Thursday, August 25, 2011

Steve Jobs' Letter To Apple

Update: David Pogue article.
It's funny, we're all treating this as if he was dead! He is not. And who knows, he may even regain his full health.
[Ha, I had a feeling even as I was writing this sentence, that David would comment on this also, and he did.] [Yes, I linked to his article before I had read it! Nearly 20 years of being David's fan has given me an uncanny confidence in his writing.]

Steve Jobs has now resigned as CEO of Apple, due to health problems. He hopes to continue as director and Apple employee.

I find it difficult to believe that Apple will not continue strong. On the other hand it's also very hard to believe that if Steve had not been there, Apple would have come up with revolutions like the iPod, the iPhone, and the iPad. Devices which I don't think anybody will argue have changed computing technology radically. Who else can brag of even two or three of the dozen or more blockbusters Jobs has thrown at the world in the past 15 years? I pity the people who can’t even see that greatness, people who just see him as an overblown hype-master or whatever they do. Even if it had just been the iPad alone, that would still be an accomplishment for a lifetime, a great lifetime.

So I'm hoping that even in his lesser position, he will and can continue to influence and inspire Apple to great new products for a couple decades more. I'm hoping Steve will get happiness and more peace too.

Here's an interesting, albeit rather inconclusive, old article from Andy Hertzfeld about when Steve Jobs was first ostracized from Apple back in 1985.


Bruce said...

It's definitely a sad day for me. I don't completely agree with one thing Pogue says in his article:

"In Silicon Valley, success begets success." I'd say it is just the opposite. Once a company succeeds, they become stuck. They can only continue to succeed in the same way they first succeeded. The ability to escape this trap of success is what has made Apple special. That's the thing that may be difficult to sustain without Steve Jobs.

Horace Dedu recorded this podcast before the Jobs announcement, but it is very timely. It speaks to the question of the ability of any organization to continually adapt and remake itself. This is one of the most insightful things about Apple that I have ever read or heard. It starts off slow, so get some popcorn, find a comfortable chair, and prepare to spend some time listening. You will not regret it.

eolake said...

"The ability to escape this trap of success is what has made Apple special."

I actually agree with that. Almost no big companies can do that. Steve did it.

Also, there's a difference between staying economically successful, and making a difference to people.

But, he's not dead. Let's see.

Thanks for the podcast tip.

Bruce said...

I keep thinking about Palm compared to Apple. Palm was on top of the world with the Pilot. Some of the founders of the Palm wanted to keep pushing and try new things, but the people running Palm at the time wouldn't let them.

So, a small group of veteran people left Palm, bought a license for the Palm OS, and eventually developed the Handspring Treo. By that time even the execs at Palm could see they needed a Palm phone, so they bought Handspring. After the acquisition the Treo was a big hit, profits went way up, Palm was on top of the world again. A narrow escape from the trap of their past success!

However, Palm did not learn from their mistake. The Handspring Treo phone was getting a lot better with each new release. When Palm took over, improvements to the Treo slowed way down. By the time the iPhone and the Android phones came out, the Treo was showing it's age. Palm was not ready with anything new. They tried bringing in someone from outside, but it was too little, too late. This time they were not able to escape the trap of their past success.