Technologically, the Apple products of 1977, ’84, ’98 and 2011 are worlds apart. Philosophically, they all reflect the things that mattered most to Jobs: Simplicity, style, obsessive attention to detail and innovation that delivers tangible benefits. It’s an approach that will serve Apple as well in decades to come as it does today!
However resting on laurels is something very un-Apple, Apple rarely hopes to churn out better versions of today’s products. In keeping with the ‘Jobs-vision’ the Cupertino-based firm will undoubtedly endeavor to figure out what the next big thing is, and do it better than anyone else. It must ensure that the landmark achievements of Jobs’ two tenures at Apple — the Apple II, Mac, iMac, iTunes, Apple Store, iPod, iPhone and iPad — are followed by landmark products in new and upcoming categories.
The Sun Tzu of Apple
Apple and Steve Jobs had been preparing for a Job-less future for a long time. It’s been eight years since Jobs was first diagnosed with cancer. Since then he’s been on leave from the company several times and had to rely on his lieutenants to carry the company forward in his absence, even if it wasn’t absolute at that point.
Jobs has placed the right people in key positions to keep Apple innovating along the lines of his vision. As long as hand-picked leaders like Tim Cook, Jonathan Ive, Scott Forstall, and Phil Shiller stick around, Apple should be fine. Given that most of them have already been offered far more lucrative packages at other companies and decided to stay and continue their work at Apple, all seems to be going according to Steve’s playbook.
The first real test for the new CEO came last month in the form of the quarterly earnings. With the previous quarter having fallen short of expectations, the January earnings review truly was the first litmus test for Cook. The resounding success of the first quarter results was only amplified by the several sales records that fell by the wayside. This was perhaps more a test of Jobs’ long-term management vision than a test of Tim Cook.
While Cook is at the helm of one of the most crucial phases in Apple’s illustrious history – he certainly seems the right man for the pressure cooker post (no pun intended). The stunning turnaround in Apple’s supply chain incorporated by him caught the fancy of Jobs, who in his resignation letter fully backed the installation of Cook as CEO.
The long road ahead…
Rarely has a brand identified more intrinsically with a single individual as in the case of Apple. With time even a legend wears thin, how this will apply in the case of the Apple founder is as yet to be seen. With people still flocking to his Palo Alto home to catch a glimpse of what the Edison of our time called home. The outpouring of grief at the passing of the iCon was something never-before seen for a man from his field. But then again he really did stand out in his profession! In a manner of speaking, it’s hard to imagine Apple without Jobs, but at the same time, the products he built, resonate the innate atmosphere at Apple, another of Steve’s contributions.
While all is seemingly well; it’s most definitely testing times ahead for the tech-giant. One ponders – how would he have handled the recent Foxconn controversy surrounding workers’ conditions in China? Such issues are bound to come up when you’re as big as Apple is today. How Apple handles these issues is in their hands. What can safely be surmised is that Steve Jobs has made more than just a lasting impact on the firm.
Image by bangdollvia Flickr (cc)
How to remotely control your PC from your smartphone (for free)
About Rudra Sen
An alumnus of the University of Sussex, Rudra is fascinated by history, culture and technology. He’s known to abruptly act like a hipster in the most unlikely of situations. On wwwireframe, he writes about how technology has and is impacting our lives. In his words, “Good stuff.”