Imaginary letter from Steve Jobs to Sun Tzu

August 24, 2011
Dear Sun, (or as others may call you Mr. Tzu)
    I am writing you to let you know that I resigned from my job today after nearly 9 years with them the first time then another 15 years after I was brought back in to clean up the mess they made the first time. Although I am not leaving under the best of circumstances, I am leaving as part of a promise I made when I returned. I had said that I would step down when I realized I could no longer meet the duties and expectations of me and unfortunately that day has come.
   
 But enough of that, the real reason I am writing you is to thank you personally for what you r teachings have done for me not only professionally but personally as well. As the “Commander” of my company, you taught me to seek wisdom, to be sincere and benevolent, to posses courage and to maintain strictness. I have to tell you Sun, when I started this deal in ’76 – I pretty much thought I was all those things and then some. Turns out I had a lot to learn which is why I got the boot in ’85. Getting fired that first time was rough, but in retrospect it was the best thing that ever happened to me. I started my new gig a few months later and really re-invented myself. I learned to watch the Terrain as you taught in Chapter 10 (business terrain that is by understanding the climate of the consumer, learning what they really wanted instead of what I “thought they wanted). Shortly thereafter I went back to Chapter 1 began laying real plans. This new beginning wasn’t without it’s challenges from my competition so your second chapter on how Wage war helped me to put that fool Bill in check.
  
  I learned to work with my staff and develop them, really learning about their dispositions just like you explained in Chapter 4. That helped me eventually build the company to profitability and after about 11 years the company that cut me loose suddenly wanted me back. I read through Chapter 6 twice and really focused on evaluating the company’s strong points and weak points. That is what lead me to decide that it was time to re-invent the whole thing. In early 2000 I took the lessons I learned in chapter 12 and launched a fiery attack on the industry with a bold a daring product line that people would have never dreamed possible. A lot of folks thought I was an ego maniac. Well maybe I was but what they didn’t realize is that just like what you taught in chapter 13 – Intelligence and Espionage will get you almost anywhere you want to get to with little effort. And as you can probably tell by my casual clothing even in public appearances I don’t like to work hard.. I’d rather work smart.
  
  So suffice it to say – I did pretty well for myself. I have nearly a billion people holding my device to their ears, listening to music on them and practically starting and ending their days with one of my products. It’s been one heck of a run Sun and I just could head out the door without acknowledging you for the contribution you made to my success… Thank you for having my back!

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Rj Tapales,
Dec 11, 2012, 9:05 PM
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