find… In fact, you know what we’ll do? We’ll find it, we’ll link to it at RushLimbaugh.com. He did the commencement speech at Stanford, I believe, in 2005, and it is in the annals as one of the all-time great commencement speeches. One of the things that he said he learned in the commencement speech, he said he learned is that you cannot connect the dots going forward.
You can only connect the dots of your life looking backward, and it is from the backward connection of the dots that you learn where you should go. But he said something that resonated with me because in my case it happens to be true. He’s telling these assembled graduates that this is the closest he’s ever come to a graduation ceremony because he quit. He was a dropout. He said that he was very lucky: He found what he loved — and once you find that, once you find what you love to do, once you find what you love you want to do, if you stick with it, you generally are going to have a satisfying and happy life. You have ups and downs, and not everything is gonna go your way.
But he said the trick for all human beings in their lives is to find what you love, to be honest about it, and if it doesn’t reveal itself to you automatically, search deep. Find out what it is that you love. Now, he doesn’t say this, I do, but the reason that’s important is if you end up doing what you love, you’re really never working. It doesn’t strike you as work. There’s nothing really arduous about it. It has its challenges, its tough days, but you don’t get up every day saying, “Gosh, I wish I didn’t have to do this.” You get up every day looking forward to doing what you’re going to do. It’s a shame so few people actually find out what it is that they love. But the whole commencement speech is very much worth reading, learning from.
He also said (not in a commencement speech) that profit, that’s not what we’re interested in at Apple. We’re interested in building products we love. He said there’s not one committee at Apple. We don’t do market research. The customer doesn’t know what he wants two years down the road. If we sat around and we did focus groups and asked customers what they want, we would never have existed. If the customer knew what he wanted, he’d be building it himself. It’s up to us to figure out what the customer wants, and what he did was simply build stuff he loved. Just stuff that he loved. If you believe the mythology — and there’s always mythology associated with singular figures who are founders of corporations or companies or what have you.
There’s a lot of mythology that attaches to them, meaning that they end up being built up to be bigger than they were, but in Jobs’ case, he clearly was the energy behind the new Apple when he took over. He was actually ousted from the company he founded by John Sculley. John Sculley was the CEO of Pepsico. Jobs recruited him. He said, “You really want to spend your life selling sugar water to people, or do you want to really matter?” So he got Sculley and he eventually in a boardroom coup ousted Jobs. Jobs went on to found Pixar, which is the nation’s number one animation movie studio in the world and owned by Disney, after they bought it from Jobs for something like $7 billion; and as such Jobs, I think, is the largest Disney stockholder (larger even than Warren Buffett) and he’s on the Disney board.
The other thing he did was build a high-end for its time computer system called “NeXT,” and one of the Apple CEOs following Sculley, Gil Amelio, ended up buying NeXT (i.e., buying Jobs) bringing Jobs back in the nineties, and Jobs then ousted Amelio and ended up back as the CEO. There’s a guy at Apple who designs all their stuff. His name is Jonathan Ive. He’s a Brit. “Jony Ive.” There’s a story that when Jobs came back into Apple in the nineties the place was dispirited; management was not focused at all on products relating to customers and so forth. It was typical know-it-all management. It was arrogant. So he was taking a tour of what Apple had become in his absence, and he ran across this guy Jonathan Ive, and he was sitting in front of some prototype computers.
And Jonathan Ive had been there about a year and was ready to quit because he was getting no support with his prototypes. Jobs looked at the prototype, and apparently, according to the story, was dazzled by it and put his arm around Jony Ive and said, “You and I are gonna be working side by side together for a long time.” That product was the iMac. Now, the original iMac was the first one-piece computer with everything but the keyboard in it. It was weird looking. It looked like a reverse teardrop or a sideways teardrop that came in a bunch of transparent colors. They even Don Imus advertised it when it first came out: “iMac, I-Man” for a while. The iMac is now the second in their top of the line computers. It’s a piece of art. Jony Ive designs the iPhone. Jony Ive designs the iPad. He’s the industrial guy. He designs the shell. He designs what you look at, and then the engineers design the guts. He’s one of the guys that Jobs saved, and I’m sure there are many more. These stories are plentiful out there, but I look at Apple and I’ll just describe myself as an Apple consumer to you.
You know, ladies and gentlemen, I myself am a marketing specialist. No, no, no, I’m being serious about this. I’m a marketing specialist, as you well know, as you will acknowledge. As a marketing specialist, I am supposed to be immune from the marketing efforts of others. But of course what is the prime purpose of marketing? To separate you from your money, happily. You don’t tell people how you’re going to do it. You don’t prepare them. You just do it. You have your marketing plan, everything that’s incumbent with it, and you execute it.
My first stab at genuine marketing was when I was with the Kansas City Royals, and every season we had a marketing plan, a theme to the season that could not be related to how well the team was gonna play because nobody knew. So the marketing plan had to be oriented toward having a great time at the ballpark no matter what happened on the field. We’d start the marketing plan the day the season ended, and about January or February the media would go, “What’s the marketing plan this year?” I’m not gonna tell you what the marketing plan is. Why should I give people a chance to oppose it or to build up a resistance to it? We’re just gonna implement it at some point.
Well, here I am a marketing specialist, supposedly immune to the tricks of the trade. I’m almost afraid to admit this. I spend 10 to 15% of my working day trying to find out when the next iPhone is coming and what the next operating system is going to be, rather than just wait for it. I think the stuff that Apple does — now, I’ve not used an Android phone. I’ve read about them. I know what Android has and I know the things that they do that ostensibly are ahead of Apple, but as a Mac guy, you know, I’ve tried BlackBerrys, and the process of syncing calendars and address books is not worth it. Once the iPhone hit, that’s all I needed to sync everything and have it done.
The things that they have coming in the next two months for somebody like me are going to improve my productivity tenfold, and at the same time they are going to increase the fun factor I have doing it immeasurably, with the new operating system. This OS X Lion on the computer is just… I’m dazzled by it. Now, I’m just a consumer. I’m not a fanboy. I don’t know how this stuff works, and that’s another brilliant thing about Apple. It just does. You don’t know how it has to work, you don’t know what’s going on underneath the shell. It just does. And all this I think is Steve Jobs, with a lot of great support people that he’s inspired, motivated, and I’m sure he’s got his share of enemies inside the place as well. It’s common in every place you go.