I’ve just read news that Steve Jobs has stepped down as CEO of Apple.
I’m not a fan of Apple or Steve personally, but despite of that I find that I’m typing this on an iPhone so it’s hard to argue with the success he has had at Apple in developing products that have changed the consumer landscape. His approach has at times seemed counter-intuitive: launching the iPad (a phone too big for your pocket) and his general philosophy of restricting user choice to improve the consumer experience spring to mind. However when the market proves you right, you’re right.
I wish him the best of luck and health.
In reality Jobs stepped down in January and Tim has been running things since then. Jobs was able to steer Apple simply because he was “hard” enough to push in one direction despite what other people would say or do. He did not think about the market, investors, industry leaders, or any outside influence in making his decisions. It was his way or the highway. It was that philosophy that Apple would steer the industry instead of the industry steering Apple that led to such success.
There would have been no success at all if there was not a vision or dream that jived with what a consumer would want. Apple’s true success was they just “got it”. They would think outside the box. They would control everything to keep the experience exactly as they intended (Sometimes good, sometimes not so good).
I think Apple really found their niche in consumer appliances and goods. (iPad, iPod, iPhone, AppleTV, iStore)
Steve is a legend and he will truly be missed but I think Tim will do ok and I think Apple will hopefully continue to follow the Jobs Philosophy - “Get the consumer what they truly want, not what the industry thinks they want”. I think shares will fall a bit then go back up then level off.
THe one that I find truly interesting but you hear little about now a days is the “Woz”.
Or indeed, “get the consumer what they want, even if they have no idea they want it yet.”
Practically the very definition of leadership.
I admire SJ for his chutzpah and moxie, but he also tended to favor his own biases too much and thus made mistakes. Apple is more successful at selling digital music and movies than books, because Steve got it into his head that “people don’t read any more.” Either Steve is not big on reading, or else he only talks to people under 30.
Jeff Bezos is a prodigious reader and he bet his store on books, print and digital. He created the Kindle, software that runs on any and all machines. With Kindle Books he has a publishing imprint that will be THE place for authors to go. Farewell agents and publishers; Amazon and Google rule. Even the Nook is selling more books than Apple.
The iPad is the better reader for Kindle books, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see a great, cheap Kindle tablet appear soon that will attract all those folks now buying up the defunct HP TouchPad.
Still, I am sad to see Mr. Jobs go. I’ve watched him since '84 and will miss his flair for keynotes and reality distortion.
I didn’t always agree with Jobs’ philosophies, especially in latter years, pulling development away from computing and into consumer products and services. Though I cannot deny they’ve done good things for the mobile and cellular markets, I have always preferred to keep myself a little more analogue when I step outside of my front door, so it was frustrating to have resources and focus taken away from what I feel to be the best computing platform on the market today toward stuff I have little interest in. But, we wouldn’t have that platform in the first place if he hadn’t of pushed so hard for a revamp of the Mac OS back at the turn of the millennium. OS X was his dream, and you can see that if you go and look at the old keynotes and developer conferences announcing it; he had the same spirit he did when the Macintosh computer was introduced. He had a passion and a vision of an even better Mac, and I doubt any other major player would have had the wherewithal and user-focussed insight to bring UNIX to the masses (many tried, but they were too geek centric to pull it off).
He will be a innovator missed, that’s for sure, but he does still have a chair from what I understand, and Cook has done a good job every since the health issues caused Jobs to pull back from daily duties, so I’m too concerned about the future of Apple. They’ve set themselves up for decades of success if they continue to play their cards right; this doesn’t feel at all like the last time Apple lost Jobs.
And yeah, we’ll miss that reality distortion.
Edit: Should’ve read the post above me before posting. Wock beat me to it.
Anyone who can de facto trademark an entire letter of the alphabet – the lower-case i™ --deserves our respect regardless of anything else he may have achieved.