Thursday, October 06, 2011

The King is Dead

Has there ever been a more beloved CEO than Steve Jobs? He earned it the hard way, by losing the wildly successful company he founded in his youth, watching it slide down into the depths, then getting bought back in and taking it to greater glories than it had ever achieved.

I learned about his death on one of his devices. I'm writing this on another, in his browser. My fingers have touched his products more than any other single company's products. Not even Toyota. And even the Prius looks like an iCar.

56, I mean, what a life. What a profound impact on human learning, on industrial design, on the consumption of media.

I think what remains to be seen is if Apple ever creates another revolutionary product. The Mac, the Mac notebook, the iPhone, the iPad. (Let alone Pixar.) Is the announcement of the iPhone 4S the day before his passing a harbinger of more evolution -- but no revolution -- to come?

I certainly hope not. And by the note on the Apple website (after you click on the photo of Steve in a layout I wonder if he approved), they will be working to make his spirit the permanent spirit of the company.

Per Max Weber, any organization with veer from its original purpose over time, sometimes in betrayal of its original goals and function. Apple will definitely be different after Steve Jobs, but what it becomes may be something new and what we need for the post-Steve Jobs times. If the apple has many seeds, and those seeds bear fruit.

From the one, many?

1 comment:

Ladislav said...

His influence on how we picture technology goes far beyond Apple... He made it fun, and sharp, clean and efficient, simple yet beautiful... Apple, Pixar... a renaissance man, I wonder how much he could be included into the third culture club of the people that keep our world moving upwards...