“Imagine Tom Brady leaving the New England Patriots and the team putting together, by some measures, its best season ever the following year,” Jon Swartz reports for USA Today.

“That’s what Apple has done in the year since Steve Jobs died Oct. 5, 2011. The company he co-founded, was banished from and ultimately saved has been on a magic carpet ride of outsized market value, revenue and sales projections. Much of the success goes to Jobs, who put his beloved creation on the path to glory, and whose fingerprints are all over its current and future plans,” Swartz reports. “‘Apple had a better 12 months than many firms have in 12 years,’ says Michael Gartenberg, an analyst who follows Apple for market research firm Gartner.”

Swartz reports, “But without Jobs to look over Apple, how long can the magic ride last, asks Vivek Wadhwa, vice president of academics and innovation at Singularity University… The forceful visionary — considered one of the greatest business and marketing geniuses ever — set such impossibly high expectations at the company that with each passing day, maintaining Jobs’ standard becomes more difficult, Apple watchers contend. Jobs’ name is synonymous with the Apple brand not only in terms of innovation but in culture: He was its public face, as Walt Disney was with his company, says Paul Saffo, a technology futurist who teaches at Stanford University. ‘Apple just had one of the most extraordinary 15-year runs’ in business history, says Adam Lashinsky, a Fortune writer and author of Inside Apple. ‘It is unreasonable to duplicate that, even if Jobs were still alive.'”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Lynn Weiler” for the heads up.]