Back in 1985, when John Sculley and the Apple board basically fired [Steve] Jobs from his own company, they were disgusted that he had left billions of dollars on the table. First, unlike IBM and Microsoft, Jobs had decided against licensing the Apple operating system to other manufacturers, thus discouraging outsiders from developing software apps, which in turn limited the brand’s appeal beyond the aforementioned cultists. And he seemed uninterested in foreign markets, or any market that required him to cleave to market tastes. He was interested only in developing better stuff, and willing to cede 90% of the market to Big Brother along the way. “It’s not the consumer’s job to know what they want,” he famously asserted.
John Fahey, CEO of the National Geographic Society, has approached his job in a very different manner:
1: Who’s Afraid of Rupert Murdoch (on News Corporation’s ownership of the National Geographic Channel)
2. NG Blogger Quits Over Shell Sponsorship (on maintaining editorial independence)
3. Over-extended? (on leveraging the Brand)
4. Adventures in Global Media (on the very high cost of becoming International Geographic)
5. The Troubling Case of Uncle Milton (on partnering with a company that gets an F from the Better Business Bureau)
6. Losing Control of Our Society’s Good Name (on selling National Geographic’s education division to a private equity fund)