Thursday, January 15, 2009

Jobless in Appleland

Pardon me if I don't shed a tear or phone my broker to dump my Apple shares (as if I could afford them!) Apparently Apple's own Elvis has left the building. Steve Jobs, a brilliant innovator, resuscitator of the Mac fortunes and all around promotional genius is taking what some believe his final leave of absence from the company he made enormously profitable. The rationale that is being given is that his "hormone imbalance" is much more serious than imagined and that he needs the time off to get well. Lest I sound callous, let me say I sympathize with Steve and his family as they go through this trial again and hope that he recovers completely.

Now, on to the main point, what is Apple going to do to keep its creative process that has produced some of the most exciting and trend setting devices imaginable going without "the man"? I don't think the real issue is whether Apple can survive without Steve or not but whether it can grow up in time to become a self-sustaining purveyor of digital excellence.

I have lived in a country that was run by a dictator for many years and then freed by the democratic process. One of the most insidious effects of that dictatorship, however, is that it leaves a whole generation of people enslaved internally. Conversations constantly surrounded how much "safer" things had been when the military ruled the country and people were summarily executed for stealing a loaf of bread. At least in the public eye, it seems that this same attitude exists with the benevolent dictatorship of Steve Jobs. "Things were so much better when Steve was in charge. What will we do now?" How about think for yourselves and keep Apple moving in the right direction...ahead with or without Mr. Jobs.