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(Unsolicited) Advice to Pimco, Janus and Bill Gross

To Pimco: A visionary, our kingdom, market share and future for a visionary.
To Janus: If you want to succeed, Cook your Apple.
To Bill Gross: Being f— you brilliant doesn’t excuse a f— you attitude.

To Pimco:

With Bill Gross’ stunning departure from Pimco, you may be facing the turbulence and worry that fell upon Apple after Steve Jobs died. Tim Cook had the operational chops, but the jury is still out as to whether Apple has the visionary chops under him even though the recent introduction of the iPhone6 and iPhone6+ (which may very soon be eclipsed by the Samsung Galaxy S5) and news of the iWatch seems to have for the moment calmed and reassured shareholders.

It’s also good to keep in mind that Jobs was as much or more a marketing genius as he was a technological visionary. For the latter he counted on his amazing team of Jony Ive et al who continue to live on. But since the world is all about perception, that reality may be lost on investors who will lose confidence in you without Gross.

So like the post Jobs Apple, you will need to be able to create the perception that Pimco without Gross will be even more innovative now that his disruptive influence is gone.

To Janus:

Apple may not have succeeded without Tim Cook. When Jobs was alive Cook’s role was not to take the “a-hole” out of Jobs. Instead it was to allow Jobs to do what he did best as marketer/visionary which was often associated with running roughshod over anyone who got in his way after which Cook would do damage control and ease the bruising and assuage people’s hurt feelings.

What Janus needs to realize is that they have now invited a bond superstar bent on redemption, if not revenge and who may not take too kindly to a “peon” company (compared to Pimco) saying, “No,” to him about anything. And God forbid anyone at Janus daring to look at Gross’ current visions and strategies and wonder if the new emperor has any clothes. Janus of course is enjoying the bump that Gross’ arrival has given them. We will just have to see how it plays out.

To Bill Gross:

As I said, being f— you brilliant doesn’t excuse a f— you attitude, but if you can quickly produce the results that you were getting before your approaches appear to have floundered in recent years you may buy time. However if it turns out that your approach will neither play in Poughkeepsie or Denver, you may reconsider “going gently into that good night instead of raging against the dying of the light” (a.k.a. a glorious career).

One last thought. I cannot excuse your conduct vis a vis people you have worked with, but for what it’s worth, I can understand it. That is because the clearer the vision of a founder, the more the impatience and intolerance of any people issues in the people that are required to execute it.


Decoding Apple’s Secret – How to Create Insanely Insane Customers

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