Jobs Believed Great Companies Decline When Salesmen (Rather than Engineers and Designers) Take Over

The following passage is Steve Jobs speaking, as quoted by Walter Isaacson.

(p. 568) I have my own theory about why decline happens at companies like IBM or Microsoft. The company does a great job, innovates and becomes a monopoly or close to it in some field, and then the quality of (p. 569) the product becomes less important. The company starts valuing the great salesmen, because they’re the ones who can move the needle on revenues, not the product engineers and designers. So the salespeople end up running the company. John Akers at IBM was a smart, eloquent, fantastic salesperson, but he didn’t know anything about product. The same thing happened at Xerox. When the sales guys run the company, the product guys don’t matter so much, and a lot of them just turn off.

Source:
Isaacson, Walter. Steve Jobs. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2011.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.