Be a tyrant – make great products

By April 22, 2008blog

“Democracies don’t make great products.
You need a competent tyrant.”

Jean-Louis Gassee, a former Apple executive

Several entrepreneur friends have asked me lately how they can get their employees to come up with more innovations. My answer is simple: “Why? That’s YOUR job!”

I think involving my team in the creative process is important. I think getting creative on the execution of new ideas is important. But, I believe the entrepreneur/leader is the heart and soul of leading innovation. My role is to listen to customers, listen to employees, look at the world around us, and then lead the way in taking it to the next level.

I LOVE the story of Apple and Steve Jobs because while there are a lot of bright, creative, talented people at Apple, Jobs is the heart-and-soul of Apple and the innovation leader. Apple did great while he was there, tanked when he wasn’t, and has been amazing since his return. He’s a tyrant with implementing is vision. AND he has created a phenomenal amount of innovation in a short period of time because of it. He has surrounded himself with a great team that gets creative in executing his vision.

I sometimes hear entrepreneurs feel like they need to or want to get their employees to be the innovators. I love being an entrepreneur because I have always had a strong vision for how things could be better. Why would I want to delegate that? I love surrounding myself with bright, creative, passionate people who enjoy executing new ideas.

So, I hereby give you permission to be an innovation tyrant and bring great products to the world!

“The entrepreneur is essentially a visualizer and actualizer…
He can visualize something, and when he visualizes
it he sees exactly how to make it happen.”
— Robert L. Schwartz

Leave a Reply