What if Steve Jobs ran GM?

What if Steve Jobs ran GM?

Summary: It's insane, but we live in an economy so bad, that some are suggesting that Apple CEO Steve Jobs either a) take over GM; or b) be appointed as federal government's "car czar" (anyone else loathe that term?) overseeing the bailout of the big three automakers.

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picture-7a.pngIt's insane, but we live in an economy so bad, that some are suggesting that Apple CEO Steve Jobs either a) take over GM; or b) be appointed as federal government's "car czar" (anyone else loathe that term?) overseeing the bailout of the big three automakers. Really!

The comments on Digg about this latest rumor are definitely some of the funniest that I've read in a while. Some are laugh out loud hilarious. There's a screen shot of some of the better comments here, but you'll have to zoom in to read them.

Here's a sample of some of my favorites, but feel free to add your own in the TalkBack below:

Acceleration and braking would be handled with a single pedal.

It would drive slower in Redmond than it would in Cupertino.

You'd have a choice of: brushed aluminum.

Steering would be done via touchscreen.

You could only use Apple brand gasoline from Apple brand gas stations.

Good stuff. This is why I love the Internet :)

Topics: Government US, Apple, Government, Hardware

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Talkback

269 comments
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  • Talk is cheap

    Let's watch the computer industry go into a prolonged slump and see what is in his spine.
    I'm saying this because some are serious about that.
    zmud
    • With about $25 Billion in cash

      I believe you'll find that Apple has a
      financial spine other companies would kill
      for.

      $25 Billion? Isn't that what the Big 3 Auto
      companies were asking Washington to
      spend to bail them out?

      Personally I wouldn't worry about Apple
      getting through a serious, prolong slump.
      They have the cash needed to not only
      survive, but also continue R&D
      investments at current levels.

      Their prepared for a major downturn
      because Steve Jobs saw how a lack of cash
      could crush a company like Apple. Since
      he has returned to Apple he's been
      working building their cash position for
      times like today.

      And in other news Sony is getting rid of
      8,000 employees.
      Ken_z
      • Then I guess the auto industry needs to

        sell their cars at the same price that Apple sells the iMac.

        If they did that they would probally have fifty times the cash reserves of Apple.

        But seeing that these are two completely different industries, with two completely different markets and price/cost differences, I doubt that Steve Jobs would be able to do any better, probally a little worse.
        GuidingLight
        • "But seeing that these are two completely different industries"

          Yeah, that's what they said when Apple got into the music
          business, that it bore no resemblance to the computer
          business, but last time I looked, Apple is now the #1 music
          retailer.

          Now what other new "completely different" industry did
          Apple just venture into recently? Oh right, cellphone! When
          Palm CEO Ed Colligan?s famously said, ?PC guys are not
          going to just figure this out. They?re not going to just walk
          in.?

          Please PCidiots, keep underestimating Apple. Before too
          long the only place you'll be able to see a Windows
          machine running:

          http://www.computerhistory.org/

          I think I'll drive there in my iCar . . . .

          JoeL
          joeldm
          • you apple idiots need a life

            1) you apple guys need a life. both platforms have their uses.
            2) can anyone honestly tell me that Steve Jobs, after 30+ years in the technical sector, would be able to turn GM around? stranger things have happened but I do have my doubts. (look at what Carly did to HP).
            of course if APPLE took over GM within 5 years on*star would only interface with the downlinking sat if you plugged in the latest iPod.
            -S
            PS Some analysts are predicting that GM stock will go to zero. then we can all buy shares and use them for toilet paper.
            seannj427
          • Car won't start until you install itunes.

            Dude! Don't talk sense to the apple zealots, they are beyond reach! They will Chug-a-lug their koolaid and swarm you in their brushed-aluminum spandex with the glowing apple on them! Cries of "Hail Lord Jobs" will be heard for miles as they tie you to the shrine and pummel you with the Apple Bible. On the other hand, as long as Jool is wandering around looking for his iCar, you are probably fine. Besides, if Apple took over GM, the pricetags would all instantly go up 30% for the same equipment, and you could only fuel with the expensive iGas. That much Joel does have. Lots.
            Chippolus
          • Funny how no one is suggesting Bill Gates take over GM!

            Frankly, I think Jobs couldn't do a WORSE job than the
            clowns running the Big Three.

            I'd love to buy a car that's designed from the ground up
            based on how the average user wants it to be. And could
            Steve Jobs run that sort of company? I'm sure he could.

            Could he turn GM around? Perhaps, but there's a lot of
            bureaucratic dead weight that would resist ANY real
            change.

            Interesting, though, that absolutely NO ONE is suggesting
            Bill Gates take over a car company. He used to run the
            biggest, most successful company in America. No one,
            however, sees him as a visionary leader who could save a
            moribund industry.

            Gotta wonder that people see in Jobs they don't see in any
            other business leader...
            KaplanMike
          • What the user wants it to be

            you mean like the SUV, the most popular class of vehicle in the United States?

            Most of the Big three's problem has been that it costs so freaking much for them to build a vehicle because they are paying 700,000 people not to work.

            If you want to call stupid stupid, negotiating those asinine contracts with the Unions was stupid.
            frgough
          • Look who's writing the story

            It's called make believe. It's obvious that Jobs couldn't do, and Gates' company is a software company, while Apple is hardware.

            A car is closer to hardware then to software, so it would make even less sense to bring Gates in on this kinda of "What if" story...
            AllKnowingAllSeeing
          • Proprietary is what we would see.

            That is how Jobs sees things. He would make sure that these new slick GM Vehicles had a different system, that would be incompatible with all the other car companies. None of the equipment that you use with you current car would work with your new GM. You would be able to use the same fuel, it just couldn't be pumped from the same hose as the others. The valve stems on the wheels would have to be a GM valve stem, the stations would have to have both a different fuel hose and air hose. He would probably have them fill the radiator from the bottom with a valve you can only get through GM.

            Jobs is an inovater, I will give him that, but he would try to make things proprietary just so you had to go back to GM for everything. The less then 10% would buy GM because they wouldn't put up with it anymore than mainstream computer customers will.
            mjolnar@...
          • This is your answer

            Your opinion about Gates' capacity does not seem to include a consideration of Microsoft's products. One word: mediocre.
            nizuse
          • Reply to Pliny the Elder

            Actually Microsoft is more of a marketing company. Just look at the the Xbox.
            914four
          • Truer words have never...

            This is what baffles me about America. They exult Steve Jobs as the quintessential visionary leader but not Bill Gates. If I remember both started at around the same time, with Steve having a bit of an early lead, but who is the richest now and who's company is the biggest? It's funny how that does not seem to stick with Americans but the ability to make MP3 players and touch screen phones are what does. That is essentially the only thing that has made Jobs popular, nothing else. macs still have about a 5% marketshare in the computing universe after decades but yet they still see him as the one who can save any company. That's America for you.
            likeabite
          • Bill Gates?

            That's because his vision would be a car on every desk.
            lmenningen
          • Easy...

            The Joke!
            bentedgz
          • Apple was a all but a corpse

            When Jobs was brought back in '97 it was a last ditch effort to save a dying company. Most people thought the company was beyond saving - unless they were die-hard Apple fans. Then, during the tech down turn Apple was one of the few companies that actually grew. That makes Jobs far more qualified to "save a moribund industry" than Bill Gates. It also helps that many people see Jobs as an innovative visionary, while many see Gates as a very successful thief/con man.
            bknabe@...
          • I agree

            Yes, Apple is doing fantastic, but how long has the company been around and how long did it take for the success? You all act like this was instantaneous and Apple has always been viewed as just beauty personified. I'll admit, the Millenium has been kind to Apple but I do remember a time before when Apple was anything but. Sure maybe he could help out the auto industry but it would take some time. Also consider they are two totally completely different industries.
            Dena81
          • Talent Supercedes Experience

            Actually, Jobs would very likely succeed as the GM CEO?with some government financial backup.

            Recall what SJ did when he returned to Apple: (1) simplified the product lineup. (2) promoted appealing design changes (3) introduced innovative products.

            Steve Jobs is a man of rare talent and drive?even when compared with other successful CEO's. His abilities would promote success in any company relying on product form, function, and that all important third leg: marketing.

            And then there's Steve's extraordinary will. The GM "culture" would bend to it. No doubt about it.

            I wouldn't think the "car czar" position would make full use of SJ's abilities. He'd have to run the company as the CEO.

            What do you think would occur with GM's stock if Jobs became CEO? Steve Jobs is a winner. How can any of you Apple haters deny that?
            godsfault
          • If "SJ" is....

            So good why isn't he as rich as BG?
            bentedgz
          • What is this?

            This talk is so unintelligent its hilarious. I think a music device and online retail store and a computer are much more related than a computer to a car. First off Apple made it rich off of a cool design that in reallity has huge margins for Apple and was not that costly to cook up. A car is a whole nother beast with many many moving parts all working in sync and making nothing for margins at this point and is very costly to develop. So I prefer a PC you go and call people names like a typical Mac user. I have to on a daily basis try and get Mac and sometimes Linux users to keep the trash talk to the playground and bring some facts and real world experience to the table. I want to discuss the goods and the bads and not listen to your enmotions fire up because you don't feel as confident as you wish you were. Please be an adult and tell us what is so great besides "i am more productive"???
            OhTheHumanity