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Could Mark Zuckerberg be the new Steve Jobs? Signs point to yes

Interesting dichotomy

Steve Jobs has enjoyed a lustrous career of achievement and fame as he built Apple into one of the globe’s most recognizable and most profitable brands after dropping out of college. He is famous for rehearsing his public presentations for hours upon hours, meticulously grooming every sentence into a perfect soundbite for fans and media alike. Jobs’ obsession over his retail stores is well documented, as he spent countless hours in the first Apple store, tweaking every detail, even after the flagship store opened up to the public.

Mark Zuckerberg is still very early into his career, but his bank account has recently put him in the driver’s seat as the 14th wealthiest American, according to Forbes. Zuckerberg, like Jobs, never crossed the graduation stage after starting his college journey, but both maintain that college is not the top indicator of success. Zuckerberg is known to obsess over the lines of code that make up the Facebook site and reportedly still is meticulous about this task.

Zuckerberg has never been quite the grandiose speaker that Jobs has, some have even criticized his speeches as being about as tailored as the hoodies he is known for wearing. Has that changed recently? Steve Jobs recently stepped down as Apple’s CEO, and was teased yet hailed for his presentations such as his 2010 speech introducing the iPad which he called “magical,” “awesome,” “extraordinary,” “super,” “gorgeous,” “wonderful” and “terrific.”

Zuckerberg’s new speaking style…

This floral speech was not new to Jobs- he always had a flair for exciting audiences, even over minute changes to existing products, but Zuckerberg has apparently stepped into the role of enthusiastic technology speaker. At the recent F8 developer conference in San Francisco, Zuckerberg said the new Facebook apps would deliver a “frictionless experience” and “realtime serendipity.” These synonyms aren’t quite as thesaurus heavy as Jobs’ famous iPad speech, but it hints at an enthusiasm and more tailored presentation than Zuckerberg has delivered in the past and one that harkens back to the Jobs era.

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It could be a coincidence that ever since Jobs stepped down as Apple CEO, Zuckerberg’s speaking enthusiasm has increased as well as his flair for the dramatic (making big moves at Facebook in recent weeks), but it doesn’t feel like a coincidence. With the position of head technologist in charge open to the first taker, will Zuckerberg step up? Signs so far are pointing to yes as Zuckerberg is at least trying on Jobs’ shoes.

Lani is the COO and News Director at The American Genius, has co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH, Austin Digital Jobs, Remote Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.



  1. Roland Estrada

    September 27, 2011 at 1:08 am

    Well, yes it is a coincidence and no, Zuck will not be the next Steve Jobs. Steve could be worth one dollar and Mark would still have a long way to go. I saw the speech and he seemed rather stiff. I'm backed up by a review from written by Lex Friedman – "Mark Zuckerberg is no Steve Jobs. Set aside leadership styles, inventions, and technologies: Zuckerberg simply lacks Jobs's charisma and natural stage presence. Zuckerberg's presentation style was decidedly more wooden than Jobs's ever was. There were moments where you could observe Zuckerberg recalling the next lines of his script, flubbing a word or two, and even occasionally starting the next line–and stopping himself–before finishing the preceding one."

    Steve is more than just keynote speeches. There is a much deeper vision and talent that Mark will likely never achieve beyond his net worth.

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