Current speculations about the continued reign of Steve Jobs, Apple’s chief executive, underscore how closely Apple’s products are identified with its co-founder. No one knows exactly what’s wrong with Jobs but it must be serious. He has taken a six month leave of absence due to stomachache. I am sure we all wish Steve to get well and come back. But even if he doesn’t as a CEO, there are a plenty of reasons why Apple should continue to grow after Jobs era.
1. No one lives forever
Did Disney die after Walt? Apple will survive without Jobs as it survived without him before (1985). All great institutions do just fine without their founders. They do even better after their leader leaves. In the words of Disney employees “Walt is in the park all the time now!” Steve Jobs won't live forever and that doesn't change the fact that Apple has the best fundamental growth story in the world. How many people today own Apple computers? How many people have an Apple music player or business phone? Enough said.
2. Will be part of Managerial decisions
Steve may retire but not tire. Steve will be part of strategic decision as is evident from his email to his colleagues. Jobs and Apple will have plan for managerial continuity. It would be irresponsible not to have one. So it is not like he would be completely out of the scene.
3. Apple has developed a culture
Most good organizations today emphasize culture very strongly. In a corporate culture everyone knows what they should be doing even if there are no hard and fast rules around for a particular situation. Apple has developed that culture which will remain there even after Jobs.
4. It’s the Engineers and Programmers
At Apple, Steve Jobs didn’t invent anything himself. He had gathered around him a vast collection of wonderful and brilliant engineers and programmers. He did bring back innovation but he hasn’t done it alone. He must have transferred his enigma to people around him.
5. Apple has developed into a cult
The unique thing about Apple is it has developed into a cult and people choose Apple just because it’s Apple. It’s a community, the majority of which will never change their brand whatsoever.
6. Tim Cook: A visionary
Tim Cook, the guy who replaced Steve Jobs, is a visionary himself. He has been taking care of the company’s day to day matters in the past. He must insulate himself from the bureaucrats and surround himself with a team of like-minded innovators for continued success, like Jobs did.
7. Apple has got the core products
A company’s success depends on its core products and Apple just happens to have 3 successful core products i-e Mac, iPhone and its iTunes online store. It seems they are going ahead of others and the future is pretty good in the short to mid term.
8. CEOs are overrated
CEOs are overrated. They mostly get more credit and blame than they deserve. A corporation is run by the hundreds of engineers, managers and other smart minds. Yes, the CEO probably is the final decision maker but the replacement of a CEO should not materially affect a company.
9. Jobs made mistakes as well
There has been much talk about Steve Job’s success at Apple and his creative and brilliant ideas. But even he has made mistakes that were not expected of him. For example launching of his first iPhone with a faulty price plan. Keeping aside iPod, no other product has claimed a reasonable market share.
10. Pixar history
Pixar, the creator of brilliant animation movies such as Toy Story, The Incredibles and Wall-E, had Steve Jobs as its Chairman for quite a long time. But for obvious reasons he didn’t spend much of his time working for Pixar. During that whole period Pixar produced amazing animation films. That is enough proof that Pixar has got other imaginative and creative minds.