Steve Jobs wasn’t perfect or infallible. He was tough, intractable, perhaps unfair, and occasionally even mean-spirited. These are not characteristics many of us spent time pointing out a year ago when the Apple CEO and founder succumbed to cancer.
The loss, though expected, hit us all hard. Jobs was one of us — a person who loved technology and all the endless possibilities that come with it.
He was a doer.
He was the architect.
What Apple is today is Jobs’ doing, a fact current Apple CEO Tim Cook readily acknowledges. In a brief letter on Apple.com (which follows a moving video), Cook describes the company as “a gift [Jobs] gave to the world.”
There is no way to know if 2012 would have gone differently if Jobs were still around, but it is already clear that Apple will be just fine without him.
By almost any measure, Apple is even more successful now than when Jobs left it. It enjoys higher revenue, increased market value, more money in the offshore bank, fresh, lauded products and the ability to sell millions and millions of those new products in a matter of days.
Jobs’ long shadow, though, is never far away.
When Apple stumbled badly with Apple Maps, news emerged that the botched software may have been Jobs’ idea. This is not at all surprising. Anyone who followed Jobs in the last two years of his life or read the Walter Isaacson biography knows Jobs hated Google for introducing Android, which he felt copied iOS and the iPhone. He wanted to destroy Android. Having Google products in Apple’s premier product was no doubt an anathema to him.
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