In an article in today’s WSJ about the relative stock prices of Apple and Facebook, Jeffrey Sonnenfield, a management professor at Yale, is quoted as saying “there was a grandiosity about the Facebook’s management team that was problematic.”
More and more, we are the center of our own universes on platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Google Reader. We are learning to move quickly and filter content in a way that runs counter to our ability to see the long-term big picture.
Yet one thing has not changed. It takes a long time to build something of value and substance. Ask today’s top bloggers who started 8-10 years ago. And it takes a long view to create something sustainable. It requires you to stay humble and not place yourself at the center of the universe.
In the film, Steve Jobs: The Lost Interview, Jobs said something repeatedly in response to questions about his ego and control, he said, “It’s not about me. It was never about me. It was about the product.”
And for everything we know about Jobs, I believe that. He was driven to create a product with a magical experience. It’s the mission that lasts. Individuals move on to other companies and some day, like Jobs, we will be gone physically. Grandiosity is a step in the wrong direction. If we are at the center of what we create, when we are gone, it is gone.