Steve Jobs resigns and the ghouls and fanboys are already out in force. Do they have a point, though?

Bill Loguidice's picture

Unless you've been living under one of the few remaining rocks without Internet access, you've already heard the news of Apple CEO, Steve Jobs, resigning. Even though his health has been an obvious issue in recent years, the news still comes as a surprise. Clearly this is the beginning of the end for one of the tech world's most divisive and historically prominent figures, because say what you will about the man and his actions, he clearly has a passion for his work and wouldn't leave unless it was the most dire of circumstances.

Of course, putting the human element aside for the time being, this has also become prime time for the Apple haters to ghoulishly rejoice and/or predict the end of Apple's time in the spotlight. While much of that is clearly fueled by fanboys who feel threatened by Apple's recent prominence, is there any validity to this idea? In fact, some are even trying to draw comparisons to Microsoft's downward trend and the exodus of Bill Gates, but are there really any similarities?

My take is is that it is unlikely Jobs leaving and presumed eventual passing will have a significant impact on Apple in the short- to medium-term. The company is too well positioned at the moment. Long-term is anyone's guess, but then that's an issue for every company. As for Microsoft, I don't think much would have changed for them if Gates remained at the helm. The problem with being the market leader is that you by necessity take fewer and fewer risks to protect that lead, creating more opportunity for others to generate excitement and start to steal marketshare by being more nimble and/or able to react to changing market conditions better. By any definition, Microsoft is still wildly successful and will remain so, it's just that they've stumbled outside of their legacy products of Windows and Office. The only real success at Microsoft other than those two stalwarts and the related enterprise stuff has been their Xbox division. Everything else has pretty much been a failure to this point (though they do make some fine computer accessories). Again, that would be so with or without Gates. Of course, despite those downsides, being a very large company does have the benefit of leaving lots of room to sweep aside failures and try, try again, something Microsoft clearly specializes in. Apple is in as good of a position as any company to sweep aside a few failures going forward, with or without the influence of Jobs.

In any case, it's a fascinating time of late watching these massive tech corporations maneuver, strategize, sue, buy-out, patent troll, and engage in some downright bizarre decision making, be it Google, HP, Microsoft, Apple, Nintendo, Sony, AT&T, et al. I can't recall a time since the early 80's when we've had such volatility in the tech world. Of course, with these fascinating times comes some rough times for us as consumers, but then we've always been the collateral damage when corporate competition heats up, and there's really no sector hotter right now than tech. Whatever side of the fence you fall on, it really is a shame Jobs will no longer be a part of it, though, because love him or hate him, he always made things interesting and all those corporate shenanigans won't seem quite the same without the guy in the black turtleneck to rally around, whether for or against.

Comments

Mark Vergeer
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Joined: 01/16/2006
Major influence

I think Steve Jobs has been a key figure in the regained success of the Apple company. Such a charismatic figure is difficult to replace but it probably is not impossible.

Apple is a huge company and will probably continue to be successful as long as they keep innovating. And innovating GUI and UI and design-wise they continue to do, that is why they kind of stole my heart and sympathy long ago.

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Nathaniel Tolbert
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Joined: 11/06/2010
Steve Jobs Resigns, and Apple won't crash.

There is a lot of talk about how since such a cult of personality has been built up around Steve Jobs that with his departure the company will crash and burn horribly (I believe I heard an Apple hater say like the Hindenburg. Distasteful.) but I very highly doubt this. Where as yes, he had the final say on every product that was released, sometimes pushing people beyond what they thought they could make, he isn't truly gone. First, he's still the on the Executive board. Will he be there constantly? No, it is very obvious that Steve Jobs is very ill, some fear even terminal (I hope to god not. My father had terminal cancer and no one should see their loved ones go through that.) and he will eventually not be able to work at all. Second, the statements coming out of not just the execs but the workers is that the road map for everything that is to be rolled out and introduced is set for at the very least, the next 4 years, and some say as long as 7 years. Will Apple falter after then? It's very hard to tell, but for the foreseeable future, rest assured that Apple will be just fine. As you all know I am a very outspoken person about Apple with my dislike for their use of wording in their advertising, but I do not wish any harm on anybody that works there and do not want to see an American company fail. I have heard rumors of something coming that even I with my very strict definition would call innovative, and this is something I am truly curious to see. Oh and Kudos to the smart investors who didn't dump their Apple stock, it's higher today than it was before Steve Jobs announcement of resignation.

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Nous
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Joined: 04/07/2007
"I have heard rumors of

"I have heard rumors of something coming that even I with my very strict definition would call innovative, and this is something I am truly curious to see"

Shhhhh!! ;-)

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clok1966
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Joined: 01/21/2009
Well teh nay sayers have a

Well teh nay sayers have a point.. when He was forced out Apple didnt crash and burn.. it just sorta existed. Sat on its butt and lived off the people who believed in it and didnt give anythign back. If that SAME company was aroung there woudl be no Ipod, Ipad, Air etc... At least that is the assement of the nay sayers.. Personally (opinion) I dont think Jobs is the key, but he is sure teh driving force, with him gone I think there will be to much "maybe" should we do this? should we do that? should we just sit on the Ipad and ride that till we are forced into something? Jobs had no problem picking a product and running with it.. and as I stated even he picked a few bad ones.. (wasnt there something on Apple TV shutting one of its main services down? I think they are slowly pulling out of this.. maybe to try a new version?). The guy who makes the Ipad look sleek, can he decide what the direction of a company can go? Designing products and running a company are 2 complelty differnt things.. Having great prodcuts and not knowing how to market them....

I still stand by my assesment, 2 solid years yet.. why would anybody dump them now? One they understadn nothing is going to change for 2 yers the stocks will be fine.. but in 2 years if tablets stay ont he corese thy have.. somebody else will get it right (i still say some windows based one) and once that happnes.. a OS that has 15-20% of he users going against one that has 70%... it will be interesting.

Apple will be around a long time.. at its current state? doubtfull.. at least in my mind.. but as I like to say, I been wrong before , more often then right.. so who knows. This one is simply "time will tell" Anytime one man can change the outlook on a company its bad news IMHO.

Matt Barton
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Joined: 01/16/2006
From wikipedia: Jobs then

From wikipedia:

Jobs then traveled to India to visit the Neem Karoli Baba[42] at his Kainchi Ashram with a Reed College friend (and, later, the first Apple employee), Daniel Kottke, in search of spiritual enlightenment. He came back a Buddhist with his head shaved and wearing traditional Indian clothing.[43][44] During this time, Jobs experimented with psychedelics, calling his LSD experiences "one of the two or three most important things [he had] done in [his] life".[45] He has stated that people around him who did not share his countercultural roots could not fully relate to his thinking.[45]

Can you imagine Jobs after a near-death experience?

Or perhaps this is all leading to something really weird at the new Apple "mothership." Somewhere, deep underneath the facility, the body of Jobs cryogenically stored and waiting for medical science to catch up to Apple?

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Matt Barton
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Joined: 01/16/2006
New Apple CEO's plan for the future

http://www.theonion.com/articles/new-apple-ceo-tim-cook-im-thinking-prin...

Hehe...The Onion always gets a chuckle out of me.

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