Like many, I am looking forward to watching the 1st Republican Debate. And I am embarrassed to admit that like many, a significant part of my motivation is to rubber neck and see how Donald Trump will "Trump" the debate with his disruption.

I then flashed on a presentation I've been making at various venues entitled, The Genius of Steve Jobs - How to Think Like a Disruptor.

We seem to be living in the Age of Disruption with examples such as Uber disrupting (and disintermediating) the taxi industry, Airbnb disrupting the hotel industry, Amazon disrupting the retail industry, etc.

Why is disruption necessary?

It's because innovation alone is not enough to overcome the tendency for things that temporarily change to revert back to their prior form (imagine a footprint in wet sand lasting only seconds before it disappears).

If you agree with this hypothesis and you agree that governmental gridlock and partisan politics needs to be disrupted because anything less won't do, what would a "disruptive" President look like.

If you can momentarily put aside the negative parts of his personality, Steve Jobs embodied the 3 D's of Disruption and the President we need would do well to follow his example.

The 3 D's of Disruption

  1. Define Reality - Jobs realized that technology wasn't going away and the vast majority of users didn't care how or why it worked. They just wanted to use it and whoever created technology that was simple, reliable and beautiful would be a Pied Piper to the masses. Jobs didn't know how to build it, but he certainly would recognize it if he saw it. And just like Apple customers, the American public doesn't care about how and why politics works the way it does (and doesn't) they want it to just help them live more productive, prosperous, safe, healthy and if possible happier lives and to be able to be optimistic about the future.
  2. Declare Intention - It was the Declaration of Independence, not the Explanation of Independence. When you declare something, people know where you are coming from, what you stand for, what you will stand up for and what you will stand up against to complete your mission (the Marines do an amazing job of branding themselves this way). Jobs declared that he and Apple would create and then build technology that was simple, reliable and beautiful.
  3. Decide Strategy - Jobs' strategy was to attract and gather any and all the talent necessary to build the reality he saw and defined. What detracted from the respect people had for him was his approach to eliminating any and all that stood in the way of his doing that (is it possible that knowing he was ill, lent an urgency to what he did that explained some of those tendencies?) Deciding and then executing strategy will be the biggest challenge to our next President.

For my money and my vote, what I'll be listening most for is a President that can rise about any partisan politics and serve up a Moon Mission that all Americans would want to be part of.

Like many of my generation, JFK's following Moon Mission, serves as a template for what I'll be listening for:

"I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth. No single space project in this period will be more impressive to mankind, or more important for the long-range exploration of space; and none will be so difficult or expensive to accomplish."

What do you think this nation (and our next President) should commit itself to before the end of the next two Presidential terms?

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