Miles Davis Was The Steve Jobs Of Music, Or: Steve Jobs Was The Miles Davis Of Business

Excellent post in The New Yorker from Nicholas Thompson about Steve Jobs and ‘who the next Steve Jobs will be, or who the last one was.’

I can’t think of an example from business.

But I can think of one from music: Miles Davis. Like Jobs, he was a showman who was also intensely private. Like Jobs, he was an authoritarian who brought people together. Miles was joined by Bill Evans and John Coltrane; Jobs was joined by Jonathan Ive and Tim Cook.

And like Jobs, Miles changed his field over and over again. Jobs created the first graphical user interface, the mouse, the iPod, the iPhone, and the iPad. Davis created modal jazz and fusion, and he helped transform bebop. Listen to “Birth of the Cool,” “Sketches of Spain,” “Kind of Blue,” “Bitches Brew,” and “A Tribute to Jack Johnson.”

What do they have in common? Not that much—except that they are all awesome, they were all innovative, and they were all endlessly copied. Lots of people have one great idea; very few people have five. (Everyone, of course, also has bad ideas. Miles had “Doo-Bop”; Jobs had the Apple Lisa.)

Read the full post here.


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