Steve Jobs != Apple?

18 Comments

After reading this article by the Guardian Unlimited I’ve been thinking about Steve Jobs and his eventual departure from Apple. Is Steve Jobs the reason for Apple’s comeback and amazing success? Can Apple survive without him at the helm?

After Bill Gate’s announced retirement from day-to-day operations at Microsoft, which a lot of people said would never happen, people in the Apple community are starting to wonder what would happen if Apple’s CEO decided to call it quits.

I think it is important to remember the key differences between Apple and Microsoft. Microsoft publicly announces everything years ahead of time. When Gates announced he would retire in two years, he had already been making plans for several years.

You can be sure when Jobs decides to leave Apple, he will also make plans. The only difference is that we won’t hear about them until he’s gone. Remember the iPod? The Apple Store? It is Apple’s corporate policy to keep everything top secret until released, so I have no doubt Jobs’ retirement will be the same.

Also, I have a feeling Jobs will be staying with us for a few more years. With the exciting switch to Intel and still more innovations coming from the digital entertainment industry I don’t think Jobs is going to want out anytime soon. When he does decide to let go of his $1/year salary, you can be sure that we won’t know about it until he announces he’s gone at that year’s MacWorld Expo.

18 Comments

Brennan

What will happen is exactly what happened with the Intel announcement; surprise, the machines have been running Intel all day!
Jobs will be at Macworld, announce new products, people will go crazy about them, and then Jobs will say, “One more thing… Mr. X has been running the company for the last two years and I’ve been doing nothing. I hadn’t even seen these new products I just showed you until a week ago. See? Apple will be fine without me.”
Then he’ll hop in his Mercedes and go live a relaxing life in Santa Clara Valley until he dies.

maximin lida

Yes realy, Steve job has not been the driving machine here but rather a opportunist and good friend with the “GREED” Nobody never talk about the real people that did the job at apple NO S. JOB—-Yes J. Ive is a brilliant designer and much more. so Job with his BS PLEASE NO – I work on both platform as well with G4 G5 and pentium processor from apple and believe or not the Motorola Processor been much better overall – Leopard that a flaw 9NOTHING NEW AT ALL – Freeware has been on more 5 years ago), iLife full of bug not to see all the trouble you have to go just for A UPDATE – So Apple YES but something have to be done and change to go back in A FRIENDLY, STABLE INTERFACE for THE MAC COMMUNITY.

Tim

Benton nailed it there. You can’t drop a bombshell and walk out of a public company without very serious backlash.

The stock would plummet… I mean a HUGE plummet. There’ll be a succession plan announced, and that person will begin taking up the duties while Jobs is still officially at the helm.

Once the analysts & stockholders are comfortable with the new leader, Jobs walks out and closes the door.

It’ll be a sad day indeed.

Yasser Dahab

Much agreed, deepkid.

A good friend of mine works alongside Ive and the design team, and from what I understand they do so much more than design cases. Heuristics, my friend. For Apple, that spans hardware and software.

jwo

deepkid,
While i agree Ive is not exactly CEO material, and many people and areas within Apple are responsible for their products, but design is the very thing that makes products easy to use!!
Ever heard of user interface, ergonomics, product semantics?

What you said sounds like something Bill Gates would say.

JulesLt

Let’s be realistic – Apple can look at it’s own history and see what happens when it goes down the route of penny-pinching, etc, compared to when it invests in innovation and good design. In fact it has no option other than to continue doing so, because that only gives you a 12-36 month lead over your rivals. Apple know what happened when they stopped investing and started trying to make more money.

Jobs hasn’t always got it right either – Next would have gone bust if Apple hadn’t bought it, despite the excellence of it’s products.

Anyway, I think he is quite replacable – so long as the Apple board don’t try to replace him with someone from Coke – there are lots of people out in the Apple world who have technical skills, and great taste – but maybe not the head for business.

jbelkin

Yes, Jonathon Ivie is a great designer but in normal corporation, work gets focused-groupitis and bureacrat-ed to death – someone in marketing has to put in their 2 -cents worth – people won’t get the scrollwheel – put words on it or operations will shave $10.00 from the cost of it – so what if it’s a little larger – ONLY Steve Jobs can go – the words on the scroll wheel – stupid – this thing is too large – change it. Johnathon Ivie will get eaten alive by marketing as some design geek without a clue in the real world, engineers will just call him a design frerak without a real sense of how components will cost, etc … etc … and unlike Steve Jobs who can say – I invented this company and this industry – who the F are you? Or without Steve Jobs going to negotiate the deal with the record labels?

Again, Steve Jobs is UNREPLACEABLE because anyone like a Steve Jobs is running their own company right now … basically you need a visionary who can inspire (create their own reality distrortion field) – about 60% of steve Jobs is richard branson but richard branson is not only all over the place (colas and wedding dresses?) he’s really not much of a tech, believeing that marketing will defeat everything (not true – witness Virgin Cola or Virgin mp3 players) so basically you need richard branson who either has an engineering degree or has launched a successful hardware product … again, good freakin’ luck.

deepkid

To Yas,

With regard to gadgets and computers, design is NOTHING without functionality and ease of use. Please don’t discredit the rest of Apple for their role in making great products.

Benton

I believe Steve Jobs will announce his successor in advance of his departure, other wise Apple’s stock will tank if he dropped a bomb. Remember, recently some of the most senior executives who arrived in 1997 with Steve have retired.

Yas

In my very humble opinion, it’s Jonathan Ive and his brilliant industrial engineering team that has made Apple what it is, not Steve Jobs.

jbelkin

It’s true for EVERY company with a strong founder and one who’s business is dependeant on continual innovation.

The advantage that Steve Jobs is he’s an engineer and a marketing/design genius so who are you to question him?

The problem with Sculley was that the engineer’s did not respect him and he didn’t really grasp the bigger issues of Motorola falling behind and what to do …

So how do you find someone engineers, marketers & desigers respect? Good freakin’ luck – even Bill Gates falls down on 2 out of 3 when compared to Steve Jobs … so you can see it’s not an easy task. And in the past few years, add movie studio executive who’s NEVER had a failure?

And how many people have the respect of three different industries (including music?)

You can find a lot of pure marketers but look at the scenario with the ipod … you think they would’ve been as tough as Steve Jobs? Or as detailed? He insisted that you could tell when you press in the headphones, it seems to “lock” into place … it’s not a huge part of the ipod but it’s like when you pull out the headphones, the songs pause – that’s the Steve Jobs/Apple touch that no one else gets. It all adds up.

He is irreplacable but that’s life – at some point, a company is like your kid, you just hope you engrained enough of the good stuff and off they go – but the rest is unknown and unplotable.

We also live in violtile times where things change overnight but instead of trying to out-guess the future, let;s just enjoy it for what it is.

Steve Jobs does not seem like the guy who will want to retire so I hink he’ll be around for a while. He wants to create a name, a company (and himself) as immortal – here’s hoping that he succeeds but the road is hard.

If you look at the Top 50 American companies from even 25 years, who’s still around in their present form?

But that’s the way it goes. The East India Trading Company once owned a country and now is just a tiny company so … c’est la vie.

nagha

Instead of !=, try using the actual symbol: option = to get ≠

If it doesn’t show up properly on Windows, that’s their problem!

Dr. Mongo

Maybe he is grooming Al Gore to take over the leadership.

After all – he did invent the Internet, right?

Lokkison

Apple also kept the Intel transition plans secret BUT had been planning & developing it for 5 years. They don’t do things by accident.

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