Gartenberg: If you think Apple is all about Steve Jobs, you have forgotten something

“Conventional wisdom dictates that Apple and Steve Jobs are one inseparable and inexorably tied entity and Apple’s success over the last decade can only be attributed to the symbiotic combination of the two,” Michael Gartenberg writes for Macworld.

“Let me be clear: No one can overestimate the role of Steve Jobs in the amazing transformation that Apple has undergone since his return to the late ’90s,” Gartenberg writes. “The iPod, iPhone, iPad and the total reinvigoration of the Mac occurred under his tenure.”

Gartenberg writes, “Despite all that Steve Jobs accomplished, it’s critical to note that there is far more to Apple than any one individual… even if that individual is Steve Jobs… To do so is to forget the thousands of Apple employees who designed, built, marketed and sold those products as well. Names like Jonathan Ive, Phil Schiller, Scott Forstall, Tim Cook, Eddy Cue, Greg Joswiak and many others too numerous to mention all play key roles in creating and delivering Apple products to the world. To the best of my knowledge, none of them are going anywhere anytime soon.”

MUch more in the full article here.

17 Comments

    1. The only thang I have to say I thank.SJ and all apple employees .
      I’ve now have all apple products from mac book pro, iPod,iPad and just got 2 iPhones . ( windows sucks ) Steve keep imagining, no one can think like you. ( like Ive always said he goes were no one els can)

  1. I concur Eric, like Walt Disney before him his company still produced and still produces quality work, but nothing like the vision & inspiration Walt generated at the helm. I think Apple will have a similar future, which ain’t bad at all.

  2. I own a lot of Apple stock and therefore pay close attention. Probably the most important thing that Jobs has done is build a team of people that think like him. This cannot be done overnight in any business. The fact that he has been back for over 10 years is very important.

    1. i don’t own enough Apple stock and also pay close attention. steve’s true legacy will be that he grew the company to prosper without him; Apple U, huge depth in the executive ranks, & increasing exposure of key executives in public events.

  3. I think Steve’s genius is in his ability to focus in on & decide upon the really few things necessary or needed to accomplish a task or design a product through understanding of consumers and engineering.

    Once those few items have been decided Steve insists everyone stay focused on meeting those few things.

    Sounds simple, but indeed it is hard to do with all the distractions, but that is what Steve has inculcated into the whole organization.

    Steve saw the universal like of music. AM/FM pocket radios did NOT fill the bill for individualized consumer use.

    He saw early attempts at digital pocket players and recognized there needed to be an easy way to buy legitimate music, store it and back it up and play anywhere anytime.

    iPod is the perfect example of recognizing the faults and lack of features of competitors and then fixing those key points so you could take over a market.

  4. The genius of the company is focus.

    It’s the biggest company in the world but you could put one of every product they currently sell on a single desktop. When you are making so few items, but in millions, you have amazing power from your supply chain and all the way through retail and aftersales support.

  5. Steve jobs is an an ‘exceptional’ intellectual and creative force that has driven the engine at Apple Inc. that produces some of the most amazing high tech products the world has ever seen. Unfortunately, when you remove that ‘X’ factor from the scheme of things then your company become just another entity amongst the mainstream of ‘everything else’.

    1. I’m afraid you’re right. President Cardenas of Mexico in the early 1900’s brought a new age to Mexico during his term, and the whole nation was fervently behind him like apple fanboys and girls were behind Steve Jobs. He instituted all kinds of deals so the country would continue to prosper after he was gone. However, once Cardenas left, the hope and promise for Mexico got derailed, crashed and burned. So there’s precedent there, and I’m sure in other places of history, for your pessimism.

  6. Apple now and in the future is directly linked to the passion, persistence, and prescience of Steve Jobs. Apple and Steve Jobs will always been inseparable to me. Tim Cook and his heirs have a lot to be thankful for.

  7. Imho the Apple approach involves taking a large step back to try and see the big picture in any given area of interest, particularly in terms of integrating craft, culture and design to think, experiment and develop, enabling a quantum leap ahead.
    I genuinely wish that such an approach could grow in society and individuals as a whole not simply the future of Apple alone…

    1. You must have more than just a few examples what you mean by “integrating craft, culture and design to think, experiment and develop, enabling a quantum leap ahead.” Please share them with the rest of us. I, for one, am eager to contemplate your understanding how these events will be realized.

  8. The head of a company sets the tone for the workforce. It’s not enough just to have skilled, intelligent people. Steve set the focus on the customer’s needs, not the next quarter’s profit target. The profits followed because the customers were delighted with both the quality of the products and focus on the company wanting to assure that every customer was satisfied.

    With Steve gone, the company’s culture of focusing on the product details to best meet the broadest customer base need may falter. Every day someone fails this goal in some small way. It’s up to the leadership to remind the workers of their obligation to meet this objective.

    It remains to be seen if Apple has the collective discipline to keep up this intense focus. Steve brooked no failures, and turned on a dime when someone failed in his vision. His executive staff knows all this, but only time will tell whether they truly, passionately feel this way, or whether they were simply doing what their boss required to remain employed.

    I’m hoping Tim has the same backbone to take immediate corrective action when things go amiss, as they will. That is what will determine whether Apple as a culture continues, or whether the Board simply starts leaning on the executives to meet profit targets, and starts pressuring them to play around with their cash hoard to enhance their personal fortunes.

    We’ll see.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.