By Joey McCord

CPO/COO | 12.12.2015

< 9.10.2015 Early stages
1.25.2016 Moneyball >

I'm not here to argue whether Steve Jobs was the greatest living CEO/technologist/product guy on the planet. However, I believe he has caused a huge divide in the product world. Because he was directly (or indirectly) responsible for one of the greatest sets of products known to man, he will always be held up as a beacon to which all products guys measure themselves. This has proven to be very dangerous.

The legend of Steve Jobs has been highly publicized and depicted in many forms. Most of the story focuses on Steve's glorious rise, fall and ultimate resurrection. What I feel gets overlooked is Steve's diverse background. This found him building electronics as a youth, coding, operating a small business, not to mention his many personal pursuits to find himself. This is what eventually made him the product guy he evolved into. But this picture is less appealing than the black turtleneck standing on stage with a flashy new device. Most product guys who I've come across fashion themselves the Steve Jobs visionary, focusing on building the big picture, opposed to being the Steve Jobs grinder of details that make up basic utilities of a great product.

So what's the point? This is more a call to those budding product guys who are looking to become leaders in their craft. Please don't jump right into a product role. Spend some time as a developer. Get involved in operating a business line. Create marketing strategies. Fill in on the support arm of an organization. Basically, see a product from all angles. This should really be a role for that person who grew up being the jack of all trades, master of none. Yes, Steve eventually mastered it but not before he put himself in the shoes of the builders and users.

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