Regardless of where you stand politically, I learned a long time ago that it’s easy to make a mountain out of a molehill, and just as easy to draw conclusions based upon both a false premise and wrong comparisons. Here’s one you’ll find intriguing, perhaps preposterous, but with an interesting perspective on two greats of the 21st century; Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, and businessman turned Republican presidential candidate, Donald Trump.
Steve Jobs was the Donald Trump of modern technology. I know what you’re thinking, but give the comparisons a moment to coalesce.
First of all, Steve Jobs was an astute businessman who knew how to build a corporate empire and did so many times. Just like Donald Trump. Jobs had some hiccups along the way, including his ouster from Apple in 1985, his exile, NeXT’s hardware failures, etc. A number of Trump’s properties and projects failed, and he himself narrowly missed going bankrupt.
My father once said, “If you owe the bank $100,000, you have a problem. If you owe the bank $1-million, the bank has a problem.” The banks saved Trump’s ass, but they needed to.
Steve Jobs was a ladies man, a charmer once in love with singer Joan Baez, yet sufficiently callous to deny his own fatherhood for years. Trump? Also a ladies man, and thanks to being filthy rich, a charmer in love with womanhood, yet sufficiently callous to deny facts wherever it feels appropriate.
See? A plausible comparison, no?
Steve Jobs was considered a visionary technologist responsible for the design and success of a number of iconic brands; the Mac, iPod, iTunes Music Store, iPhone, and iPad, just to name a few. On the other hand, Trump has been considered a visionary property developer responsible for an iconic brand– Trump– which has a presence far beyond property values.
Steve Jobs’ father was an immigrant, a Syrian Muslim, though he was adopted and raised by parents with a mostly normal background. Trump’s family came to the U.S. and changed the family name from Drumpf. Jobs was alway grandiose but With a little of the 1960s tossed in; preferring a mock turtleneck shirt, Levi’s and sneakers as daily attire. Trump has always been grandiose but prefers the accoutrements of the rich; fine suits, flashy jewelry, but both shared a penchant for bold claims, and both had no trouble denigrating those beneath them on the corporate totem pole.
Neither Jobs nor Trump lack in self confidence, and both have a history of not mincing words and a willingness to share opinions. Both have been on the cover of many national magazines. Both have many ardent followers, and both have had a number of books written about their escapades and business prowess.
One could make an argument that Donald Trump is the Steve Jobs of American politics, or perhaps real estate development, but that doesn’t seem to carry the same weight or panache as the reverse– Steve Jobs was the Donald Trump of technology; revered, feared, admired, successful, egotistical, brutish and callous, stubborn and insulting. I deem Jobs more coherent and articulate, and Trump less verbally and mentally sophisticated, but both with an inner strength which allowed them to compete on their own terms.
In this day and age we are treated with many false comparisons and facts seem to have become an endangered species thanks to the 24/7 news cycle and how everyone can say anything to anyone about any topic at any time, but Jobs and Trump have similarities that should be obvious to those who follow both.
Now it’s time to remove tongue from cheek.