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August 13, 2013 16 comments so far

Apple is NOT doomed w/o Steve Jobs

Yesterday Jobs long-term friend Larry Elison implied that Apple without Steve Jobs won't be much different than last time when he was forced out of Apple. I strongly believe this is plain wrong, let me tell you why...

First of all, why do I care? As many of you know I both use Apple products and I also build apps for them (mainly apps I need for my own work). And I enjoy both of it a lot - but I didn't as much around the time Jobs left Apple for the first time. Why? Simply, because Apple's products back then were not half as good (even with Steve still around).

But it is not just products. Today Apple is very different compared to 1985, in various aspects:

  • Apple has a strong and innovative management team. Tim Cook is a top CEO/COO and Jony Ive is one of the most innovative product designers in the world. They are backed up by additional top talent that seems to work really well as a team.
  • Apple has very good products across all categories: iPhone, iPad, iOS, OS X, iTunes, iBooks, including a number of well respected pro media apps, e.g. Apperture and Logic Pro X.
  • Apple has one of the most efficient supply chains in the world and with their iconic Apple Stores one of the most profitable distribution networks.
  • When Apple releases a really new product, it does not play time-to-market over product "readiness". Just compare the iPhone and iPad launches to those of the original Macintosh, or that of the Newton. And if Apple is about to release a smart watch we can assume that they will again do their homework and do it the right way.
  • Even without Steve Jobs it seems that Apple is holding up their core values really well. And this is maybe the biggest difference: Jobs succeeded in transferring his core values into the company itself.

As you (hopefully) see, I am no Apple "fanboy". I even abandoned their products before, simply because they did not satisfy my needs anymore and the quality was not right. But today, Apple is different and I strongly believe that the current management team is very strong. If they continue to hold up Apple's core values, continue to innovate just a little bit, and execute as good as they do today, Apple will be fine.

Finally, as we all know, Larry Elison says a lot things and he is not afraid of bringing controversial topics to the table. However, what I cannot understand is why he said such a thing publicly. Really good friends don't do such things, they don't hurt their friend's legacy.