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Thursday, March 23, 2006

A New Business Ethos: Not About the Consumer Anymore

From Michael Wolff's provocative profile of Steve Jobs:

Now, the central point about American business, not least of all the media business, is that it's not supposed to be about you. It's supposed to be about the consumer. You have to give the people, the American lumpen, what it seems they want. (Although, judging by audience flight, such unctuous eagerness to please in the media business has had the effect of producing things that, in fact, the American consumer doesn't much want.) Whereas the unique thing, and one of the frustrating things about Jobs's business life, is that it has always been about what he wants. What floats his boat. What gets him hot. It's about him—in a single-minded, despotic, unrestrained, not-a-little-dysfunctional way.

Steve's ascendancy represents, for better or worse, the triumph of personal righteousness in American business.


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