“The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”
– Apple Inc.
This week has been eventful; earthquakes in New York City, Hurricane on the way, and Steve Jobs has officially stepped down as CEO of Apple. The aftershock (excuse the expression) of all of this leaves us mulling over what this means for Apple and the future of our favorite computing devices. In his official letter Jobs states,
“I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple’s CEO, I would be the first to let you know. Unfortunately, that day has come.”
While it wasn’t completely unforeseen (Jobs had been on medical leave since January) it’s still the end of an era of an iconic technology genius that deserves recognition.
Apple came back in the 1990’s largely due to Steve Jobs’ ability to change the way people perceived the computer. No longer was it an alien device that needed training to understand, the iMac was a computer that with “two steps” had the user connected to the internet. Jobs’ ability to recognize the importance of aesthetic appeal created a massive success for Apple. The future turned out not to be the complicated and convoluted world of Blade Runner, but the sleek and sophisticated one of Star Trek.
Beyond computers that were user friendly, glitch free and powerful, Apple appealed to the counter-culture of the electronic market, creating powerful computing devices for media professionals. Their close relationship with Adobe, and in-house software and hardware development, allowed a seamless end product that has yet to be topped in the world of technology.
It’s true: Apple is a huge success. The question that is on the tip of everyone’s tongue is how much of this has to do with Steve Jobs being CEO? I floated this question out to the Everglades Techs, and responses quickly came back:
The reality is Apple has grown from a niche market, to a consumer powerhouse with over 350 billion dollars in market capital. The idea that the iconic style and performance of Apple design will be lost with a single employee is ridiculous.
+1 to that as well.
Also note, Steve was known for his creative insight which attributed to the success of his developers creative productions. After 10 years, if the developers can’t produce innovative ideas on their own than something is wrong.
I see no problem getting the product to the masses. Macs are not for the “elitists,” they’re for everyone.
The computers Apple had been gearing toward professionals in the media industry, such as the Cinema Display Monitor, are no longer being made. Final Cut Pro has adapted the iMovie template, effectively standardizing video editing and taking away a lot of the creative flexibility once there. I know of professional video editing companies that are considering moving to Premiere because of the lack of creativity in Final Cut. It seems that everything Jobs touched was injected with quality (Pixar) and I can’t help but think that a large part of what makes Apple great is their leader who is uncompromising in the quality of their products.
+1 as well.
Steve Jobs was known for requiring his approval for every design aspect of the iPhone and probably the original iPods as well. He was THE captain of his ship with a clear direction. Where Apple/Steve Jobs succeeded was purposely creating a consumer device that was POLISHED, not a computer device. Unless the feature was easy, glitch free and perfect, it wasn’t added despite market pressure. Remember what took a long time to appear on the iPhone:
Cut and Paste
Flash (still not supported)
And then there’s The App Store!!! Steve Jobs walled garden. Apple would not be what it is today if it hadn’t locked down the iPhone as a great device for great apps to be developed on.
Can his replacement steer the company as tightly as Steve Jobs, or will he make the concessions that will leave a bad taste in the consumer’s mouth?
Is Steve Jobs a visionary Captain or Just One Among Many?