Steve Jobs, Apple and Non-Compete Agreements
I am currently reading Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson. It is a fascinating account of the driven life of Steve Jobs and how he pushed Apple to become the giant it is today. Let’s face it: we love our iDevices and Steve Jobs gets most of the credit for these wonderful gadgets.
The book, however, makes it clear that Jobs was not a computer genius or gifted engineer. His technical skills were average. He acquired the necessary talent to build Apple by hiring away talented employees from Xerox, Atari, Hewlett Packard, and others.
I believe it is safe to say that Apple Computer (now Apple, Inc.) might not exist in 2012 had those employees been saddled with some of the non-compete contracts which are all too common in today’s technology industry. At a minimum, Apple, Inc. would not have realized over $108 billion in sales in 2011 with more than 60,000 employees world-wide without the ability to hire talented and creative employees.
This is the reason why we so strongly believe that non-compete contracts are unfair to employees and inhibit the growth and innovation of industry and technology in America. This is why we fight non-compete contracts every chance we get and continue to hope that state and federal laws will eventually be enacted which removes this huge obstacle to innovation.