Steve Jobs, Exit, Stage Left
Well, the ‘Pimp has been away for a long time, so you know it would take something monumental to end his uncharacteristically long silence. Steve Jobs’ resignation is just that.
Monumental, but not at all surprising. Anyone who saw his last keynote could tell you that this day was coming soon. He looked frail. His voice was weak. And those of us who pay attention worried about this day coming. Would the stock tank? Would there be a power struggle? Will the company lose its edge?
There’s been more than enough punditry on these points, but that won’t stop The ‘Pimp from adding his voice to the sound of the crowd.
Unlike a lot of young pups, me and Father Steve go back a long, long ways. When I saw the original Macintosh in 1984, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on one (even though I smartly waited for the 512k in 1985.) After working in the early 80′s on $100,000 IBM CADAM workstations, a $2500 personal computer with then-revolutionary graphics potential seemed like the future unfolding in front of my eyes.
My love deepened for when I developed a very successful career in digital prepress, then later in multimedia development, all because of the Mac. And don’t tell me I coulda done it on a PeeCee. Windows 2.0. Nuff sed.
Through good times and bad, the company still seemed to be pushing the boundaries of computing, failing miserably, but sometimes succeeding brilliantly. But when Father Steve returned, things seemed to gel in ways too uncanny to believe. The design got crisp, the focus got tighter, the operations got streamlined.
And here we are today.
I think the biggest fallacy most pundits have made is thinking that Steve did it by himself. The New Steve learned to do what the Old Steve failed to grasp: surround himself with genius, and let them do their jobs. Things might change, but seriously, will they change that much?
Will Tim Cook forget to run a tight ship, with a product pipeline that is the envy of the entire manufacturing world? Will Jonathan Ive forget how to design products that make people drool? Will Phil Schiller forget how to market products in a way that drives so much desire?
Sure, the thought leader is gone, and that didn’t work out too well for Uncle Fester, but Apple seems to have more on the ball these days than the rest of the tech industry combined. Besides, I know for a fact that Apple develops roadmaps that look way out into the future, so who knows what is in their pipeline. I could be years before they run out of new ideas. Hell, they already own the post-PC world, and it’s just the beginning.
So, we can mourn the loss of Father Steve at the helm, but I for one am still unconvinced that there will be a great sea-change in the company in the coming years. I think there are a lot of new ideas and profits to be had.
Godspeed, Father Steve. You deserve the rest. Please get better soon.