Walter Isaacson, who penned the official biography of late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, has provided some interesting information about Jobs and his relationship with Facebook entrepreneur Mark Zuckerberg. As noted by Business Insider, Isaacson recently told Washington Post Company CEO Don Graham that Jobs greatly admired Zuckerberg for his “intuitive feel” in relation to what Facebook needed to do in the future, in addition to his ability to shift away from or “cannibalize” old ideas and move on to new things.
[Don] Graham asked if Jobs ever mentioned Zuckerberg to Isaacson. “I once asked Jobs who [he] admired in the Valley,” Isaacson responded. “Mark’s was the first name on his lips.”
Jobs admired Zuckerberg for his “intuitive feel” for what Facebook needed next, for his passion and willingness to “do stuff that allows him to be on shifting sands—his willing to cannibalize old things. He felt an odd kinship to Mark,” Isaacson said.
Steve Jobs himself was a visionary that often made radical decisions that many people disagreed with or objected. When Jobs was kicked off the team working on the Apple Lisa, he transitioned to the Macintosh and vowed to make it an even better and cheaper alternative.
In retrospect, the Macintosh — now commonly referred to as the Mac — is today one of the most successful computer lineups available to consumers. Jobs’ personality and viewpoints led him to be dismissed from Apple in 1985 by John Sculley, former CEO of Pepsi-Cola, but he eventually returned to the struggling Cupertino-based company in 1996 and went on to help Apple become the most successful company in the world.
Isaacson notes that perhaps Jobs realized that Zuckerberg had so-called “licked” the idea of social networking, so refused to compete with him. Mark Zuckerberg had mutual respect for Steve Jobs as both a mentor and a friend. Zuckerberg learned from Jobs that things you make can truly change the world, with Facebook and Apple products such as the iPhone, iPod and iPad being true examples of that belief.