Tim Bajarin: Apple after Steve – one year later

“This Friday marks the first anniversary of Steve’s Jobs death,” Tim Bajarin writes for TechPinions. “I was going through security at the San Diego Airport when I heard the news and although we all knew the end was coming soon, the finality of it struck me hard. Jobs was a bigger than life figure who was a true tech titan who impacted our world in so many ways.”

“Over the last two weeks, I have done many media interviews about Apple after Jobs. Just about every publication in every medium will soon reflect on Jobs’ life and life at Apple after Jobs. And the first question I seem to get is ‘what kind of job has Tim Cook done since he became CEO?’ I usually jokingly ask the reporter if they have seen Apple’s stock lately. When the trading of Apple’s stock was halted at the news of Jobs’ death, it hovered around $378,” Bajarin writes. “Today it is close to $700. By that measure alone I would say Tim Cook has been extremely successful at his role as Steve Jobs’ successor.”

“But the reason that Cook and Apple is so successful after the loss of someone like Steve Jobs, is because Steve Jobs himself spent years mentoring and preparing Tim and team for the day he would no longer be able to lead the company himself. Many people don’t know that while Jobs hoped his liver transplant and medicinal treatments would keep him around for many years, his doctors early on told him that his days could be numbered. Starting in 2005, Jobs began to step up his role as mentor and move a lot of the day-to-day decisions to his top execs,” Bajarin writes. “Thanks to Steve’s long term planning, and the internal education and vision casting that he imparted to this executive team, Apple has not skipped a beat, and in fact, it has grown exponentially since Oct 5, 2011.”

Bajarin writes, “Another question I get is ‘when will Apple be Tim Cook’s company?’ since the buck now stops at his doorstop. The truth is it will never be Tim Cook’s company.”

Much more in the full article – recommended – here.

29 Comments

  1. History is choked with the cold dead bodies of leaders who’s policies were rigidly carried onward without the vision into the future. Hundreds can be cited from both business and countries.

    May Apple’s leadership alway be vigilant of the future, not just the past.

    1. Is the past not the anchor for the future?

      Execution seems to Tim Cook’s forte. But vision, that is an entirely different animal altogether. One that is hard to define and can only be seen when paradigm changing products are brought to market.

      So far it’s been more of the same, executed well, which is a feather in the cap for Tim. For Steve’s legacy to live on, they will have to bet the house again on some life transforming technology.

      1. “For Steve’s legacy to live on, they will have to bet the house again on some life transforming technology.”

        I know you have a close relationship to Ballmer and, IMHO, I think that close relationship may be affecting your judgement. Take Microsoft, your employer, as an example. What “life transforming technology” has Microsoft introduced in the last 10 years? And yet Microsoft has enjoyed the leadership position in PC operating systems and office software for decades.

        If the iPad continues to be as successful as it has been in the past, it could become the next PC for the next 20 years. One important unknown at this point is how successful will the Windows 8 tablet be when it is available for sale. This unknown will be revealed later this month.

    1. Pass the Kool-Aid! You folks are nuts including the idiot who wrote this. SJ along with a list of great minds that reaches no end contributed to the evolution of tech. History will be kind to him but it will never revere his contributions the way this idiot writes it. SJ captured a moment in time as did Sony, Nintendo and others and for that kudos all around but the real engine behind our toys are the likes of Intel, AMD, Xerox, HP, and others who created the foundation for Apple, MSFT, RIM and others to launch themselves into what has become great American success stories.

      1. I’m gonna disagree with you a little on the real engine behind Apple and its innovations. While we all know about Xerox’ & Intel’s contributions it is their own lack of vision and fearlessness that kept them from taking their own technology to its logical limits. Sure, they developed some great stuff, but to marginalize Steve Jobs’ contribution this way is to not understand him. His contribution goes beyond tech and reaches into the fabric of our culture. A great engineer can develop some fantastic hardware. It takes a bold visionary engineer to make it truly useful for the masses.

        1. No issues with your perspective at all. However where does that leave Bill Gates? MSFT introduced computing to the world and made is affordable for the masses gene today 1.9+ billion people use Windows PC versus 68 million using Mac OSX.

          Apple employee #12 tells us that SJ was not a cutting edge engineer but he certainly was a world class salesman and raconteur which made him different than the majority of other tech nerds/geeks.

          My take is that SJ and BG collectively made huge contributions the least of which was salvaging Apple in 1998. Wise move on both their parts.

            1. I disagree,both Apple and MSFT are corporations who hire talent and both have and continue to enjoy significant contributions made by this talent. Jony Ives is a perfect example and no doubt MSFT also have their own artists.

              Both OS’s are just fine and short of an experiment called Windows Vista MSFT has provided users with relatively solid platforms. OSX has had issues as well over the years.

            2. I doubt it. Other people from Xerox were pushing the GUI and we’d be looking at systems that were mouse driven but different.

              Digital’s GUI would have been different without the Mac and the Amiga would have had a different impact.

              Ill agree without Apple it may not have been as good and tablets would surely suck. along with phones lol

      2. And Thomas Edison didn’t invent anything. It was the people who made copper wire and wax cylinders who really made the telephone and recording/playback possible. Bajarin is a respected commentator and gets paid (deservedly so) for his pieces. You use a disposable identity to troll for attention.

      3. @Gary J. wrote: “…the real engine behind our toys are the likes of Intel, AMD, Xerox, HP, and others who created the foundation for Apple, MSFT, RIM and others…”

        The “real engines” provided by those entities were not much more than curiosities and geeky experiments until Apple provided the foundation of the modern personal computer with its development of the first practical graphical user interface based OS.

        Don’t re-write history, Gary…and I suggest laying off your own personal brand of Kool-Aid.

  2. Dear MDN:

    iCal this puppy and revisit it for the next few years. This is one of the best, most thoughtful analysis I’ve read so far about Apple. SteveJack could have written it.

  3. One of the big differences with post-Jobs Apple is that people are now more inclined to measure Apple’s success by its stock price than they were before.

    When Steve Jobs made a decision it was always misunderstood in the short term, but then later it was hailed as genius in hindsight for its long term vision. The stock market never liked that about Steve, so the approval of the stock market today is not so comforting.

    1. You should be feeling much more comfortable in the last week or two. The stock has taken a beating over the maps application. However, viewed from the future, dropping the severely limiting connection with Google will prove to be a genius move. They’ve already lost 100 million customers with the potential to lose 400 million.

    2. There will come a day when tablet and smartphone sales peak out and 80% of the people in the world have those items and only replace them every 5-6 years and the abilities suit people’s uses very well, thank you.

      It will be before that time that Apple will have to decide whether it can move its technology into a new arena and “make a difference.”

      So what is there to do? Apple has always had objects using both software and hardware. The most expensive high tech objects we have in life are automobiles and homes. Is that enough of a hint of where Apple can go?

  4. “… people are now more inclined to measure Apple’s success by its stock price than they were before …”

    The stock price may well be an indication of how much Wall Street values Apple’s future success, but the mercurial way that Wall Street treats AAPL means that the stock price is a very imprecise indicator of anything.

  5. I agree with many of the above posts. SJ was a great salesman and was obsessed with doing things his way. He was not an engineer but supervised many using his driven personality. He improved existing consumer devices so much that Apple is considered by the public to have invented the tablet,MP3 Player,Smart Phone etc.. He deserves credit for improving these consumer devices. He brought the company he co founded back from the brink of extinction to one of the most successful in the world. But his relevance in history should be kept in perspective. He is not Tesla,Diesel, Da Vinci etc.. But he should be remembered as a winner.

    1. Great summary. As I indicated in a previous post both he and Gates are owed a lot of respect for burying the hatchet years ago and working together. To this day MSFT and Apple are very close collaborators and indeed SJ did add a lot of flair and a lot of focus on end user experience. Example of this is iOS. Simple, boring, limiting to techies who want to fiddle faddle but works and that is key. It just works.

      1. Gaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaary,

        I’d really like some of whatever you and GM are smoking…
        Otherwise, I’m not interested in anything else either of you fucktards have to offer.

  6. I love Apple. I know Apple is not perfect. Steve Jobs knew it and politely recognized it. When the Antenna problems, Steve was there. MobileMe fiasco, Steve was there. iPod scratches problems, Steve was there. Lisa. NeXT. High level Google spy in Apple board of directors. ATV as a hobby. Ping. All along, Steve was there and, what? Was Steve wrong, idiot, flawless? No. He’s being praised even in the ground. Now, Map falls short to expectation and what? Is Tim wrong, idiot, a total failure as CEO? Not even Steve was flawless.

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