Steve Jobs resigns and the ghouls and fanboys are already out in force. Do they have a point, though?

Bill Loguidice's picture

Unless you've been living under one of the few remaining rocks without Internet access, you've already heard the news of Apple CEO, Steve Jobs, resigning. Even though his health has been an obvious issue in recent years, the news still comes as a surprise. Clearly this is the beginning of the end for one of the tech world's most divisive and historically prominent figures, because say what you will about the man and his actions, he clearly has a passion for his work and wouldn't leave unless it was the most dire of circumstances.

Of course, putting the human element aside for the time being, this has also become prime time for the Apple haters to ghoulishly rejoice and/or predict the end of Apple's time in the spotlight. While much of that is clearly fueled by fanboys who feel threatened by Apple's recent prominence, is there any validity to this idea? In fact, some are even trying to draw comparisons to Microsoft's downward trend and the exodus of Bill Gates, but are there really any similarities?

My take is is that it is unlikely Jobs leaving and presumed eventual passing will have a significant impact on Apple in the short- to medium-term. The company is too well positioned at the moment. Long-term is anyone's guess, but then that's an issue for every company. As for Microsoft, I don't think much would have changed for them if Gates remained at the helm. The problem with being the market leader is that you by necessity take fewer and fewer risks to protect that lead, creating more opportunity for others to generate excitement and start to steal marketshare by being more nimble and/or able to react to changing market conditions better. By any definition, Microsoft is still wildly successful and will remain so, it's just that they've stumbled outside of their legacy products of Windows and Office. The only real success at Microsoft other than those two stalwarts and the related enterprise stuff has been their Xbox division. Everything else has pretty much been a failure to this point (though they do make some fine computer accessories). Again, that would be so with or without Gates. Of course, despite those downsides, being a very large company does have the benefit of leaving lots of room to sweep aside failures and try, try again, something Microsoft clearly specializes in. Apple is in as good of a position as any company to sweep aside a few failures going forward, with or without the influence of Jobs.

In any case, it's a fascinating time of late watching these massive tech corporations maneuver, strategize, sue, buy-out, patent troll, and engage in some downright bizarre decision making, be it Google, HP, Microsoft, Apple, Nintendo, Sony, AT&T, et al. I can't recall a time since the early 80's when we've had such volatility in the tech world. Of course, with these fascinating times comes some rough times for us as consumers, but then we've always been the collateral damage when corporate competition heats up, and there's really no sector hotter right now than tech. Whatever side of the fence you fall on, it really is a shame Jobs will no longer be a part of it, though, because love him or hate him, he always made things interesting and all those corporate shenanigans won't seem quite the same without the guy in the black turtleneck to rally around, whether for or against.

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Nous
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No negative impact in the

No negative impact in the foreseeable future. The future is unknown but the momentum they have is going to *easily* carry them through the next couple of years. Let the "fanboys" rejoice, they have another thing coming ... pretty soon ;)

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Matt Barton
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I'd have to know more about

I'd have to know more about Jobs' actual role in the design and selection of products. I know he is a great pitchman, but it's not like there aren't other great pitchmen out there. Perhaps, though, his ability to get the right people excited about Apple stuff is unique, though, and they will start to lose momentum. I've never seen or met him in person, but the "cult leader" metaphor often comes up from people who have.

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Bill Loguidice
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Jobs
Matt Barton wrote:

I'd have to know more about Jobs' actual role in the design and selection of products. I know he is a great pitchman, but it's not like there aren't other great pitchmen out there. Perhaps, though, his ability to get the right people excited about Apple stuff is unique, though, and they will start to lose momentum. I've never seen or met him in person, but the "cult leader" metaphor often comes up from people who have.

Well, I think we know a few things about the man. One, is that he's a charismatic leader, someone to rally around, whether you're an employee or a customer. He mastered the CEO product pitch, making even relatively mundane things seem like something to get excited about (all that "magical" silliness). The second is that he has VERY particular visions for products, whether it's no numeric keypad for the original Mac keyboard or his disdain for buttons in the touchscreen era, he was in an influential position to make those desires happen (presumably, or else). Will the new guy have the same force of will? Will the new guy have the same vision? Will the new guy be as charismatic? I guess we'll see...

I wonder if that upcoming Jobs bio will be delayed a bit to incorporate this latest twist in his story?

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Nous
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This is the man behind every

This is the man behind every single successful product made by Apple: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jonathan_Ive

I wouldn't worry too much about Jobs stepping down, trust me.

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clok1966
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Steve is the DRIVING force

Steve is the DRIVING force behind the closed system, this is well known, its Apples Strength and achillies heel. The closed system has let them keep tabs on all aspects and simple make sure it works well. When Steve was forced out of Apple the compnay took a HARD nosedive after several years of succes... you know the story, we make it big and the head guy is kicked out, we dont need him anymore.. problem is APPLE did.. Steve came back to a all but dead after thought of a company, the products where failing (several are on WORST lists all over). He came back and you have to admit, fixed APPLE. He had final say on the Ipod and was more then just CEO, he had an active hand it. The IPOD was the catylist that brough APPLE back from "alive but not growing". Steve was a HUGE support of APPLE TV (so he doesnt alwasy hit gold) and the Tablet was his baby form day one.. The first mentions of it in early computer mags mentioned how Tosibias efforts at a tablet had crashed and burned so badly that APPLE was risking alot and STEVE was the guy who was really pushing it or it wouldnt have been done..

I hate to say it but In my opinion STEVE is a huge deal. Look at apples success , he has been key in all of it. When he wasnt a part of the company it was at its worst state. Even with him gone the tablet should carry thme past the 2 year current roadmap.. But surely in 2 years there will be a Windows tablet that can compete and it will quite frankly have a leg up.. even if its a far worse product. (win 8 is going to have an APP store built in... so sad)

the mention of John he is a "look" designer from my understanding he doesnt design the guts and such, just the outside and how they look. But maybe ?

the really sad part is APPLE is poised to be the next step in computer evolution.. The tablet seems like the next step.. even if i dont like them. the Ipad is surely not the best (well right now) but I see the tablet evolving into the everyday PC type appliance the PC enjoyed in the 90's. More roboust versions will eb in use by UPS and the like in the future I think. All this and teh man who was a huge part of ti all will net see the next steps (if all the health suff is acurate he most likley will not be around 2 more years)..

i will post now.. Apple will be worse off for losing Steve Jobs, even if I dont like his Closed- MY WORD IS GOD way of running things 9it does work for many users quite well). As his legacy and current direction (roadmap) losses his guiding hand .. say 5 years form now.. Apple is going to start sliding back into "alive but not growing" status again.. of course who knows, there are plenty of brilliant people.. but most are not company men.. and Apple has a "company man" running hte show now.. Steve will keep the ship right for a littel while.. Ipods and tablets will hold the status a bit longer (or? maybe a long time).. the Iphone has shown its weakness. its on the 2 of the biggest carriers and doenst outsell thier other phones anymore, its no longer a case of not being aveilable, you can pick, and people are picking other phones. I do think the "hold it in your hand and poor reception" thing was a black mark.

I do agree, Apple is on a roll and this (picking at Jobs) is the best tthe haters can do.. pretty sad. I will admit 5% drop is pretty much a blip on stocks in this case, i figured closer to 10-15% but I suspect that wont happen till he passes.

Full disclosure- NOT and apple fan

Nous
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Just sit back and watch then.

Just sit back and watch then. The roadmap for the next 2 years is quite clear and their design and engineering teams are firing on all cylinders. I'm telling you, there will be no negative impact in the short to mid term.

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Bill Loguidice
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Future
Nous wrote:

Just sit back and watch then. The roadmap for the next 2 years is quite clear and their design and engineering teams are firing on all cylinders. I'm telling you, there will be no negative impact in the short to mid term.

Yeah, that's what I've been saying. These big companies have their product release cycles and feature-sets planned out far in advance. Apple will be fine for the foreseeable future, say the next 3 years. In any case, I laugh at some of the calls to sell Apple stock. If I had some, I wouldn't sell it until at least AFTER iPhone 5 or iPad 3 is released to maximize the value. I do expect a dip though if Jobs passes, but that's hardly a revelation.

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clok1966
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Joined: 01/21/2009
it will be interesting for

it will be interesting for sure. As I say, no fan of Tablets, but they sure seem poised to be the next "major" change for PC market (if they arent already considered that). Quite a few good (and some bad) news stories on him (steve), some good reading if your a fan or not. I tend to think after the last time He left and the problems apple had, to many will look at it the same way, but with such an Ugly market, some logic thinking will prevail (maybe).. IF i still had any apple stock (yes even if I dont like um I still had some, right up till less then a year ago.. wish i had held on a bit longer) I would keep it about a year to 2 years and play it close .. Some good points about the iphone5 (this one really doenst excite me at all, no majore changes i see, 4g i guess, seem 6 will be the next major change) and the Ipad 3 comming, but the Ipad3 will be big IMHO. They are still makeing some close minded mistakes with the Ipads. (no card slots) crappy camera's (while i think this is such a stupid thing to worrry about, its bitched about in every review so people must care), if they change some of this.. the worlds the limit, they are in the command chair right now in this field, its thiers to lose or dominate (and one can say they are dominating now... and then some).

Matt Barton
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Joined: 01/16/2006
It really all depends on how

It really all depends on how involved Jobs stays with the company. It sounds like he wants to still be a pretty key figure there to me.

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clok1966
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Joined: 01/21/2009
quotes
Matt Barton wrote:

It really all depends on how involved Jobs stays with the company. It sounds like he wants to still be a pretty key figure there to me.

I do think he will be there till the end.. (and that this is all health related) but if you read all the WHO haw.. he wont be around long.. If i was in his place.. with his money I sure wouldnt spend my last few years making that money into a bigger pile, but thats just me..

this is a pretty good read, some fun stuff

http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2011/08/money-quotes-steve-jobs-style/

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