Honesty Is The Best Policy
This quote from Joe Nocera's piece on Steve Job's health in today's NYT shocked me:
This is Steve Jobs,” he began. “You think I’m an arrogant [expletive] who thinks he’s above the law, and I think you’re a slime bucket who gets most of his facts wrong.
I'm personally with Joe on this one. Steve Jobs is an arrogant fuck who thinks he's above the law. He's also the most amazing technology CEO/entrepreneur working right now. He's way better than Bill Gates (who isn't working anymore) and the Google duo in my book.
Apple and Steve are at the top of their game, pushing the envelope in so many ways. But Steve is wrong to try to hide his personal health from the media, the market, his customers, and his employees.
Steve's health is not a private matter as much as he'd like it to be. Apple's stock is off between 15-20% in the past 45 days in the midst of one of the most powerful product cycles (iPhone) we've witnessed in the tech business. You can blame it on the fact that they are going to take macbook prices below $1000 shortly and take share in the laptop market, but the stock market will love that because it can do the DCFs and value that move. The stock is weak because the market thinks Steve is sick.
The technology revolution that Steve has had so much to do with has changed a lot of things and one of them is transparency. You can't hide stuff anymore. So honesty is the best policy. And calling influential reporters "slime buckets" should be avoided as well.
Disclosure: I am long APPL.