Apple 2.0

Covering the business that Steve Jobs built

Fortune names Steve Jobs the 'greatest entrepreneur'

March 25, 2012: 8:00 PM ET

He tops a list that includes Gates, Bezos, Page, Brin, Schultz and Zuckerberg

"Though he could be abusive and mean-spirited to people who threw themselves into their work on his behalf, Steve Jobs has been our generation's quintessential entrepreneur. Visionary. Inspiring. Brilliant. Mercurial."

So writes Fortune's John Byrne in the entry that named Apple's (AAPL) Steve Jobs the "greatest entrepreneur of our time," ahead of the founders of Microsoft (MSFT), Amazon (AMZN), Google (GOOG), Starbucks (SBUX) and Facebook.

The editors of the magazine (which hosts this blog) seemed particularly impressed with Jobs' disdain of focus groups and market research:

Asked how much research was done to guide Apple when he introduced the iPad, Jobs famously quipped, "None. It isn't the consumers' job to know what they want. It's hard for [consumers] to tell you what they want when they've never seen anything remotely like it."

And again:

Fittingly enough, on the day Jobs launched the Macintosh, a reporter from Popular Science asked him what type of studies Apple had conducted to ensure there was a market for the computer. In a nearly offended tone, Jobs retorted, "Did Alexander Graham Bell do any market research before he invented the telephone?"

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About This Author
Philip Elmer-Dewitt
Philip Elmer-DeWitt
Editor, Apple 2.0, Fortune

Philip Elmer-DeWitt has been following Apple since 1982, first for Time Magazine, and now on the Web for Fortune.com.

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