Fitting, then, that the Cubist master Pablo Picasso was featured in Apple’s “Think Different” advertising campaign: Apple CEO Steve Jobs is a “Picasso” when it comes to innovation and leadership, according to a Business 2.0 article penned by Thomas Mucha.
David Galenson, an economist at the University of Chicago, has a theory that explains how people innovate by categorizing them as a “Picasso” or a “Cezanne.” Galenson claims that all intellectual activity can be divided into these two categories, whether you’re a poet, economist, or CEO.
Picassos are “bold, conceptual thinkers who peak early and innovate in dramatic leaps,” while “Cezannes are patient experimentalists who gradually improve with age.” The trick is to balance the two types of talent, according to the article.
Business 2.0 credits the “brilliant and edgy” co-founder and CEO of Apple as the creator of the PC industry. Jobs’ fellow Picassos include Marc Andreessen, co-founder of Netscape; Shawn Fanning, co-founder of Napster and Microsoft founder Bill Gates. As classified by Galenson, Cezannes include Craig Barrett, CEO of Intel; Meg Whitman, CEO of eBay; Reuben Mark, CEO of Colgate-Palmolive; and G. Richard Wagoner, CEO of General Motors.