“Potentially losing Steve Jobs may be more of a fundamental problem than would be the case for other CEOs, because he’s listed as an inventor on literally more than one out of ten patents Apple has received since 2000,” Erik Sherman reports for BNET.
“People have debated the ultimate importance of Jobs to Apple and how well the company could continue without him. I, for one, have agreed that were he actually indispensible, that alone would be evidence of the company’s mismanagement, and that is hardly what I’d expect,” Sherman reports. “Depending on whom you ask, Jobs has been known as a ‘hands-on’ or ‘micro-managing’ leader, so it’s not inconceivable that he might be involved in the look and feel design of devices. Furthermore, a patent can be challenged if the list of inventors is inaccurate, so placing Jobs onto the list would be dangerous if he had no involvement.”
“Instead of considering Jobs as the touchy-feely visionary who demands perfection, consider him as more deeply involved in invention and product development than perhaps any other CEO,” Sherman reports. “I did some research on the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office databases, searching for patents that listed Apple as an assignee and Jobs as included among the inventors.”
Sherman reports, “At this point, he is seriously involved in over ten percent of all patents granted to Apple. That is far beyond being demanding or even setting a vision for the company. It means that much of the design, from physical appearance to the workings of user interfaces, which drives Apple’s sales is intrinsically tied to Jobs.”
Full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: On the other hand, Steve Jobs is not listed as inventor in nearly 90% of Apple’s patent applications, proving that the company has many other innovative employees and can exist perfectly well (or at least run at nearly 90% of current performance, which handily beats most companies) without Jobs.
That said, may Steve Jobs return in good health to lead Apple for many, many fruitful years to come.