Just as Bill Gates steps aside as head of Microsoft, Apple’s Steve Jobs reaches a zenith of near-cult popularity.
What price glory for the man who IS Apple? Is Steve Jobs too dangerous for Apple’s future?
Most of us who claim the position of Apple watcher, Mac user, and techno pundit shudder at the thought of Steve Jobs leaving Apple.
Greedily, we worry about the resulting stock price crash, with recent estimates of a 30-percent drop should Steve leave Apple.
Mac faithful look forward to Jobs’ Macworld keynotes as much as zealous followers of a religion look forward to words on high from a spiritual master.
You know something has changed in the public psyche when a non-entertainer such as Steve Jobs becomes fodder for episodes of Saturday Night Live.
Such has been the case a few times the past year or so as parodies of Steve Jobs have appeared a couple of times on Saturday Night Live, and on MadTV.
I’m not tracking such appearances but managed to see all three and drew a singular conclusion. The bits are funny, somewhat accurate, but not good for Apple’s future.
Why not? After all, Bill Gates as head of Microsoft and the world’s richest man is arguably more well known throughout the world than Apple’s co-founder Steve Jobs.
Microsoft’s fortunes are not tied to Bill Gates in the same was as Apple’s fortunes are to Steve Jobs. Gates appointed Steve Ballmer as CEO and no one blinked.
Who’s the heir apparent at Apple? There is none.
Some say that Apple is Jobs. Jobs is Apple. In a way, I am forced to agree.
No other company of such prominence in the tech industry has a CEO who retains such micro control over a company’s character and product line.
Jobs believes that art and technology are one and the same and Apple exudes that personal combination in the Mac, Mac OS X, the iPod, even the not-yet-released iPhone.
If all good things come to an end, is it possible that Steve Jobs, elevated to parody material as a Zen-influenced Svengali on popular comedy shows, is dangerous to Apple’s future? Yes.
The issue is not “if” Job leaves Apple, it’s “when” Jobs leaves, and under what circumstances. As it stands now, the company’s fortunes are too intertwined in Jobs’ mesmerizing and now highly public leadership persona.
Elevated higher in the public’s consciousness, Jobs could even detract buyers from Apple’s products, not wanting to be associated with a “religious” purchase from those “Apple fanatics.”
With no successor in sight, with Apple riding a huge wave of popular products, record sales and profits, is Steve Jobs becoming too dangerous for Apple’s future? Yes, we’re headed in that direction.
Share your concerns, insights, perspective with other Mac360 readers in the Comments section below.