by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Only those who appreciate the importance of “loss” in a system of “profit and loss” will appreciate the following blurb from the latest National Review:
Steve Jobs’ resignation as CEO of Apple prompted an outpouring of adulation for his truly marvelous successes. It would do us all better to focus on his failures. Jobs failed better than anyone in corporate America and did what only the greatest entrepreneurs do: learn from one’s mistakes. While everyone today thinks of Jobs as the genius who gave us the iPhone and the iPad, Jbs also brought us the Apple I, which sold in the mere hundreds. Jobs was the architect of Lisa, which cost tens of millions of dollars to develop and also failed epically. Jobs founded NeXT Computer, a now-forgotten firm whose highest-profile success was its purchase by Apple. The acquisition paved the way for the serial failure Jobs to return to his natural home — and thrive. There’s a moral here for a Washington culture that fears (private-sector) failure too much. In today’s Washington, large banks aren’t permitted to fail; nor are large uto firms. Next up will be too-big-to-fail hospital systems. Steve Jobs is a reminder that failure is a good and necessary thing. And that sometimes the greatest glories are born of catastrophe.