Education investigate

Five ways Apple will never be the same without Jobs as CEO

You're going to hear lots of reasons why Apple will continue its current momentum even without Steve Jobs as CEO. Here's the counterpoint.

As Steve Jobs permanently steps down as CEO, Apple is on top of the world. It has redefined the smartphone and the tablet in an era when those two devices are destined to dominate the next stage of computing. It has become the most valuable and most profitable technology company in world and one of the planet's most powerful and recognizable brands. For a brief time when the stock market was going through its recent gyrations, Apple even passed Exxon Mobile to become the most valuable company in the world.

But, for those of us who have been around the tech industry for the past three decades, the most eye-popping thing Apple has accomplished in the past 14 years since Jobs returned to Apple was to turn the tables on its old rival Microsoft. Apple used to argue that it made higher quality products and out-innovated Microsoft, even if Microsoft made a lot more money by selling tasteless products to the masses, according to Jobs. In 2011, Apple now makes even more money than Microsoft (which still makes a lot in its own right).

But, Steve Jobs stepping down as CEO will inevitably put Apple's future at risk. You're going to read a lot of articles in the coming days where people are going to tell you all of the reasons that Apple is going to be fine and that the legacy of Steve Jobs will be enough to sustain the company for decades, and that Apple will be like Disney after Walt Disney's departure. Here's the bottom line -- there's simply no scenario in which Apple can be better without Steve Jobs as CEO than they were with him there.

Sure, Jobs will still be around as Chairman, but that's a lot different than being in the trenches with engineers and designers every day. Few tech CEOs have ever been as hands-on as Jobs, and without him in the mix there's going to be a gaping hole in Apple's company culture and collective psyche.

Here are five big questions that Apple will have to face without Jobs involved in the day-to-day operations of the company. None of them have good answers, and that's why Apple will be hard-pressed to continue its unbroken run of successes as Jobs exits the front of the stage.

5. Who will ignore what the public wants?

A few years ago, Jobs said, "You can't just ask customers what they want and then try to give it to them. By the time you get it built, they'll want something new." That was his approach to product development throughout his career. He never tried to keep up with what the masses wanted, but tried to give them something new to fall in love with. Very few people in history have been as good as Jobs at judging what large numbers of people will want before they know they want it. Even fewer have ever had the guts to place big bets on those things. It's unlikely Apple will ever find another leader who can do that like Jobs, and that more than anything else has been the key to Apple's recent success.

4. Who will shame people into greatness?

The Steve Jobs management style is not normal in corporate America. He was notoriously abrasive, confrontational, and borderline-inappropriate. He got in people's faces. He called them names. He demeaned their humanity. And yet, plenty of Apple employees will say that he pushed them to create the greatest work of their careers. As a people manager, he was the Bobby Knight of tech. From the outside, a lot of people were appalled by the stories of Jobs' behavior toward his employees, but insiders will tell you that he could also be extremely generous, enthusiastic, and charming. And, when he praised an employee, it was like they just hit a grand slam in the bottom of the ninth. Jobs could get away with this behavior -- which gets most CEOs despised or fired -- because he was Steve Jobs. Apple probably won't ever have another leader with this decidedly old school management approach -- much more in the Vince Lombardi tradition than the modern Ken Blanchard mode. But, the main reason Apple's products are so polished is a result of Jobs' ferocious perfectionism.

3. Who will take the big risks?

It's easy to forget that when Apple first announced the iPhone, there were a lot of people in the technology industry who scoffed or snickered. CIOs called it a "toy." Research in Motion openly mocked the iPhone for a couple years and completely dismissed it as a competitor to the BlackBerry (we see how well that worked out for them). Most of the telecom carriers even ignored the iPhone for years before they weren't willing to deal with Apple's demands. The point is that Apple had a lot to overcome to create a successful mobile phone. It took years. It took a lot of money. It took a lot of relationship-building. And, there was never any guarantee of success. In fact, in 2007 when Apple first launched the iPhone, it was probably more likely that the carriers would find a way to lock out the iPhone or cripple it. The whole thing could have turned into a major distraction and a money pit. Instead, because the public loved the device, it pushed the entire smartphone industry in a different direction. It was a huge risk, but when it was successful, it came with a huge reward. Jobs took a similar risk with the iPad three years later, and got a similar result. Will new CEO Tim Cook be willing to take those kinds of risks? Or, more importantly, will he be smart enough to take the right kinds of huge risks? It's hard to imagine anyone doing it better than Jobs has done over the past decade -- even Jobs himself would have had a hard time emulating his success over the next decade.

2. Who will say "No"?

Jobs once said, ”I'm actually as proud of the things we haven't done as the things [we] have done. Innovation is saying 'no' to a 1,000 things.” I recently wrote an entire piece about this topic: White iPhone debacle shows why Apple is winning. That article is about the fact that Apple promised a white version of the iPhone 4, but had to delay it multiple times (after several more "coming soon" promises). The product wasn't right and Apple refused to release a White iPhone 4 to the public until it was right. Most companies would have just released it earlier. Trust me. I see a ton of tech products come across my desk every month that still need to be finished and should have never been released. This is another example of where Jobs' relentless perfectionism has powered Apple's string of successes. Saying "no" is hard. It disappoints people. It can make your company look bad in the short term. It can put a lot of heat on you. Most companies say "yes" way too often. Apple will have to institutionalize and internalize the kind of discipline that Jobs repeatedly demonstrated. That's a tall order.

1. Who will conjure the "magic"?

Lots of leaders use hyperbole to promote their products, but only Steve Jobs can actually get a lot of people to believe it. I've been puzzling over this for years. Why do so many of the same people who turn cynical when most CEOs go into their sales pitches perk up when Jobs unleashes his bold claims about Apple products? Is it because Jobs has led so many successful projects in the past? Is it because he's more persuasive? Is it because he has a great team that has repeatedly delivered quality products? It's probably a little bit of all those things, but more than anything else, it has to do with Jobs' charisma and communication style (which aren't easily emulated). Jobs is generally pretty low-key and subtle, but then all of the sudden he'll fire off a big hyperbole or an enthusiastic flare. The contrast of the two styles seems to have the effect of making people say to themselves, "Whoa, if he thinks it's big and is getting excited about it, then it must be important." That's why people fall for it when Jobs dubs a tablet computer as a "magical and revolutionary" thing. It's not just Job's discipline and knack for taking the right risks that has made Apple successful, it's his own ability to promote Apple's products and get millions of people excited about them. That's worth more than millions of dollars of marketing, and it's the one thing that is almost completely irreplaceable.

Also read

About

Jason Hiner is the Global Editor in Chief of TechRepublic and Global Long Form Editor of ZDNet. He is an award-winning journalist who writes about the people, products, and ideas that are revolutionizing the ways we live and work in the 21st century.

56 comments
birumut
birumut

Well done! Thank you very much for professional templates and community edition sesli chat sesli sohbet

dhays
dhays

He would be leaving sooner or later anyway, if he is as ill as some would have us believe. As one commenter said we all leave this world at one time or another. This way he can help the company transisiton to its new leadership. Microsoft hasn't been quite the same w/o Bill Gates as its leader, but they haven't fallen flat on their face either. In the end it makes no difference whether we praise him or pan him. Apple will go on. Unless there is a sudden dislike for their products or someone builds a "better mousetrap" and they can't compete.

IC Chen
IC Chen

Apple' innovation is not only on their products, but more proud is to transfer "hearing from customers" to the "tangible service". The most innovation are focused only in products, but not much talks on "the value of service". Job is the 1st person to the core value for customer' service: "Intangible service service in tangible" is my comments here.

jlindner
jlindner

Only time will tell if the Jobs culture will live on as with other great innovators. Most CEOs are just money chasers trying to return their investor's a profit. It is true innovators like Jobs, Gates, Bell, Disney that turn their dreams into realities. I don't think it is about the profits to them (well, maybe for M$ and Gates). Who would have thought millions would pay an annual homage to a mouse? The telephone was poo-pooed by Western Union as a fad. Apple could have and would have died without Steve Jobs but his legacy can live on if the culture he established lives on. Time will tell.

Interactive Communication
Interactive Communication

With many people I have help, I send this bird message to him. Milk thistle is a supplement which has cured many people from liver complication. My recommendation have save many people. Good luck and when you have a home base business, clue in the rest of the other future entreprenuer with what's next.

Fgalusha
Fgalusha

Lacking... Time will tell if I'm right or not.

Mosblest
Mosblest

I worked for a Chicago faith based charity for many years and we actually had Ken Blanchard in for a couple of sessions. His leadership model makes a lot of sense but takes personality driven leadership out of the picture a bit. I wonder who Jobs has learned from. He seems to prescribe to an ethical but high intensity concept of success and excellence that has to be swallowed whole by staff to work out. Religious metaphors are appropriate here because few people have the charisma of Christ. He said to people follow and they dropped everything and followed. What Apple will need is to gradually reinvent themselves a bit with the disciples of Jobs (Jon Ive comes to mind) doing work that only they can do. Meanwhile, Cook and others who are stalwart business people will have to oversee the sketch book of Jobs future ideas. They won't be the same product he would have made, but they will come closer than any other company could. If I were Tim Cook I would buy what's left of Palm and RIM and innovate the heck out of Android. Make science fiction happen with a Steve Jobs template. Then, offer Steve Woz a role so that some old Apple DNA breath on the engineers who stick around because its Apple.

Mark Miller
Mark Miller

I think Jobs had a vision for the future, but he tended to be a late comer to the specifics of that vision. He had a talent for recognizing a talent for innovation in others, recognizing great ideas and their potential, and understanding his customers at a psychological and emotional level, what they could relate to. Most people give Jobs credit for being a visionary, but I think a good part of that vision was in the people he hired. Where Jobs excelled, as far as his customers were concerned, was in packaging and marketing, and he fed this back into the engineering process. This was the reason why he would berate his engineers to "make it better." It was the engineers who would come up with the new ideas, but since they're tech heads, they have difficulty paring the idea down to something the customer can relate to. The people he hired have the capability to make it so, but Jobs would press them to focus on the customer's needs in terms of relating to the product, more than they otherwise would if left to their own devices. Looking as I have into Apple's early history, you can see this bear out. It wasn't Jobs who came up with the idea of a personal computer. That was the idea of his earliest business partner, Steve Wozniak. What Jobs did was to recognize, where Wozniak didn't, "Hey, wait a minute. We can make this into a product. Let's sell it!" Jobs came up with the case design for the computer, and he recognized the market for it, but the internal electronics, how the computer worked, was Woz's idea. With the Apple Lisa, Jobs was initially against the idea. The Lisa project had been started as a graphical computer in the late 1970s. Over time they developed a graphical user interface for it, based on ideas that had been released out of Xerox PARC in the same time period. Jobs wanted to kill the project. One of Xerox's divisions approached Apple to go into a joint venture, to get some of Xerox's R&D licensed out. Jobs initially refused, but one of his engineers, Jef Raskin, convinced him to take a more in-depth look at what Xerox was doing with GUIs. He and a team of Apple engineers visited Xerox (twice) in December 1979, and Jobs came away a convert. Thus came the Lisa, and later the Macintosh. Jobs did not fully understand what Xerox was up to at the time. He later said of his visit: They showed me, really, three things, but I was so blinded by the first one that I didn???t really ???see??? the other two. One of the things they showed me was object-oriented programming. They showed me that, but I didn???t even ???see??? that. The other one they showed me was really a networked computer system. They had over 100 Alto computers all networked, using e-mail, etc., etc. I didn???t even ???see??? that. I was so blinded by the first thing they showed me, which was the graphical user interface. I thought it was the best thing I had ever seen in my life. Now, remember it was very flawed. What we saw was incomplete. They had done a bunch of things wrong, but we didn???t know that at the time. Still, though, the germ of the idea was there, and they had done it very well. And within ten minutes it was obvious to me that all computers would work like this, someday. The things he didn't "see" were all things he later realized with his NeXT line of computers, after being fired by Apple in the mid-80s. The day of the announcement that Jobs was stepping down as CEO, and the day after, I watched financial analysts attempt to prognosticate about the company, and I was disappointed. All they could talk about was how the stock had been moving, how they had executed on product launches, how profitable the company is. They said they were pleased with the "bench" of executives at Apple, etc. All of that misses what makes Apple such an attractive company to people. It reminds me of the stories I heard years ago about MBAs who would come into a technology company after the founders had sold it, and how everything was just a numbers game to them. What makes the company great is those things that are not quantifiable, and only come from respecting people's individuality: talent, skill, creativity, vision. So with Jobs out of the loop more, he'll be able to continue to set the overall vision for the company. He'll be able to keep tabs on what the company is coming out with, and see whether he approves of the decisions being made in that regard. He can probably hire and fire executives, but he's going to lose the day to day creative control. No one can replace Steve Jobs. The question really is are there people in the company who can set a new, profitable vision for it? We'll have to wait and see about that. Having said this, I wonder if it wouldn't be better if Jobs just left the company altogether, rather than remaining on with the board. If the company is going to have a chance of succeeding after he leaves, it's going to have to be the product of somebody else's vision. It's going to have to be somebody else's baby, not his.

Pacoup
Pacoup

There was a time when Bill Gates was ruthless and Microsoft was moving mountains. Then came government regulations, and the company got boring. That's why there was no change when Gates eventually left, he was already gone. Apple will, in all likeliness, become boring as well, but I believe their demise in this market will be wrongfully attributed to the departure of Jobs. Had Jobs stayed, he would have thrown the company on the path of Mac, that is in a dire situation because of their refusal to create anything else than vertically integrated products. Jobs or not, Google and Android, or maybe Microsoft and Windows, will take over tablets and smartphones and Apple will once again become a niche player in the industry. Actually, the next crazy CEO of Apple may be the one who's gonna save them from the Jobsian fate.

glysien
glysien

How Apple will succeed without its major driving force remains to be seen. Yes the company is quite capable of being successful with someone else at the helm, but one only needs to look to the period between the late 80s and mid 90s when Job was absent from Apple to see how quickly a company can slide from greatness into near-oblivion only to be resurrected by his return. These are indeed very large shoes to fill.

JodisDesign
JodisDesign

its obvious this man is killing himself in the midst of running a epic tech empire.. He needs to take care of himself and heal... Steve Jobs is as about as brilliant as it gets, but we can't count on him forever for everything. Apple as sure as the day it was born, will continue to be the best in the industry.. We as consumers, investors, designs, developers have the power to keep the vision going, to never settle for anything but the best and Apple will have to find ways to keep itself on top... One thing i read here in all the many articles about Mr Jobs that struck me the most was the fact that Steve himself never bothered to stop and listen to what the people wanted- because he knew once they people got what they wanted, they would want something else, just like a child... And now we find our selves not wanting him to leave.. is that what we really want? The poor guy to work himself to death for the needs of our tech savvy expectations?NO, Instead Live by his example, stop and ask- is this really what i want? He did, and took another look and created something "we the people" would fall in love with! Like a mass media, world wide love affair we have had with Steve Jobs- He will never give us what we want- he will give us something better.. and so, we must continue his passionate legacy with blind faith! It might take more then one man to fill the shoes of Mr Jobs, but If he's got it right he'll make sure he keeps the love affair going long before he is gone.....

radar_z
radar_z

Apple did not succeed with the Newton and the original Macs did not allow one to expand the system except with SCSI devices and that was often a hassle. My Apple //e was left high and dry when Apple moved to the Mac. The GUI interface allowed me to do useful work with a Mac without having to learn a lot of command line commands. Steve Ballmer, no innovative genius, called the Mac a toy. Would the computer industry have grown the way it has if we had stayed with DOS and the command line interface? Yes, I know that the mouse and GUI started at Xerox Parc, but Apple incorporated it into computers used by people like myself who needed the capability of computers without having to know a lot about what was going on inside. If it makes people feel good to denigrate people like me, I feel sorry for them. We cannot all be geeks and geniuses. Some of us have professions to practice, children to raise and soccer games to coach and referee. I hope that Apple will continue to encourage innovation, thinking outside the box and developing "cool stuff." Only time will tell. Not all great companies survive as great companies. Look at GE and Kodak. Even Microsoft with its cash on hand and giant revenue stream could fail if it continues to do things the same way it has always done things.

Dutchman_8
Dutchman_8

Still don't like the guy, when he left us Lisa owners high and dry at the beginning of the apple era, you just don't experiment with other peoples hard earned money with out their permission. By the way, the HTC HD phones around 2007 (touch phone operations with similar menu configurations) were out before the iphone, as well as even earlier the O2 (XDA) circa 2003 - touch phone stylus operated. All in all it's a mater how one perceives the person, just wished I didn't fork out the +$4,000 back then for the Lisa.

cramoft
cramoft

I completely disagree with you on the effect of Jobs leaving Apple. This company is old enough to have DNA and it will take years for the DNA to change. Even if the new man tries hard to change things very quickly. You have to remember what happened to Apple when a previous new manager tried to change the culture and failed miserably. I worked in SV (not Apple) for many years and understand the engineering climate there. In companies that do not allow the MBA's to institute their quarterly profits programs they are always much more successful. Please keep in mind the DNA in Apple is very deep and took long time develop. It will not change quickly, there is of course gene drift, but gene drift is a very slow process With Steve gone there will be changes, but very slowly. Don't forget the investors they have a lot of influence on how much change can be made and how quickly. In my opinion your column has insulted Steve Jobs, your readers and especially me. Have you ever experienced the culture of a very tight engineering department thats producing innovative products that make a profit..???? In my opinion you are selling Jobs and Apple short. cramoft

l_e_cox
l_e_cox

Great thinkers have always run into, and tried to solve, the succession problem. It is an observable historical fact that any group built on the vision of a single being tends to decay when that being ceases to lead. If that group was responsible for great things, for great leaps forward in the culture, then its waning can be a real problem. The most important points to keep in mind, according to my own studies in this area, are that: 1) The Founder of an organization ordinarily wears more than one "hat" and 2) The Founder must successfully turn over each of these "hats" to appropriate successors, except for the hat of Founder. The success of a group, after its Founder has faded from the scene, depends enormously on the Founder's ability to communicate. The Founder must communicate his basic goals and ideals in a way that is as timeless as possible. And he must communicate his management principles and skills in a way such that his successors can learn to duplicate them completely. Ideally this would include an apprenticeship. Anyone in the group should be free to question management's adherence to the Founder's goals. And that means that those goals must be known by and taught to all group members so that they are fully understood. Few modern organizations operate on such high principles. I know that there is a huge public feeling that our country has failed in this regard. Though the future of Apple may not seem as important as the future of our Republic, I know there are a lot of folks out there who would like to see Apple continue to show the creative leadership it has come to be known for in its sector.

XWingz
XWingz

I agree, why don't we all go to overweight people, and go WHY THE @#$% ARE YOU SO @#$%ING FAT?? And for all those who smoke or do drugs, we should should just say "why are you such a being such a retard?" Then for those gays and lesbians we should all go up to their face and say "you're such a f@gg0+." Yes, the Steve Jobs style will totally make the world a better place. Wait.. I thought there was something called positive reinforcement learning.... but I guess it was wrong, because if Steve Jobs does something, then it must be right. Even the great Jason Hiner said so.

JJFitz
JJFitz

He's really not leaving. He's just moving to a different position of power. I can't imagine an egomaniac like Steve Jobs could ever willingly let go of anything. He's like a ventriloquist moving Tim Cook to his other knee.

MikeGall
MikeGall

The showmanship works well for consumer products but also makes products look like toys for enterprise. Maybe they'll be able to get into the corporate market more now with a little bit less dazzle at WDC and a bit more "here's how it will make your business more productive".

TGGIII
TGGIII

Hate to say it again, but we all exit the planet at some point. The alternative is just close shop now and go home. Apple may wobble but a leader that is recognized for his unique contribution contributions will emerge to stand on Jobs shoulders - maybe out of corporate pain. (Disney, GE, BofA in the 90s...pick your case.) Jobs is hard on others but having worked with people like that, the great equalizer is that he is probably 10 times harder on himself...that is how you get away with that. "Better the blows of a friend than the kisses of an enemy." He is a hero to many because he is principled and exudes integrity that inspires us to dream and act in tangible and meaningful ways.

villagehiker
villagehiker

While Steve is one-of-a-kind, you have forgotten the quality of people who work for him. At least 10% of them aspire to his excellence. It could be as much as 50% or more. Either way, this is more than enough to keep the company creatively innovating without regard to the public or the competition.

randmart
randmart

Jobs was such a ego-maniacal autocrat that he could not stand having anyone else who was strong near him. Therefore Apple has no one who can replace him. To prosper, they must go outside for a new CEO or the will begin to slide in a year of two.

Quasar Kid
Quasar Kid

People should not overlook just how sick the man really is. Hate to be a naysayer but Mr Jobs will not be with us much longer - 12 months tops, if that. Whether or not Apple can continue to be a force remains to be seen. Godspeed.

Hal Taback
Hal Taback

If my recollection is correct, Steve Jobs, after leaving Apple 14 years ago, the company did not fair well and Jobs was called back to help bail them out with a "little" seed money from Bill Gates. Evidently, his management skills, leadership and inovation has been a major factor in the company's success. So time will tell, if there is a void (or not) in leadership to maintain Apple's position on top.

Kabaka
Kabaka

Overall, the article's logic is sound. There's just 2 glitches. First: "... it???s [Jobs'] own ability to promote Apple???s products and get millions of people excited about them ... [that is] almost completely irreplaceable" ALMOST. That means that a replacement is conceivable and possible. Who knows? Second: Who says that the resignation means a replacement is needed for the major PR exercises. You've already established a successful unconventional management-style. What's to prevent the Chairman of the Board from doing the sales pitch that the CEO has done in the past?

gosto
gosto

At least now there is a chance that millions of people will no longer suffer Jobs' irrational antipathy toward the stylus.

rkoenn
rkoenn

I am not an Apple fanboy mainly because their very controlled hardware and software machine prevents me from tinkering. I build and service primarily Windows machines in my spare time and have a huge number of hardware options at my disposal giving me gobs of freedom. I could not do that with Apple. Saying that, for the person who feels secure being hand held than Apple is a good choice. But to me reading all that I do on PCs and their ilk, I believe it was Job's mystique and salesmanship that they won't be able to continue. He made so many people want Apple products, most quite good but hardly perfect or necessary, by applying his personality to it. Where else would you get the response he garnered at his product announcement extravaganzas? The products were good but were they that much better than some far cheaper alternatives? Now with the iPad he did get the cost structure down quite nicely too. But most of the other Apple products, while being nice and a bit unique, could be done with significantly cheaper generic alternatives. Steve though made those buyers feel they needed an Apple product and made them believe they were truly unique and easier to use. That part I don't agree with. I do understand what he has accomplished and hope he makes it through this most recent medical mess. But his resigning makes me think his medical condition is getting worse unfortunately.

mehosa
mehosa

He may not be the CEO, but he will either make decisions behind the scenes or they will create a C-Level Executive title just for him. Example CMO Chief Magical Officer, or CIO Chief Innovation officer.

pschulz
pschulz

In my opinion, Jobs has chosen exactly the right time to resign. Everything in Apple is right now looked on by many as top. So - he will be remembered forever as the guy who made Apple successful again. And whatever mistakes his successors are making he will be remembered so. If he were to stay, he might be the one making those mistakes (as he has done in the past with a quite checkered ups-and-down ride history - check his biography). But it is a brilliant move to resign now. This way he is going to be regarded as the "one who did it right".

ManOnFire6469
ManOnFire6469

The best thing Apple can do is not to try to continue the Steve Jobs era without Steve Jobs. It will be impossible and they will fail miserably. Time for some new fresh and bold thinkers to come of age and take the company even where Steve Jobs couldn't. Let his ceiling become their floor.

AGOlbert
AGOlbert

You do good work, Jason! Thank you. Keep it up.

dunndh
dunndh

He is my Idol, they move on. How about just honor him, give the next guy some credit and quit analyzing.

jarzola
jarzola

Jobs is an awesome visionary, but everyone has this power. If you had virtually unlimited resources, time to spare, and you make the final call,with a little research you can almost be a visionary as Jobs. Jobs is an example of the human potential if we did not have to worry too much about money and time. If the next person can see that, then Apple will continue to be successful. Microsoft had this fire but Gates became distracted with other things and so look where it has taken them. Another good example of my argument is Google. We all have this power we just need the right circumstances to make great things

mwclarke1
mwclarke1

There are many things in this world that never will be the same again, but for apple, Not changing that much just where Jobs chooses to make decisions from. So he has someone taking the every day tasks, Still his company and will still be run as Steve Jobs wants it until he dies, His visions, etc. Apple has had it's good times and bad. Nothing new just brought to market faster and sometimes better than others. Brilliant from a business standpoint, trap everyone into having to go back to you for anything related to their products. I however do not like being forced into using proprietary and only one way to download tunes for a playback device, apps for a tablet, etc. Good devices but no worth the premium. I think too much a controlling person, then again I guess am too when it comes to my business, rest assured, as long as he is breathing Apple is still going to be run by Steve no matter who he has working under him.

gcrain
gcrain

I was expecting the usual anti-apple backhanded compliments but this is a well thought out article. Even though I have never bought an Apple product I have always been a big fan and heartily recommended them to others. I've known this day was coming but it is still sad none the less. He has not only left an indelible mark on the computer industry but on the world as well.

judexy22
judexy22

In Mauritius, many times I heard People say that nobody is irreplaceable ! In my opinion certain People are irreplaceable. Who could venture to think that Somebody could replace Job ? Certain People are born Thinkers, and they are not many. Look out of the window and you will find many Thinkers, but they are only the average Joe's !

rolandw
rolandw

Balls Arrogance Determination Obsession Fear

valerio
valerio

...he is just getting rid of the boring CEO stuff and focusing on the things that interest him. Other than that how Apple will do in a post-Steve era will show how great a leader he is. The difference between a great leader and a good leader is that the great leader nurtures a culture within his organisation that will live past him. A great leader is not supposed to leave a photocopy of himself to lead his organisation after him but to make it so that leaders after him are impregnated by the values they should be.

Phayt
Phayt

With Steve Jobs gone, I am 50% more likely to shop at Apple, if they did away with I-Tunes, would would be another 50% likely, which would put them on an even table with the other products that compete with theirs. I was really considering purchasing one of the new Ipad2 when they came out, I was right on the edge, I saw a video of Steve Jobs extolling the virtues of his new product he he convinced me. I became certain at that moment, not to purchase an IPad. Good sales there Steve. Here is an idea for ya, if your going to sell a tech product, you may want to spend a little bit of time telling us what it has rather than trash talking the competition. I realize that he played the "little man" behind Microsoft for so long that he is afraid of the competition but come on! For years, Apple has sold, average products while they were viewed as selling master pieces and they were priced as masterpieces. I have yet to see a single innovative product that they have sold that can match in price and capabilities their competitors. They will frequently just nudge out a product in some categories while being just less in other categories while being in some cases 200% higher in price. They are simply marketing on a name brand. When my sons decided they needed I-Pods, I showed them several products that beat every single feature of the I-Pods that were in several cases less than half the price and they still simply had to have the I-Pod cause that is what all of their friends have. I purchased the I-Pod and a Creative Labs product on the same day. Received them both and within a week my son was begging to trade his I-Pod for my Creative Labs. I made the trade with him and I am sure the I-Pod is still in a drawer somewhere?

Spitfire_Sysop
Spitfire_Sysop

You make a few fatal mistakes. The first is that you are suggesting that retarded people smoke and do drugs. I have never met a mentally retarded person who smokes or does drugs and I went to a high school that had a program for such people (cue the jokes, yeah, I fit right in). The second terrible example, that is equally offensive to someone, is that your remark about homosexuals assumes two things: 1. Homosexuals cannot be great people 2. Homosexuals can be cured somehow? (You suggested positive reinforcement) There is a big difference between constructive critisim and using derogetory terms. I'm not sure if Mr. Jobs has ever insulted anyone as bad as you just did. I conclude that you are a painfully ignorant dunce and that you may be suffering from one or all of these problems yourself. Perhaps you are an overweight retarded f@gg0+ who is suffering from a drug addiction? Please choose your words more carefully in the future. If you haven't offended everyone on this site, hopefully I have.

don.howard
don.howard

While I wouldn't say most enterprise is ready for OSX servers, the Mac desktop will likely get in the same way as the iPhone - people will start bringing their own units in and using them instead of the standard corporate issue. It is already happening in many areas.

randmart
randmart

It is likely that Jobs resigned because he is not long for this world. Speculation about what he might do as Chairman is of academic interest only -- a listing of things he would do if able.

Ternarybit
Ternarybit

I think he just stepped down because he'd run out of ways to make the screen a little bigger and call it a new product. The cycle of 'innovation' ended and the getting was good. You're absolutely right though, by dodging out right now, he gets all the credit and none of the blame.

Ian Wright
Ian Wright

In the latter stages of my working life I think that the combination of attributes that Jobs has is extremely rare. Very, very few people have whatever the Jobs essence is. It is far more than time and resources. Many have tried to articulate his various characteristics but ultimately it is the combination of these embedded in a particular personality with a particular value system that makes him unique. This doesn't make him a saint or a sinner - just an incredibly rare individual who has made a remarkable impact on society at a particular point in time. And this individual has driven the creation of numerous products that resonate with me and millions of others through what they do and how they do it.

don.howard
don.howard

I disagree - in part. I don't think Vision can be taught, only nourished or stamped out. Unfortunately, in too many companies it is the latter.

alecpjd
alecpjd

I've always counted myself in the "Nobody is irreplaceable" brigade. But that's just my experience - in average companies - in an average world (in the UK). I have to agree with judexy22. Jobs' acheivements are outstanding.

techrepublic
techrepublic

...enough to make his impact felt. There hasn't been a leader like Jobs since Walt Disney. What Walt did is exactly what you have stated. He created a culture of excellence and innovation that exists to this day. If anyone else today can emulate Disney's vision, I can think of no better candidate than Steve Jobs.

mckinnej
mckinnej

I think you're forgetting just how sick he really is. He basically hasn't worked this year. He's going to be coaching from the sidelines at best. Kudos to him for having the courage and foresight to hand over the reins while he is able to choose a successor. Your spot-on comment about leadership actually plays against your argument. Job's leadership style created a cult of personality rather than a self-sustaining culture. Jason's comparison to Lombardi is a good one. The Packers were never the same after he left. We can expect similar changes with Apple.

paul.hayes
paul.hayes

That is an excellent point and if Steve has created the right culture it will develop, grow and innovate according to his vision and the values that Jason has brought out so well.

cramoft
cramoft

What a jackass. You allowed the Jobs performance to make your decision. It's as if you were not aware of the Jobs super ego. Now he's out of the Apple all those with a grudge are coming out of the woodwork. Where were you before Jobs decided to go off and die????????? I don't own an Ipod, Ipad or Macbook. I have owned Macs since 1985.

judexy22
judexy22

Already many are so sad ! It looks same as when we were young and Fans of certain Movie Stars. Jobs will remain unforgetable !