While the nation rightfully rallies around Anna Hazare and the Lokpal Bill, one global event that may have gone unnoticed is the resignation of Steve Jobs as CEO of Apple, for medical reasons.
Most of India will know Apple as the company that brought us iTunes, iPOD, iPAD and the iPhone – all these products of them bear Steve’s personal stamp of being a visionary, a perfectionist, a crafty businessman and above all a “consumer-first” thinker.
Jobs has proven that people pay for simplicity and value – right from the early days of the Macintosh, the re-engineering of the music industry with iTunes & the iPod, the reincarnation of the mobile phone with the iPhone and most recently the runaway success of the iPad. Nothing he introduced can fundamentally be seenas unique or first to market – yet everything he did had a touch of ‘aspirational polish’ that made a concept or a prototype feel like the finished product.
What will his departure mean to Apple? Will it be the end of innovation? Will Products be half-baked? Will new products be received with less excitement? Will The Google/Android brigade overwhelm the iOS community? Will Microsoft and Sony make a comeback?
Knowing Steve Jobs, and his obvious ailment, I have no doubt that he has planned his exit carefully and thoroughly. Sure the public perception will be one of disappointment and concern, but Apple Corporation now is a well-oiled 14,000employee, $50B+ revenue machine – and in the next three to five years, there will not be any negative impact.
Beyond that – well – that’s up to the new, well-groomed team to figure out and leave their stamp on the future of the company. In the fast-paced world we live in, five years is a lifetime and Apple will need to continue its innovative streak to stay ahead of the game. One must not rule out the possibility that it may grow even more furiously and ferociously with even more innovation unleashed!
For now, let’s salute Steve Jobs – congratulations sir on an awesome career. The Entrepreneur in all of us aspires to be you – your legacy will continue, not just at Apple!
[Sanjay Swamy is a Serial Entrepreneur & Angel Investor in technology – he is currently the Chairman of ZipDial and was previously the CEO of mChek and also worked as a Volunteer with the UID Authority of India.]