If you’ve read my personal blog, PixoBebo, you know I can come down hard on Apple when it’s justified, and rush to defend when I see or read mistreatment. After following Apple closely for much of the Steve Jobs second coming era, how does the new Apple under Tim Cook and crew compare?
What’s Old Is New Again
To start, let me state that the Apple under Steve Jobs’ second reign was not much like the original Apple. There was less hubris and bravado than Apple of the early to mid-1980s.
Maybe Steve Jobs had matured, but he ran Apple with a disciplined hand, and just the right balance of pragmatism and vision for Apple to create more next great things than any other tech company.
Alright, how is Apple faring under CEO Tim Cook, who, by the way, studied at Jobs’ right hand for much of the second coming?
There are changes, yes. But there are no discernible differences in how Apple operates now vs. then.
I know what you’re thinking. ‘Wait a minute, Kate. What about this long and growing line of issues that never would have occurred under Steve Jobs?‘
There’s Apple’s Maps and the divorce from Google, all the patent lawsuits, the canning of Jobs protege Scott Forstall, the slow product refresh rate, the giving of money back to shareholders, the hatred of Samsung, and the stock price and iBook Store fiascos.
Seriously? Does anyone who watches or studies Apple think those items would not have happened under Jobs’ reign?
How about MobileMe, Antennagate, patent lawsuits, product delays, and stock backdating issues and lawsuits? Apple under Jobs had similar high profile issues so it’s difficult to see that Apple is doing anything much differently under Cook.
Apple’s executive management team has a number of new players, of course, but executives left the company under Jobs as well (Avie Tevanian, Jon Rubenstein, Tony Fadell, Nancy Heinen, Bertrand Serlet, Fred Anderson), and not always under the best of circumstances.
Wasn’t Apple’s advertising better under Jobs watchful eye? Perhaps not so much. True, there were great iPod ads, wonderful ‘I’m a Mac, I’m a PC’ ads but there was also the infamous Intel flaming bunny ads and others that were as forgettable as the ‘Think Different’ ads are memorable.
Apple as a company has a culture, much of which was shaped by Jobs, but implemented by a cadre of lieutenants who still run the company’s day to day operations. Not much has actually changed, including the tendency for tech media to pile on Apple’s every move with a litany of ridiculous conclusions based upon flimsy evidence and less analysis.
As to those who decry Apple’s recent drop in profits and stall in revenue growth, please be reminded that Apple had some dark periods in the early part of the new century when Jobs ran the show. In fact, most of the recent stock climb and drop, and profit climb, and drop, came under Cook’s watch, not Jobs.
Despite the new products, renewed competition, and piles of riches, Apple seems pretty much like the same old Apple.