And that day was yesterday. There is a massive amount of online prognostication (7,500+ articles on Google News last I checked) regarding Apple’s new CEO. USA Today questioned his showmanship, and wondered if he had the vision or genius to succeed. After all, there is a big difference between operating a company, and leading a company.
Meanwhile, the Steve Jobs tributes continue to roll in (see below for show-stopping example). Legions of Apple fanboys have taken the historic moment to bone up on their iMovie skills, scripting voice-overs, and cutting together tear-inducing photo memoirs.
In a poll by PC Magazine, almost 40% said that Jobs’ resignation would hurt Apple. Last I checked there were less than 500 votes. I agree with the early count. I can’t see how the company will move ahead unaffected. As many have suggested, though, the Jobs DNA has had ample time to multiply at Cupertino. Instead of one master showman, perhaps the future will look like the Clone Wars — thousands of bright-eyed, possibly demonic, saviors in training at the Big O.
The New York Times called Jobs the Master of Design: “At Apple, Mr. Jobs has been the ultimate arbiter on products. For example, three iPhone prototypes were completed over the course of a year. The first two failed to meet Mr. Jobs’s exacting standards. The third prototype got his nod, and the iPhone shipped in June 2007.”
As if to demonstrate further what we already know — that Steve Jobs is an enigma, a messiah, and a villain all rolled into one — Jon Friedman called him the “greatest manipulator of popular culture in history.” And that was a compliment by the way. It’s all spot on. We ate out of his hand. Jobs transformed the keynote into grand entertainment. There was the one more thing, the ego parade of impressive app downloads we needed to hear about before each product announcement. Then there were the lines. The iPad proved to be the greatest stunt of all. It was not a computer, nor a mobile device. It was a lifestyle. Only Steve Jobs could pull that off.
Back to Tim Cook.
Wired notes that “he’s tough, but by all accounts, he’s the calm, kind, private counterpart to the moody, mercurial Jobs.”
Okay, yes, yes. But how does he look in a mock turtleneck and jeans?