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Episode 128: Donna Dubinsky – Standing Up To Steve Jobs And Being Right

Episode 128: Donna Dubinsky – Standing Up To Steve Jobs And Being Right

Donna Dubinsky was made famous by the Harvard Business School study about the time when she disagreed with Steve Jobs (when he decided that Apple should eliminate their distribution warehouses).  She ultimately prevailed and we discussed what happened next in her incredible career.  We had a fascinating conversation on this episode of The Learning Leader Show.

Donna Dubinsky first partnered with Jeff Hawkins at Palm, Inc. in 1992, where she served as president and CEO. She held this position throughout Palm’s acquisition by U.S Robotics and subsequently 3Com Corporation. In 1998, Donna and Jeff co-founded Handspring, creator of the category-defining Treo smartphone. Handspring merged with Palm in 2003, and Donna continued to serve on Palm’s board until 2009. Previously, Donna spent 10 years at Apple Inc. in a multitude of sales, sales support, and logistics functions—both at Apple and at Claris, an Apple software subsidiary.

Donna earned a B.A. from Yale University, and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School. She is currently on the board of Yale University.

Episode 128: Donna Dubinsky – Standing Up To Steve Jobs And Being Right

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The Learning Leader Show

“When I Worked With Steve Jobs, He Was Interested In Vision, Not Practicality”

In This Episode, You Will Learn:

  • The ability to defy conventional wisdom and curiosity leads to sustained excellence
  • The specifics on the story when she vehemently disagreed with Steve Jobs and what happened
  • Why Donna wanted to change the world and how she set out to do it
  • What it was like working with Steve Jobs in the early days at Apple
  • Steve Jobs initially said he would never be involved in mobile phones… Donna and her colleagues changed his mind when they came out with the first version of a smart phone
  • The future is built on learning machines
  • Steve Jobs redefined the relationships with the phone carriers – Something that nobody before him could do
  • What it’s like to find patterns in streaming data
  • Being a learning leader – It’s not a batch process, you have to continue learning and always deploy as you learn more

 “The Future Is Built On Learning Machines”

Continue Learning:

You may also like these episodes:

Episode 001: How To Become A Master Connector W/ Jayson Gaignard From MasterMind Talks

Episode 078: Kat Cole – From Hooters Waitress To President of Cinnabon

Episode 082: Dan Pink – The Science of Motivation, Legendary Writer & Ted Talk

Episode 086: Seth Godin – How To Become Indispensable & Build Your Tribe

Did you enjoy the podcast?

If you enjoyed hearing Donna Dubinsky on the show, please don’t hesitate to send me a note on Twitter or email me.

Episode edited by the great J Scott Donnell

Bio From Numenta.com

Donna first partnered with Jeff Hawkins at Palm, Inc. in 1992, where she served as president and CEO. She held this position throughout Palm’s acquisition by U.S Robotics and subsequently 3Com Corporation. In 1998, Donna and Jeff co-founded Handspring, creator of the category-defining Treo smartphone. Handspring merged with Palm in 2003, and Donna continued to serve on Palm’s board until 2009. Previously, Donna spent 10 years at Apple Inc. in a multitude of sales, sales support, and logistics functions—both at Apple and at Claris, an Apple software subsidiary.

Donna earned a B.A. from Yale University, and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School. She is currently on the board of Yale University.

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3 Responses to “Episode 128: Donna Dubinsky – Standing Up To Steve Jobs And Being Right”

By Joe - 31 May 2016 Reply

Hey Ryan, you have a link to the neuroscience article Donna mentioned at the end of the show? Thanks!

By Joe - 31 May 2016

Awesome. Thanks Ryan. Here is the link I found to the specific article I’m guessing she’s referring to: http://numenta.com/newsletters/neuron-paper-published-in-peer-reviewed-neuroscience-journal.html

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