Is Mark Zuckerberg the next Steve Jobs?

As the tech world searches for an heir to Jobs' role as innovator-in-chief, many eyes are turning to the king of social networking

Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg
(Image credit: Kim Kulish/Corbis)

As the Steve Jobs tributes continue, the inevitable question arises: Who will succeed him? Sure, the capable Tim Cook is the new CEO at Apple. But who will take Jobs' even more pivotal place as the tech world's foremost visionary? Many are saying Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is the obvious heir, given his precocious success with changing the way the world connects. Really?

They certainly have a lot in common: Like Jobs, Zuckerberg is a computer genius who dropped out of college to start his own company, says Kristin Mariano at the International Business Times. And though it often seems that Jobs' legacy and "contributions to society are incomparable," the king of social networking is already following in Jobs' footsteps — particularly with new Facebook features like the Timeline that give "consumers more options and a louder voice." Still, Zuckerberg lacks the "personality and showmanship" that made Jobs a media darling.

"Is Mark Zuckerberg Steve Jobs' heir?"

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Like Jobs, Zuckerberg is supremely self confident: "Where Zuckerberg most resembles Jobs is in the strength of conviction he places in his vision," says Jeff Bercovici at Forbes. "Jobs always knew that customers who thought they wanted lots of buttons and a removable battery would be seduced by the simplicity and beauty of his devices." By the same token, Zuckerberg has gotten the masses on Facebook "without ever submitting to the so-called wisdom of the crowd." Facebook and Apple may be vastly different in both philosophy and product, "but their founders are kindred spirits."

"Why Mark Zuckerberg is the heir to Steve Jobs' legacy"

But don't forget Amazon's Jeff Bezos: "Mr. Jobs's nearest analog might be one of Apple's emerging rivals, Inc. CEO Jeff Bezos," say Scott Thurm and Stu Woo in The Wall Street Journal. As Jobs did with Apple, Bezos has rapidly grown Amazon, which began as an online bookstore in 1994, and is now the country's 19th largest retailer, offering everything from diapers to computer server space. And, "like Mr. Jobs, Mr. Bezos continually pushes Amazon in new directions" and is a stickler for details. He's even got a Jobs-like uniform: Bezos reliably models "blue jeans, light blue shirt, and a dark blazer."

"Who will be the 'next Steve Jobs'?"

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