Steve Jobs is dead – or at least that is how the press is writing about his resignation. In my substantially uninformed opinion, Apple has prepared for this eventuality for some time now yet the media seems to paint a cautious picture of Apple’s future once the pipeline runs dry of products created via Steve Job’s voodoo spells. Complete nonsense.
The reason Apple is so cool, hip and lusted after is based on more than the dictatorship of one man. True, Steve rules with an iron fist and his products are sprinkled with the magical dust of crushed unicorn horns, but the company’s bench is very deep with Cook, Forstall (googly eyes) & Ive still in the dugout. Mr. Job’s role at Apple seems to be Chief Soul Breaker. A quintessential example being his displeasure over the performance of the 2008 iPhone 3G/ Mobile Me rollout.
Can anyone tell me what MobileMe is supposed to do?” Having received a satisfactory answer, he continues, “So why the f*** doesn’t it do that?
The point is, Mr. Jobs is the 600 pound gorilla in the room. He’s unapologetic in his opinions and doesn’t care what you think. He’s right and that’s the end of it unless he changes his mind and then again, that’s the end of it – go screw yourself! Every company needs a Steve Jobs yet so few have one with his style.
So what does this mean for Apple? As a fan boy, consumer and cheerleader, I say … it depends. All they need to do is find someone within Apple this is willing to say, “no – not good enough. Try again.” Someone who’s a fan of Progressive Improvement in the most basic way. Someone who thinks of the user experience, above all other considerations, because its how Apple products ‘feel’ that drives emotion and yes, sales. Someone who’s willing to be an unapologetic A-Hole. While Apple has failed in their limited social media efforts ( i.e. PING), I say it’s more social than a Twitter /Facebook love child. Be the only person in the room with a new iPhone and your know what I mean – everyone will want to get with you. Apple is as much a multinational corporation as it is a feeling. A consumer love fest that is fueled by very social advocates with a rabid devotion to God and Jobs.
When it comes down to it, what we love about Apple is more than the personally traits of one man. It’s a feeling that Apple really cares about how we relate to their products on an emotional level. We’re proud of our iPhone and iPad (who’s proud of their brand new Dell? Hmmm?) and if you insult Apple it’s akin insulting our mother.
I really hope Steve is around for another 20 years (he is remaining as Chairman), being the straight shooter that we need him to be. If not, I’m sure someone will take his role. The soul breaking will surely continue.
Finally, the real reason not to worry is that we’re all Steve Jobs – we (the consumers) won’t let Apple become Microsoft – not that MSFT was ever Apple. In essence, I am Steve Jobs – formally Spartacus.