A Study in ‘Talent’ Contrasts: Apple Vs. Google

In the midst of the raging death match between heavyweights Apple and Google, Forbes contributor Eric Jackson uncovers some philosophical and educational differences in the makeup of the management teams of two of the most popular brands in the tech ring — or any other ring, for that matter — today.

Jackson’s deep dive  — which includes a listing the alma mater and degree level of the members on both management teams — brings up more than a few interesting nuggets, including this one: “The number of Ph.D.s on Apple’s Management Team: 0.  The number of Ph.D.s on Google’s Management Team: 6 – or 8 if you include Larry [Page] and Sergey [Brin].  Google also sports two Rhodes Scholar and a Fulbright Scholar to boot.”

So what does it all mean to Jackson?

Putting on my armchair psychologist’s hat, I’d say that Larry and Sergey obviously — and over time — created a team of people, through their hiring and promotion decisions, to reflect people that they admire and reflect who they are (or who they wish they were): Ph.D.s, lots of Stanford people, elite colleges and grad schools.

By contrast, Steve Jobs and now [Apple CEO Tim] Cook seem to have eschewed elite educational credentials (or perhaps discounted them) in favor of other (publicly undefined) factors which they value — presumably work ethic, loyalty, innovation, ethics, and probably others.

And, despite the differences he’s uncovered, Jackson also finds something in common:

I find it fascinating that two titans of tech can both succeed (to this point at least) with such a different view of what it means to be “talented.”