A Tale of Two Geniuses

 

Einstein and Jobs

Jerry Mills is the founder of B2B CFO® and a great mentor to all of us.  He recommended we read Steve Jobs written by Walter Isaacson.  The book was so good I bought another Isaacson book, Einstein, His Life and Universe.  This post is about the lessons we can learn from these two inspired men.

I am always looking to learn, to get better. To study, to try and understand really successful people is a great way to learn.  I hope you enjoy this post.

Steve Jobs was born in 1955, the same year Albert Einstein died.  Obviously, they never knew each other and yet were remarkably similar in their approach to life and to their life’s work.  Here are some lessons learned from these two over achievers.

  Steve Jobs Albert Einstein
The Person
Field of Success Consumer Electronics Products Theoretical Physics
Religious Beliefs There is a greater being, but not the personal God traditional Christians believe in. There is a greater being, but not the personal God traditional Christians believe in.
Family Life Long term marriage but somewhat detached Long term marriage but somewhat detached
Social connections Reluctant celebrity.  Small group of very loyal friends that were also part of his work. Reluctant celebrity.  Small group of very loyal friends that were also part of his work.
Social Interaction Generally aloof Gennerally aloof
Their Business          
Level of commitment Couldn’t be higher.  Commitment is too small a word. Obsession would be closer to the truth.  Couldn’t be higher.  Commitment is too small a word. Obsession would be closer to the truth.
Path to success Defining the goal and relentlessly pursing it.  Never stopping, never diverted, never compromise. Defining the goal and relentlessly pursing it.  Never stopping, never diverted, never compromise.
Great Achievements Apple iPod, Apple Store, Apple iPad Special theory of relativity,     E = MC2
Propensity to make mistakes Very high.  He was oftentimes wrong.Fortunately, he surrounded himself with staff that would challenge him at every step. Very high.  He was oftentimes wrong.  Fortunately, he surrounded himself with staff that would challenge him at every step.
How was he considered by the media. A trendsetter.  He conceived of things no one else had ever considered. A trendsetter.  He conceived of things no one else had ever considered.
Underlying driving force The need to create something for the greater good of society.  The need to create something for the greater good of society.
Activities when away from people. Thought experiments, play with what-if scenarios.  Always challenging himself. Thought experiments, play with what-if scenarios.  Always challenging himself.
How did he overcome objections? Demanding proof in the error of his ways.  Opinions of others were not respected without a good argument. Demanding proof in the error of his ways.  Opinions of others were not respected without a good argument.
Desire to make money. Almost non-existent.  Wealth was a by-product of the deliverables, never an end it ninself. Almost non-existent.  Wealth was a by-product of the deliverables, never an end it ninself.

 

Every one of us can learn great lessons from these two men.  And as different as they were, as different their “products,” there were common themes to the path to threir success.  My belief is if we add more successful men to this post, we would find similar success elements.  From Jefferson to Lincoln to Ford to Edison.  All had the same formula to success.

 

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