Should Steve Jobs be more apologetic?


Should Steve Jobs be more apologetic?


When Apple’s Steve Jobs made a public statement on problems with the iPhone 4 and how the company will deal with customers’ concerns, he drew criticism for not appearing sufficiently apologetic. But given that Apple has consistently delivered on products and customer service, was this merely a case of focusing too much on the individual and too little on the message?

Peter BregnanThe consultant: Peter Bregman

Steve Jobs should have handled the bad press more skilfully. By being defensive, he’s the one who drew the focus to himself rather than to his message. While this seems obvious – and certainly something he should know – I wanted to be sure, so I asked my eight-year-old daughter her opinion: “If you do something that someone else does not like, then you say you’re sorry and fix it. When I wrote on the cover of mommy’s photo album, I apologised and replaced the cover with a pretty drawing,” she said.

What if you thought mommy was making too big a deal about it? Would you tell her she shouldn’t make such a big deal about it? “Why would I do that? It would only make her mad.”

The writer is chief executive of Bregman Partners