“Steve Jobs wouldn’t have let Apple get away with what it’s doing today.” — Many
That phrase is a trending topic that has even inspired the creation of sites devoted to exploring the public’s fascination with what Steve Jobs would or wouldn’t have done.
Frankly, it would be out of Apple’s best interest to question itself against what its employees believe Steve Jobs would or wouldn’t have approved of. This very rationale defeats progress by delaying any action that wasn’t previously outlined and approved by someone who is no longer around to give their approval.
When Walt Disney passed away, Disney’s employees went through a period where they second guessed decisions and tried to run the company the same way Walt would have. Infighting and poor direction drove the quality of the Disney product down and left the business in a state of uncertainty.
Apple’s products weren’t invented by Steve Jobs.
Let’s burst that bubble right now. Steve Jobs was presented with design ideas by its team of engineers and made the business decisions to either scrap or go with various ideas. The actual inventive process was still largely in the hands of the brilliant engineers with Steve Job’s opinions being taken into strong consideration.
Even the first Apple computer was designed and built by Steve Wozniak. Jobs’ role in the founding of the company came about when he suggested turning Wozniak’s hobby into a profitable business. He was a fairly proficient technician, but not an engineer.
Today, Tim Cook drives the biggest ship in the industry. It’s manned by the finest crew of innovators the industry has seen in decades. It isn’t hard to imagine that he has all the tools to do an excellent job, with or without Steve Jobs’ guidance.
Remember that Tim Cook ran Apple as CEO for quite a while before Jobs’ passing. He’s been a part of the operations team for many years and his time as interim CEO was no less productive than any other period of Apple’s long history. Since Jobs’ passing, Apple has continued to create and ship innovative products.
It’s been over a year since Steve Jobs passed away. He was indeed a visionary and one of the industry’s most influential figures. His rise and fall in the ’80s and return in the late ’90s is a story that will undoubtedly be told for years to come. Even after his return, Apple has had its own issues. Antennagate with the iPhone 4, .Mac, and a few unpleasant Apple Store design decisions are but a few of the public issues Apple faced in recent years.
Tim Cook has his own story to tell. History will determine whether or not he lead Apple in the right direction. After over a year has gone by since Steve Jobs’ passing, isn’t it time we stopped comparing every decision Apple makes to a preconceived notion of what he would or wouldn’t do?
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