Saturday, 27 August 2011

Big change at Apple? It's more like rock on.

Steve Jobs: How to go out at the top of your game.

Steve Jobs leaves Apple daily operations in good hands. Apple innovation is not only Steve Jobs. There are hundreds of motivated iJobbers at Apple.

by Tom Thorne
No one is irreplaceable. Steve Jobs in the minds of Apple customers and enthusiasts, has a persona bordering on icon status. Admittedly he is very much the Apple ethos and way. He is their front man the human face of Apple and he will be missed. 
However, Steve Jobs is also all too human. His bouts with pancreatic cancer and his later his need for a liver transplant demonstrates that even icons are mortal.
He stays on as Chairman of Apple's board.  Tim Cook takes on the CEO role, a job he has had de facto for the last two or so years. Cook has taken Apple into high profitability and grown the company. When Cook joined Apple in the late 1990's Apple posted a loss. Now Apple is cash rich.
Cook also has a good solid background before he came to Apple. So even without Steve Jobs in the CEO chair the company is in good hands. Those who argue that Steve Jobs is the heart and soul of Apple innovations need to rethink their position. 
Apple left Steve Job's parent's garage a long time ago. 
There is a well oiled management team at Apple that has taken Apple from a manufacturer of personal computers through to a multi-faceted company selling iPods, iPhones, iPads, iMacs of all sorts, plus iTunes the most successful seller of music and other content on the web. 
They are now moving into Cloud computing and rumour has it they are about to launch their version of Apple branded television receivers. Apple TV will no doubt merge the computer, Cloud, and iTunes into one package.
In my view they are also working on artificial intelligence interfaces for a future operating system that I dubbed "OS11" sometime ago. There will also be Cloud applications that will sell you a virtual machine for your own e-publishing activities controlled from your iMac, iPad or iPhone.
Apple is not only Steve Jobs. Apple is innovation and that will continue. Jobs is their founder and he has been around long enough to leave an indelible stamp on how things are done at Apple. Everyone who works at Apple thinks and breathes like Steve Jobs.
Impressive company and a management model for our times.
So as an Apple customer I simply don't see any reason to panic or look at defecting to the Dark Side because of this change in management.  Apple in my view is one of the most important American companies. It is a model for how business should be done in an economy of constant change.
They are an impressive company. They are now larger than EXXON and they still manage to have less bureaucracy and retain incredibly fast response times to technology and applying innovation to the marketplace.
Their products  provide instant appeal and obvious high utility. The touch and feel of an Apple product resonates back quality and usefulness. The products speak because they are so neat. Every other competing product looks like dross compared to their industrial design and product execution. They have an edge and it is very sharp.
That may because of Steve Jobs, but it is really the work of a dedicated team of product designers, engineers, and software people, who know what the boss expects for their customers. If Steve Jobs is not there every day anymore this attitude towards their products is always present.
And what about making the next big decisions? surely Steve Jobs is needed to plot the future product lines of Apple? This company is so much into anticipation and planning for the future that their products five years out are on the drawing boards today.  They are monitoring and mastering technology constantly. Apple is on top of the changes and trends occurring in the labs of others and themselves.
In many ways Apple drives the innovation of large scale integrated electronics manufacturers by anticipating new products and making demands on their suppliers to provide the ways to achieve their objectives. 

Making smaller enclosures for their lap books is an example. They pushed milled aluminum bodies until they achieved the thinest lightest lap book on the market.
They just brought out Mini Mac 3.6cm high and 19.7cm square with a 500 Gbyte hard drive. The Macbook Air is the thinest laptop ever made. At its thinest point it is a mere.3cm to its thickest point where it is 1.7cm (not even an inch). This product has no hard drive but instead uses flash memory like the iPad.
These are just a few of the innovations Apple has brought to market as Steve Jobs resigns as CEO. This level of innovation will continue as Apple pushes and pulls its competition to stand up and be counted.
© Copyright 2011, Tom Thorne, All Rights Reserved.

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