EA founder: Apple to decline because Steve Jobs is irreplaceable or something

“Well, talk about a FTW moment,” Christian Zibreg reports for 9to5Mac. “First Electronic Arts CEO John Riccitiello lavishes praise on Apple and paints iPad their fastest-growing platform as gaming on traditional consoles is on a decline and today the super publisher’s founder Trip Hawkins tells IndustryGamers that Apple is heading towards decline.”

If you look at any institution in history – look at the Roman Empire – anything in history, and what it looks like when it’s peaking. Look at Apple, and how can you say it’s not peaking? The CEO is still alive, let’s start there. They invented this tablet thing that’s going to be really big. They’ve done really well by reinventing the phone. They breathed new life into the Mac. They’ve got this super-high marketing. All these things are about as good as they ever can be – how much better can it really get? The thing is, it may take another year or two before it starts to decline, but it has to – everything does. Everything revolves so much around Steve, and no matter how good his lieutenants are, they’re not Steve. None of us is going to live forever, though I hope he lives for a really long time. – Electronic Arts CEO John Riccitiello

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Obviously Jobs is irreplaceable. That doesn’t mean Apple Inc. would fail without him. Last time he left, the company was woefully prepared for his absence. That is not the case today. The list of fools who counted Apple out is long. Add Riccitiello to the list.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Fred Mertz” and “Edward Weber” for the heads up.]


  1. Hmm… is it too cynical of me to look at this as calculated? They knew their earlier “Apple is kicking the industry’s butt!” comments would get them in hot water with their other partners, so now they make veiled anti-Apple comments to appease them.

  2. Reminds me of this moron:

    The most important fundamental laws and facts of physical science have all been discovered, and these are now so firmly established that the possibility of their ever being supplemented by new discoveries is exceedingly remote.

    Albert Abraham Michelson, 1903

    1. And the old song “Everything’s up to date in Kansas City,
      They’ve gone about as fer as they can go, hey went an’ built a skyscraper seven stories high, About as high as a buildin’ orta grow…” set in 1906, written 1943

  3. I dont see this as negative as the rest of you are. It does make you wonder how many more magic rabbits Apple can pull out of the hat. Do I think Apple has a lot of growth. Yes. Otherwise I’d be selling my AAPL right now.

    The thing is, Apple’s performance is unprecedented. Even CEO’s have a hard time wrapping their brains around it.

    1. The Apple Eco-System is getting stronger and stronger. Apple’s resolve not to cut corners and not to compete on price (i.e. no buy 1 get 1 free) allows them to attract great engineers and great visionaries.

      He and others like him are idiots to think it is just one man behind everything. Yes, Steve’s sense of what people like or dislike is strong but Steve did not create the ipod, the iphone, or the ipad as a single man team. The success of Apple depends as much on Steve as it does on the Apple store representative being a delight to deal with.

      Grow some B_lls man…

    2. You are a wise man grasshopper. Only a fool (fanboy) sees life through rose colored glasses. Apple is the best. Apple is or will be the biggest. But nothing goes up forever. If it did you wouldn’t need puts you would only need calls when investing. But it will be a while before AAPL declines any or a lot. Top mgmt. change will bring a huge decline in stock price. Yeah I know, “they’re ready”. Ready my ass! It will take 6 months to a year to recover from that. Invest wisely. Always cover your ass. Do not just buy the stock. There are many ways to protect your investment. Calls,puts,covered calls etc. are ways to prepare for bad times as well as good times. I love Apple but it will have competition some day. It will trip and fall some day. I think AAPL missed the boat by not buying Facebook. They are missing in that area big time. Google + seems to be a really smart move for GOOG. The rest of the world isn’t going to give up.

  4. Of course Apple will go through a period of change once Steve Jobs leaves. They may never be the same afterwards. But to say they can’t get any higher is ridiculous. Honestly, I fear Apple becoming the next Microsoft more than I do them disappearing after Steve.

    1. Timothy Cook retells what Jobs says about being proud of products Apple did not release no less than being proud of products Apple did release.

      Cook is fan of Steven’s principals and even called him “genius” (not sure, but this characterization might be quite fair).

      So if the board of directors and shareholders will not be stupid, the right people will lead Apple, educate the next leaders, et cetera.

  5. As Jobs can’t be replaced we all know that when Apple comes out with something its a couple years after doing their research on it. They didn’t wake up and decided to make a phone.. they took their time and made it. They for the most part know what the future will be because they already have a lineup of what products will come out from them and what they will be able to do. Steve Jobs could die right now and it would have no impact on the company’s products but down the road a few years the visionary wont be around anymore to come up with those ideas that change the way people think. I hope he’s around for as long as possible but he will be gone one day and as much as an Apple fan as I am.. Apple will not be as strong without him. Any fan of apple with common sense can and should see that, he has great leaders there.. but some people cannot be replaced or replicated.

  6. John Riccitiello is technically correct. Economics courses all tech us about the business life cycle, the economic cycles, etc. Where growth raises and without innovation it then falls. What he is neglecting are two things: these cycles are not the based on science, they are based on retrospective observations. And even within these observations it has been stated that the company life cycle can be reset through innovation.

    Apple’s core competency is innovation. Even if Steve had to stop guiding Apples future, Apple has most definitely learned by now about the importance of innovation for Apples future. Since Mr Jobs returned to Apple bringing NeXT technologies with him Apple has grown strong. If they did not learn why Steve Jobs was able to save Apple Computer and lead the next generation of computing then they surely will fail. And if they do fail it will be their own fault for not learning from their leader HOW to run the company and drive technology forward. Apple is a company that survives and grows so well because their products are made I’m the user’s best interest.

  7. Idiot! Again, Clueless Idiot!

    If Steve Jobs is not there, will people flock to Android and RIMM dumping their iPhones?

    If Steve Jobs is not there, will people recycle their iPads and buy a Kindle or a WinPad?

    If Steve Jobs is not there, will people install Windows 2012 into their Macs never to boot up in OS X again?

    When Tomas Edison died, did everyone stop using electricity, hot water bottles, electric irons, … Did anyone stop using anything he developed in his labs?


    1. …When Tomas Edison died, did everyone stop using electricity, hot water bottles, electric irons, … Did anyone stop using anything he developed in his labs?”

      More appropriately, it would be Nikola Tesla. Therefore:

      …”When Nikola Tesla died, did everyone stop using electricity, hot water bottles, electric irons, … Did anyone stop using anything he developed in his labs?”

      1. You know your electrical history. Good thing he was around otherwise we might be using Edison’s direct rather than alternating current. I love SJ but some people on this site don’t seem to understand the difference between genius and marketing visionary. There really is a difference. I came in contact with a couple of such genius types in the early days of the Internet at Washington University. There is no doubt when it’s there. It sticks out like a sore thumb! Very humbling to even be in the presence of people like that. Very humbling.

  8. I walked by a 308 Ferrari (Magnum P.I.) the other day. So poorly made, at first glance I thought it was a Pontiac Fiero. The price of these cars when through the roof immediately following Enzo’s death, because people felt Ferrari’s would never be the same. Compare that 308 to what Ferrari is making today. Just saying…

    1. Not to be a smart ass, but anyone that would confuse a 308 Ferrari with a Fiero is probably thinks a Droid is the same as an iPhone. The 308 Ferrari might not have been their best effort, but it was a great looking car. Any Italian car is going to have its issues. Like their women. Beautiful, but temperamental.

      1. NoodlesNoodlemann, first glance is a far cry from being “confused”. I know my Ferrari’s. I once owned a 1973 246 Dino, the predecessor to the 308 GTS. My point was that Ferrari continues progress and even thrive without their founding mastermind. Just the sound a Ferrari Enzo makes coming down the road from 2 blocks away, makes most lessor exotic cars feel as impotent as you must feel when confronted by a beautiful, temperamental Italian woman!

  9. @EA founder
    Decline is built in absolutely everything. What goes up must come down. But when Apple will decline, the rest of our civilization will just be doing the exact same thing: become history.

  10. I keep seeing article after article of these overpaid over powered company CEO’s. Most of the new U. S. economy is truly run by a bunch of self absorbed blind idiots. Lord help us.

  11. The same article could be written about EA then . . . yah, they came out with some really good games but no one lasts forever. Once old ‘what’s his name’ (the CEO) is gone, they don’t have the lieutenants to carry on . . .

  12. Were it to be as simple to calculate what innovation represents. One thing’s for sure, you can’t bottle and sell innovation. What’s even more difficult is recognizing innovation and having the guts and gumption to throw R&D resources behind the idea to commercialize it. This is where Steve Jobs’ unerring eye has the capacity to see where the inflection points of technological change will be and steering the ship to meet the challenge head on. You could say that John Sculley was ahead of his time when he brought out the Newton. Misanticipating inflection points along the technology curve is just as dangerous as not seeing it even if it hit you in the face. Take Bill Gate & Steve Ballmer, competent enough managers of existing technology by themselves, but blind to technology’s inflection points even if it stared them in the face. Contrast the Microsoft effort of turning multi-touch technology into Surface (big assed table) and Apple’s direction of pouring R&D effort into a tablet but when that wasn’t ready for prime time turning the ship around and releasing a revolutionary handheld device that allowed you to make phone calls. Who would have thought that all that computing power concentrated in your hands would change the landscape of smart phones forever. Not MS, not RIM, not Palm.

    So it’s not just a question of spotting technological trends but the vision to capture that zeitgeist in a bottle and sell it to a public that didn’t realize that was what it wanted. When the iPad first came out there was a lot of derision in the tech press that it was just a blown up iPhone. But Steve Jobs saw it differently. The similarity with the iPhone OS meant that developers could fast track app development and consumers didn’t have a steep learning curve to negotiate. Google is filled with eggheads but that in itself is not a precondition for success. Witness how they tried to fork Honeycomb into a tablet specific OS which appealed only to geeks and nerds. The general public thought it was too complicated to wrap their minds around and gave it a cold reception.

    Steve’s genius resides in his ability to simplify, to cut out extraneous waste and to put elegance above all else. The consumer would choose what worked best for them and Steve would read the consumer’s mind at the right inflection point. His track record is impeccable. Will his successors succeed to the degree attained by Steve? I don’t think you could replicate him even if he were to give you a personal tutorial on what drives him.

    1. This is one of the best commentaries on Steve Jobs I have ever read. Asking Stve Jobs hownhe has done allmhe has done during his second Act at Apple would be as fruitfulmas asking Michaelangelo how he had the vision for the Sistine Chapel.

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