Larry Ellison predicts bleak future for Apple without Steve Jobs, ‘our Edison, our Picasso’

Business magnate Larry Ellison thinks that without Steve Jobs — “our Edison” and “our Picasso” — Apple Inc. is in trouble.

In a CBS News video interview with Charlie Rose, Ellison painted a bleak future for Apple.

Larry Ellison: He was brilliant. I mean, he was our Edison. He was our Picasso. He was an incredible inventor.

Charlie Rose: So what happens to Apple without Steve?

Ellison: Well, we already know. We saw, we conducted the experiment; it’s been done. We saw Apple with Steve Jobs (raises hand high). We saw Apple without Steve Jobs (lowers hand). We saw Apple with Steve Jobs (raises hand high). Now, we’re going to see Apple without Steve Jobs (lowers hand).

The video can be seen via CBS News here.

MacDailyNews Take:

Larry Ellison
Oracle CEO Larry Ellison
This is sad. Something seems to have slowed down Larry’s thought processes. Botox overdose?

Quick, somebody unstretch Larry’s face to the point where he can open his eyes enough to see that the variables in his infantile equation have changed dramatically:

Tim Cook ≠ John Fsckin’ Sculley, nor does Apple Computer, Inc. in 1985 = Apple Inc. 2013.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]


    1. Lawrence is probably right in the long term, though wrong in the short term. Steven Jobs was fully in charge and more experiences when he picked Timothy Cook and others to work for Apple. Jobs personally participated in over five thousand interviews.

      This means that Apple has very powerful and focused team that can provice great products even without Jobs present.

      However, in the long run, people whom Jobs have hired will be slowly gone and will be replaced in a way that less picky. It is not because Apple’s current bosses are not great, it is because it will he hard to reproduce Steven’s mercilessness and perfectionism in this regard, too.

      This process will be very slow and it not expected to significantly effect Apple for at least like fifteen years from now. But later, Apple will slowly degrade, it is almost inevitable. Apple might very well still stay very robust and competitive company, not not as amazing as it is now.

      1. I have to disagree. Ever heard of Apple University? This is comparable to McDonalds Hamburger U. By teaching the way of the company and failures of the past the company can be assured of future success. McDonalds leader, Ray Kroc, worked until the day he died in 1984. The industries are very different but the vision each leader had continues today.

        1. Yes, I have heard about it. However, MacDonalds is not know for an amazing, “think different” culture of creativity. It is more like a conveyer.

          Apple University is already taken into account in my estimation that the nearest fifteen years are probably safe for Apple. However, it will be harder further. “Entropy of the Universe” is an inevitable law that could be overcomed only by an unique, extraordinary phenomenons like Steven Jobs was. If, say, in twenty years, Apple will find a person as zealous and as visionary as Jobs was, then Apple will be safe for a prolonged time.

          But again, as I wrote, Apple will not all of sudden become Palm or BlackBerry after fifteen years. It might turn from amazing phenomenon that can continue to change the world to a solid company, which will be still highly successful, even though not revolutionary any more.

          1. “If, say, in twenty years, Apple will find a person as zealous and as visionary as Jobs was, then Apple will be safe for a prolonged time.”

            A person like that exists right now. He goes by the name of Scott Forstall.

            1. Interesting thought. He’s in the doghouse at the moment, but enough time alone, spent introspectively, changes a person and can lead to a new sense of purpose. I can think of another who departed on a low note only to return years later with new vigor, determination, and focus.

  1. Apple as Steve left it the first time is not remotely the same as it was when he died. The team and structure of Apple now is incredibly strong. One notable difference is Jonny Ive. Had he not been around Apple wouldn’t have reached the heights it did during Steve’s second time in charge. To look at it on those terms is simplistic and doesn’t give credit to the very talented people working there and also to the legacy Steve built and the structure he put in place to ensure it would carry on without him.

    Whenever there are arguments like this there is always undue credit given to other other companies. Assuming Apple are somehow doomed, why do other companies have some magical recipe for success now that they didn’t have before?

  2. The work Edison and Picasso did inspires future generations to continue advancing each. This is much the same as what Steve Job’s has done in building Apple. Anyone that compares this Apple without Steve to the 80’s Apple without Steve is clueless.

    1. It has been rightly said that Steve Jobs’s greatest achievement was Apple itself.

      What others have mocked as a “cult” was in fact the embodiment of a great idea…an organisation carefully designed to be self-sustaining with unstinting devotion to stewardship and craftsmanship, reflecting deeply held aesthetic values, and motivated by a religious awe at what people could do when they were allowed to do their best.

  3. he’s a slime – has his own agenda and would not trust a single word from this boys mouth. Just goes to show he had no real friendship with the late great Steve… or he would know that Steve was working on the super team long before he left this world!

  4. Like GE without Edison, and Disney without Walt, Apple can suffer without Jobs while still continuing to thrive and adapt.

    What could Apple have become if we’d had another couple of decades of Jobs? We’ll never know.

    Losing Jobs was a tragedy. But this is a good time to let Apple become its own thing. He left us with Apple at a very high point, with solid foundations, very good leaders, and plenty of inspiration.

    1. Apple has already been through it’s floundering stage after Jobs first left with the craptastic triumvirate of Sculley, Spindler, and Amelio as Disney did with (son-in-law) Ron Miller. It’s a totally different day of course. Ellison, who’s no dummy, should know this so there must be a new agenda he’s pushing we can all summarily ignore and dismiss. Larry just took a larger step into irrelevance and lack of credibility without qualifying his remarks.

  5. Advice from the guy who recently aligns himself with Microsoft. Somehow his insight to business success seems rather limp given that bold move of brilliance. I’d ask Larry to whip out his financials over the last couple of years and compare them to Mr Cook’s then let the chips fall where they may….

  6. Ellison nailed it right on the head. MDN is full of shit. Cook is a suit … what is it about that that you don’t get. Cook would never come up with iPhone, iPad, iTunes Store, retail store strategy, telling Adobe to go fsck themselves, on and on and on. He is a logistic SVP, and then he runs out of gas.

    1. Maybe Apple was ready for a suit.

      A suit who knows how to let product people be creative.
      A suit who knows how to capitalize on bold ideas with solid execution.
      A suit who can marshal finance and logistics to ensure great products succeed.
      A suit who knows on a deep level what Apple’s secret sauce is.

    2. 100% right.
      Jobs was of a time and of a world that has gone. Apple will slowly decline.
      Cook seems an ok guy – but he IS a suit.
      They only made one Steve Jobs, and I feel fortunate to have lived in his time.

  7. I got news for you Larry. Maybe you should go sit with your friend Michael Dell. The last time someone said something like that about Apple that’s what happened. Dell said Apple should shutdown go out of business it has no chance of surviving. Look who’s selling off his company.

    1. Larry is not and never was a freind of Dell, he was in fact Job’s closest friend. They shared many a quiet evening walk in their neghborhood in Palo Alto. Dell was not a pal of either of them. Not all rich people are buddies you know.

  8. This is how great men, great companies, great societies go belly up with such thinking. Far too simplistic to say that last century when A happened B happened so this century when A happens B must happen again. That is why big established companies go stale, Apple only went that way when such men from outside with Larry’s sort of thinking took over. Despite concerns there is little evidence to suggest that is happening again. To be honest a lot of the problems with Apple mk 1 was also down to SJ’s lack of flexibility but he thankfully learnt from his fatal short comings during Apple mk 2 if not completely. However some of the slowness to react this time also has some regard to SJ’s policies (different faults but similar inflexibility) so lets give the present management a chance to show what they are worth. If they can retain his wonderful vision and add a little more flexibility belatedly happening now then that is no comparison to Sculley’s time at all. Next year will be the first time when a real SJ free Apple can truly be judged. Apple wont be SJ’s company any more but it wont be Sculleys either, Cook is a facilitator its others who will feed the innovation and that capability is still there.

Reader Feedback

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