Can Apple manage to continue being successful without a Steve Jobs figurehead? Is this question even relevant anymore given that the company still makes money hand over fist? Well, yes, yes it is. Especially as we close out 2016 and the seemingly multiple problems Apple has had throughout the year have tarnished their luster. The latest cacophony of complaints surrounds what could easily be Apple’s premiere product, the MacBook Pro. The iPhone hasn’t escaped its own array of bugs and problems and the Apple Watch hasn’t exactly been a runaway success.
Apple has never been a perfect company and they’ve had many products with many problems even with Steve Jobs at the helm, but they had Steve. Don’t get me wrong, I think Tim Cook does a fantastic job managing the company as a whole, but he doesn’t represent the company like Jobs did. When Steve Jobs returned to Apple he infused his charisma into the Apple brand, even today people identify Apple with Steve Jobs. Steve wasn’t always the most likable character out there but even those who didn’t like him gave him the credit due him.
Steve had a knack for seeing new technology and wrapping his head around how best it would benefit the consumer, which then benefited Apple’s bottom line. Steve Jobs and Apple have never really innovated a lot of their technology, but they’ve done an excellent job in marketing the technology they’ve adopted or purchased. Somewhere along the line, since 2011, Apple has increasingly lost the focus Steve had in making good products that customers love. Jobs had this to say about companies who have lost their drive to make great products and focus on profits instead: “They really have no feeling in their hearts, usually, about really wanting to help the customers.”
Listen, I get it, Apple needs to move on from the Steve Jobs era and out from his shadow, but they need a new figurehead to take up the mantle left behind. Apple still has their supporters in the press who will evangelize the product but without that central beacon that was Steve Jobs, it’s a much harder battle. The world around Apple is also in a different state of being since Jobs’ death. Android has matured and has become the most used mobile OS, Google is mounting its own flagship war against the iPhone and Microsoft quietly got better. There are Windows 10 laptops that are nearly half the price of Apple’s 2016 MacBook Pro that have specs to match or exceed it and Windows 10 as an OS is fantastic.
Apple needs to regroup, rethink, and find that figurehead that can evangelize their product the way Steve did. They also need better direction for their product line and better quality control. The only way they’ll get out of Steve’s shadow is by replacing him and Tim Cook was never a replacement for what Steve did for Apple. So back to the question at hand. Can Apple manage to continue being successful without a Steve Jobs figurehead? Yes, but they have a ton of work ahead of them as the competition has truly become more intense and in some areas the competition is better than Apple.
There’s probably a lot of opinions out there on this subject so feel free to leave a comment below letting us know what you think.