Monday, June 8, 2009

"Does Apple Need Steve Jobs Anymore?"

I've recently started writing a more-or-less weekly column about business leadership for The Daily Beast, the website run by Tina Brown, the former top editor of The New Yorker and Vanity Fair magazines. The idea of the column is to take the ideas about leadership and change that I've developed in my research for my upcoming book, Walk the Walk, and to apply them to the personalities and issues that are making news right now. (My column today asks "Does Apple Need Steve Jobs Anymore?" given the company's fine performance during his leave of absence).

As a journalist who has spent the past two decades in the old media--as a writer for monthly or fortnightly print magazines such as Fortune and Fast Company and as a book author who has at least a full year to do research and hone his prose--writing "off-the-news" on a short deadline for a website is a new challenge for me. But it's already proving fun (and instructive) as a first-hand experience with the emerging media. It's gratifying to see an open discussion of your work from the moment that it's published, though that also means that your mistakes are publicly corrected and your opinions may be forcefully rebutted.

As an author who has extolled the importance of change and challenge throughout one's career, this is one of my own attempts to "walk the walk." I admit that it's not easy to go from having 21 years experience in the old media, and the expertise that come with that, to having hardly any experience with the new media, but it's surely worth trying.

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