Steve Jobs died yesterday, on the 5th of October, 2011, and we can truly say that he was one of the most influential people of our era. But with his death (the fear of which was in the air since 2004) Apple is facing some great challenges. It’s no question that Steve Jobs made Apple great, we can now read in many tributes that he was a great innovator, and he though big, and some even say – with a bit of exaggeration in my opinion, that he was the Leonardo da Vinci of our time.
But it’s no question that he was doing his job with passion, beside understanding IT and computer stuff he knew what looked good, what is beautiful and his goal was to make not just an efficient gadget, but one that looks great and it has a very quick and easy learning curve. I once heard a story, maybe anecdote – I don’t remember wether it was true or not – that when creating the iPhone Jobs was restless. He came back from time to time, examined the prototype, and once even smashed it saying that it can’t have such big screws on its back – forcing the team to solve this hard issue.
Well, with the death of such a great and dynamic leader Apple will surely suffer. Or will it? First of all when looking for reference I found that Apple has a business plan for the next 2-3 years, so we are saved. But maybe they just say this – it would be a giant mistake to say: “yeah, we have no plans, and we are panicking right now.” But odds are that Apple really has some plans for the next 1-2, maybe 3 years, but it’s sure that they won’t have a great innovator in product design to give advice.
In my opinion if Apple can’t find a similar man, or team that can come up with efficient and beautiful ideas, the company will suffer. Most of us buy Apple because it is pretty – I don’t think I’ve seen a designer who didn’t have at least an Apple Macbook, or iPod. And if Apple can’t supply great looking products beside greatly functional and strong computers the value of the company will suffer.
On the other hand Apple grew up to be a giant corporation, it has millions of workers, and billions of dollars, and an ever growing consumer group. It ought to find a way to replace Jobs, or his ideas, so in the long run I don’t think we will have to worry about Apple products.
But as for now Apple shares will suffer – but I could be wrong. Jobs was such a great persona, that he created a complete cult around Apple, and the Macs, and this “religion” could suffer because of the death of its leader – but maybe it can become greater than before. Jobs will remain in a central position for a while even after his death, that is for sure.
“It’s in Apple’s DNA that technology alone is not enough. That it’s technology married with liberal arts, married with the humanities, that yields us the results that make our hearts sing.”
– Steve Jobs