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  • Apple: Beginning of the End or Beginning of a New Beginning?

    Jobs reminded America of our greatness: our ability to innovate better than everyone else.

    We all knew the day would come, when Apple would have to move on, or Steve Jobs would have to move on – and somehow – they both now have to move on. But what a run.

    Jobs, the college dropout (Reed College, Oregon), who turned the world on its ear through innovation, design, utility and both the “cool and wow” factors. And now, Jobs has decided it’s time to sunset his CEO career and become chairman of Apple Computer. We know that from the year 2000, Jobs health deteriorated, and in 2004, he announced that he had pancreatic cancer, as we watched him devolve from a fleshy build, to a very gaunt one.

    And after introducing the Macintosh Computer in 1984 and iMac in 1988: in 2001 Jobs introduced the iPod, which revolutionized both music devices and the ways music is bought and shared. More recent offerings: iTunes (2003), The MacBook (2006), The iPhone (2007) and  The iPad (2010). Eventually jobs turned Apple into the most valuable company in the world, which was bestowed on the Cupertino, California based company in 2011.

    The only issue, is that Jobs owned so much of the vision for Apple’s strategy, devices and marketing: the svengali, who saw what other’s didn’t see and made those things come alive, and now Apple faces the moment of whether they try to replicate that, or to do something more organic to those people, who will run Apple now and for the long-term.

    Apple will now be run by Tim Cook, Jobs long-time Chief Operating Officer, who in Jobs’ resignation letter, was suggested as his successor. Apple has years worth of dynamic product in its pipeline and a deep talent bench, so they should be alright in the immediate term, but it’s when they have to do something totally new that we will find out if Apple is still Apple – or something else going forward.

    Some people believe that it might be in Apple’s interests to have Jobs removed from day-to-day operations, because he can focus on product exclusively, as opposed to share price and other operational matters, but what make Apple great is the details – is seeing great advancement in simplicity – and to only put what’s absolutely necessary within those offerings, and mostly, to give consumers what they don’t know they want yet. It will be interesting to see a hands-off Steve Jobs, and even more interesting to see products and design that might be somewhat antithetical to the Jobs mindset.

    Ultimately, I think Jobs best contribution, was that he and Apple reminded America of our greatness: reminded America of our ability to conjure and innovate and separate ourselves from everyone  else through share brainpower and manufacturing.

    Good luck.

    Calvin Wilson
    Founder and CEO
    Upstart: Business and Management for 20-40 Year Old Professionals

    Filed Under: Gamechangers


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