When it comes to design, Apple is run by a committee of one: Steve Jobs. Jobs reputedly concerns himself with the most minute details of product and store design. At Google, design is a committee of many. And when it comes to design, Apple wins hands down.
In filmmaking, an auteur (from the French for author) is a passionate director with a strong, distinctive style and a powerful creative vision. From the start of a film, a director makes decisions nonstop. “And just simply making decisions, one after another, can be a form of art,” according to John Gruber, technology blogger who spoke on “The Auteur Theory of Design” at the 2009 MacWorld Expo. (The New York Times, July 24, 2011, “The Auteur vs. the Committee,” by Randall Stross)
Apple has a rep for great design, not because Jobs personally is a great designer but because he has a great eye for design, and he has chosen to surround himself with great talent, which in turn attracts even more great talent.
The take home?
In many respects all successful entrepreneurs are auteurs. They are acutely aware that it is frequently the most seemingly minute details of their culture, their systems, their product that must align and be in harmony for their venture to be distinctive, to catch the target audience’s fancy, to successfully stake out a unique competitive advantage to separate them from the monolithic corps they must go up against in the marketplace.
Entrepreneurs tend to retain decision-making power because they have a strong vision they wish to execute. When entrepreneurs surround themselves with a talented team who “gets” their vision and generates ideas to supplement, implement, and enhance the vision, the combination is truly unbeatable.