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What is Apple Without Steve Jobs? 281

Posted by Zonk
from the different-colored-apple dept.
necro81 writes "David Pauly at Bloomberg has written a piece that asks 'Does Apple Inc. Have a Future Without Steve Jobs?' He writes in the context of Jobs' latest success in launching the iPhone, set against the backdrop of stock backdating troubles. In Pauly's worst-case-scenario, the SEC prosecutes Apple, and the board is forced to oust Jobs.Even without resorting to such scenarios, it's an interesting question to ask the fanboys and detractors out there: could Apple succeed and continue to innovative without Jobs at the helm?"
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What is Apple Without Steve Jobs?

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  • they'll find a way (Score:5, Insightful)

    by User 956 (568564) on Friday January 12, 2007 @05:06PM (#17581890) Homepage
    In Pauly's worst-case-scenario, the SEC prosecutes Apple, and the board is forced to oust Jobs.

    They'll just bring him back as an "independent consultant" and it'll be business as usual.
  • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Friday January 12, 2007 @05:10PM (#17581960) Homepage Journal

    It doesn't necessarily have to be Jobs, but I have a hard time imagining who else could be as effective. The Reality Distortion Field is a very real thing and must be taken into account. Anything Jobs says is automatically newsworthy. The black turtleneck has become an icon of geek chic. Apple and Jobs are, in the minds of the believers, inseparable.

    Regardless of who sits in the big chair, that person must positively sweat charisma. People have to want to believe them. And whatever else is true, they must never ever have worked for HP :D

  • Re:Ummm, (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Tackhead (54550) on Friday January 12, 2007 @05:11PM (#17581978)
    > ...perhaps a non-fascist technology company that embraces third party developers and applications, rather than a company that engages in propritary pogroms against any and all that think they can add to the glory that is Apple?

    No, that's what Apple would have been with Steve Wozniak.

  • by venicebeach (702856) on Friday January 12, 2007 @05:13PM (#17582008) Homepage Journal
    History says no. Apple without Steve was not the same...
  • What launch? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by nelomolen (128271) on Friday January 12, 2007 @05:14PM (#17582030) Homepage
    Successful launch of the iPhone? What launch?

    They've only announced a future product, and the general sentiment seems to be that it won't be a hot seller. That's a far cry from being a success.
  • Anecdotally... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Zaurus (674150) on Friday January 12, 2007 @05:18PM (#17582112)
    (Jobs) I loved Mac's in the 80's. High-res screens. Mice. Cool apps.

    (No Jobs) I hated Mac's in the 90's. Slow. Ugly (my opinion). No cool apps. Crashed as often as PC's (I worked at a graphic design firm, macs at work, pc's at home)

    (Jobs) I love Mac's in the...2000's(?). Beatiful. Fast. Tons of cool apps + lots of OSS stuff.

    So, anecdotally I'd say that Jobs makes a huge difference. That being said, I think Apple would still have a good chance if the Jobs appointees stayed in power after he left.
  • by Skadet (528657) on Friday January 12, 2007 @05:21PM (#17582164) Homepage
    It's not Jobs per se that they need. It isn't Jobs himself that's important, it's the role of his position. He's far more publically involved than a lot of CEOs are. Apple has successfully turned the CEO position, and consequently Jobs, into the mouthpiece for Apple -- into the spokesgeek people adore. Jobs' successor would have to fill that role well, but it's silly to think that Jobs alone is the only one who can do the ... uh, job.
  • by aalobode (758863) on Friday January 12, 2007 @05:22PM (#17582182)
    Apple is too big to lose its viability on the basis of Jobs' departure. Remember that in c. 1984, he came out with the first Mac at a high price point, with a choice of features that restricted its power. The subsequent lackluster sales eventually led to his departure. Following that, he did not succeed with his NeXT project. And then he returned to a different Apple under different business circumstances etc. and both he and the company thrived.

    Today, he has produced a new phone with deliberate limitations, much like the Mac of 22 years ago. There's the chance it won't take off. Will that destroy Apple? No. All businesses strike out sometime or other. The good businesses have more successes than failures.

    If at this point, with the stock options stain, he has developed a sense of entitlement and therefore expects to get extra special treatment, then he will be a drag on the company, and he must go. The graveyards are full of tombs of irreplaceable men. Someone will step up and fill the void. As for innovation, do you think that the hordes of Apple designers and engineers are just a bunch of dodos?

  • Oh I don't know. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Spazntwich (208070) on Friday January 12, 2007 @05:22PM (#17582194)
    I'm sure Steve's influence on the company's success is overrated. They did just fine [lowendmac.com] without him, launching many successful [forbes.com] products [wikipedia.org] under the wise leadership of their brilliant [wikipedia.org] interim [wikipedia.org] CEOs [wikipedia.org].
  • by zoftie (195518) on Friday January 12, 2007 @05:25PM (#17582236) Homepage
    He's the asshole in charge that knows his shit. He worked in electronics parts retail and I bet none of the MBA groomed directors/boardmembers/whatevers had ever such jobs pertinent to their business. He gets things his way, and most of the time he is right. I am not apple fanboi, I use many platforms, but you can really admire his affinity for simple things. Its almost like zen. He is a role model too for many nerds in that way.
    Without steve jobs they still have long way to go , but slope will change direction almost immediately.
    He's got the stone and knowlege to do things. Not many directors/whatevers have such initmate knowlege of technology feel. I some respects he is like Kevin Mitnick - when they started questioning about his expolitation of computers he got emotional and cried. Whatever.
    Without jobs apple is just another e-bit hardware maker.
  • by bealzabobs_youruncle (971430) on Friday January 12, 2007 @05:26PM (#17582266)
    Wall Street will punish Apple in a huge way if Jobs goes, either by choice or force. For many people Jobs is Apple, and the useless analyst at places like Gartner will paint awesome forecast of doom when Jobs does go.
  • High standards (Score:5, Insightful)

    by moderators_are_w*nke (571920) on Friday January 12, 2007 @05:31PM (#17582338) Journal
    Somebody within Apple (strongly rumored to be Jobs) who has a lot of power has exceptionally high standards for design an usability, and this is why we get iPod+iTunes from Apple (killer app - even my little sister can rip CDs onto it) and Media Player+Some strange OLED WMA player from others.

    Thats the key, somebody who will say no to an average product which would make a fair amount of money until its even better. If they lose that, they're the same as everyone else and they can't command premium prices anymore.
  • Re:Jonathan Ive (Score:4, Insightful)

    by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Friday January 12, 2007 @05:37PM (#17582418) Homepage Journal
    plenty of companies do just fine without a reality distortion field, so why shouldn't Apple?

    Apple is as much about convincing you that their products are the best as they are about making good products, maybe more. How many Apple products without horrible flaws of some type can you come up with? Mostly it's a handful of laptops, like the second-gen iBook, the intel-based macbooks, some of the powerbooks, and a handful of their 68k machines... For example iPod has perhaps the best user interface of any mp3 player but the battery problem is a real problem and more to the point was totally unnecessary - and you have to use Apple's software. (I realize there's third party software with Apple support these days.) They could have put a door on the unit and specified a cellphone battery for chrissakes - In fact I have a cheesy little "digital camcorder" (glorified digital camera) that takes a Nokia battery, OR some AAA batteries.

    And of course, let's not mention that OSX is just about the most inconsistent OS I've ever seen short of Linux with athena widget, wxwindows, qt, and gtk apps all running at the same time. Some context menus will open on a click and let you click open submenus, some of them will close when you click on a submenu. Apple themselves uses three different widget sets. The OS may be relatively virusproof (an argument we could have all day, but I'm not going to) but it's not especially reliable and it's easy to get into a state where you have to reboot for things to work properly. The Dock resizes itself, destroying any use of muscle memory, but looking awfully pretty!

    I'm not saying that the competition is dramatically better or anything - and in many areas Apple has the best idea going, such as in their preferences system which I think is less opaque (especially to a new user) than anyone else's. But again, they are at least as much about style as they are about substance, and you need a salesman to sell style. Substance sells itself, although granted, to a different crowd - and some Apple buyers ARE buying based on functionality. Maybe even the majority.

  • by cowscows (103644) on Friday January 12, 2007 @05:41PM (#17582496) Journal
    What I think is most important for a company like Apple is focus. And that focus needs to come from the top. Perfectionism is a double edged sword, and not really all that hard to find. It can enable you to make some really great things, but the nature of working that way means that you can only make so many great things, because perfectionism takes time.

    Before Jobs returned, Apple still made some cool stuff, and I'd imagine there were still plenty of smart, perfectionist engineers and such working there. But they were producing about 12 billion different projects, and there's just no way to get that many things right. The old Apple may have had all the technical and design oriented staff they needed to design the iPod, but it never would've happened, because an mp3 player project would've been competing with too many others for resources and talent.

    Steve Jobs' cult of personality and RDF are certainly a benefit. It gets them a good bit of free advertising and makes following Apple that much more fun. But his best contribution to Apple is his ability to focus the company's efforts in just a few directions, and usually in the right directions.

    If Jobs was out tomorrow, and they replaced him with a guy who was as boring as a stump in the ground, they'd still do alright as long as the replacement kept the company on task. There'd definitely be a short-term stock slump as investors got worried, and Macworld keynotes would probably be far less amusing, but Apple could survive, and continue to churn out cool stuff.

  • by keytohwy (975131) on Friday January 12, 2007 @05:42PM (#17582512)
    I don't know. I saw the Jerry Garcia Band *after* Jerry died, and they sucked.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 12, 2007 @05:47PM (#17582598)
    "Apple ought to break up into three companies: entertainment systems, computer systems, and software. Each would work nicely on their own, and be able to then attack their respective marketplaces less encumbered by the other. "

    Oh... you mean like Sony.
  • by poot_rootbeer (188613) on Friday January 12, 2007 @05:49PM (#17582640)
    Clearly he won't settle for less than best in him employees--but viewing from the outside, it's hard to say if that helped or hindered Apple's success.

    It's a peculiar argument to make that a greater tolerance for mediocrity could have in some way helped Apple's success.
  • by alms (871430) on Friday January 12, 2007 @05:52PM (#17582674)
    I'm an investor in Apple and I also work in the investment industry. My take is that Apple would lose about 40% of its market value immediately if Jobs got the boot. At today's price that's about $37 Billion of equity going poof, supposedly in the name of protecting Apple's shareholders. Sure, some or all of that value might come back eventually. But the point is, it's never going to happen. The regulators might find some way to publicly reprimand him, but he's too important to the company --- and he's added too much value to the company --- to be pulled out for this. Technically speaking it shouldn't matter, so there is something of an ethical dilemma. But the market ultimately is more practical than that. It wouldn't serve anyone's good. Of course, I may be completely wrong. But my portfolio hopes that I'm not.
  • by Rogerborg (306625) on Friday January 12, 2007 @05:53PM (#17582698) Homepage
    Those are very strange definitions for "success" and "launching". First, they haven't sold a single unit yet. Second, they won't sell any for another 6 months. Third, the response among potential purchasers went from zealotry to "Actually, that kind of sucks" in less time than it took to break an iPhone touchscreen. The iPhone (in its current form) is shaping up to be Apple's PS3.
  • by postbigbang (761081) on Friday January 12, 2007 @05:53PM (#17582700)
    Good heavens. You have a point ;)>
  • by MsGeek (162936) on Friday January 12, 2007 @06:09PM (#17582976) Homepage Journal
    John Sculley was not the problem. Michael Spindler was. Spindler presided over the fiascos that marked the early PowerPC period, like the dreaded "Performa" machines. And contrary to popular belief, Apple was on its way to a turnaround before Apple bought NeXT. Gil Amelio was responsible for the revival of the PowerBook brand after the "PowerBook Flambe" fiasco, hired Jonathan Ive as industrial designer, and had greenlighted the iMac. Of course, when Amelio bought NeXT, he basically signed his own pink slip as the purchase meant Steve Jobs was back.

    I think after 10 years of The Steve back at the helm of Apple, the next CEO needn't be anywhere near as hands-on as The Steve is. They just need to avoid hiring someone as clueless as Spindler. The technological team Apple put together is good enough and strong enough to carry on unless a Spindler-level fuckup winds up at the reins. Amelio started the rebirth of Apple, The Steve kicked it into high gear. Apple will never be Dell. Perhaps that's for the best.
  • No, pretty much! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Enrique1218 (603187) on Friday January 12, 2007 @06:20PM (#17583180) Journal
    Apple without Jobs showmanship really wouldn't be the same. Apple is a company that profits by pushing envelope to develop products and then requiring high price for it. That business plan is inherently unstable yet Apple thrives with it. The only reason that works is because Jobs has a good technical background to define a direction for a product and the showmanship to get people excited about it. The iPhone announcement illustrates this beautifully. He took the spotlight off CES, had the attention of major news outlets, and generally had people excited with a product that might be fraught with too many limitations for its price. Steve Ballmer can't do that, but that is exactly Apple's bread and butter. I don't think Jobs has any formal college degrees, yet, he undeniably has the qualities needed to be a good "Apple" CEO. Apple with any other CEO would not be what is Apple today. We will one day have to accept that ineveitable change.
  • by statusbar (314703) <jeffk@statusbar.com> on Friday January 12, 2007 @06:21PM (#17583186) Homepage Journal
    NeXT was very much a success! In fact NeXT purchased Apple, for something like Negative 300 Million Dollars! Now NeXT continues in Apple form.

    --jeffk++
  • by telbij (465356) * on Friday January 12, 2007 @06:24PM (#17583244)
    History says no. Apple without Steve was not the same...


    Although I don't think Apple could be the same, I think there are a number of people who could lead Apple well. Sculley, Spindler and Amelio drove the company into the ground, that doesn't mean everyone else would as well. Apple's identity is arguably stronger now, and their technology is definitely stronger. Microsoft, meanwhile, is floundering. The landscape is totally different.
  • The Next One (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Moby Cock (771358) on Friday January 12, 2007 @06:31PM (#17583342) Homepage
    Is Jonathon Ives.
  • by Lumpy (12016) on Friday January 12, 2007 @06:46PM (#17583528) Homepage
    Then put Woz at the wheel. The man is incredible, when you meet him you cant not like the man. He has great ideas, Is an incredible prankster (we need a CEO prankster to shake up the industry) and actually knows what he talks about.

    Problem is, Woz will never EVER do it.
  • Re:Jonathan Ive (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mollymoo (202721) on Friday January 12, 2007 @06:48PM (#17583552) Journal
    For example iPod has perhaps the best user interface of any mp3 player but the battery problem is a real problem [...]

    The thing is, it simply isn't a real problem for the majority of customers. Hard-to-replace batteries were all over the news for a while, but Apple still sells iPods by the bucketload. Apple realised that a sleek exterior and minimum size and weight sell much better than inconvenience a few years down the line. For most customers, a battery cover you can remove with your thumb or a coin is an unnecesarry cost (in terms of style and weight, not cash). I bet Apple have figures on how many replacement batteries are sold for consumer electronics (generally, not just iPods). I'd like to see those figures, but my guess is few are ever sold. You get them for mobile phones and laptops, though I suspect that market is more about increasing runtime than replacing ageing batteries. When I walk into an electronics store I do not generally see racks of replacement batteries for non-Apple MP3 players. Where I have seen replacement batteries they are right next to the kits to replace your iPod battery.

    Part of Apple's success comes from challenging the conventional wisdom. There's no point making the sleep light pulse, is there? There's no point adding a speaker so the click wheel actually clicks, is there? Nobody would want an all-in-one PC & monitor that they couldn't upgrade, would they? Well, it turns out that when you do lots of those 'silly' things and get rid of 'essential' features like no-tools battery replacement the result is devices that people want to buy.

  • Re:Ummm, (Score:2, Insightful)

    by kfg (145172) on Friday January 12, 2007 @06:49PM (#17583578)
    the same IBM that let the clones out of the closet...

    If you jump in front of a parade that doesn't mean you organized it.

    KFG
  • by joshsnow (551754) on Friday January 12, 2007 @06:52PM (#17583604) Journal
    I seem to have adopted a new role over the past few days; Apple Fan boys Advocate. But is that about to come to an end?

    You see, I think Apple without Steve Jobs is like Virgin without Richard Branson. Branson is the Spirit of the Virgin group, know for his wacky publicity stunts and appearing to be a harmless, benign hippy, while in reality, being an unlikely corporate billionaire. Indeed, one of his business rivals so underestimated him that he referred to Branson as "The grinning pullover".

    Not that Jobs has that image, it's just the close association each man has with their companies product which is where I'm making the comparison. Branson is still pretty much Virgin, while Jobs is definitely Apple. He's the one who appears to have the vision and drive which is taking the company forward.

    Apple without Jobs would definitely be perceived differently by consumers.
  • by The One and Only (691315) <[ten.hclewlihp] [ta] [lihp]> on Friday January 12, 2007 @07:00PM (#17583698) Homepage

    The root problems behind the Spindler-era failures did rest with Sculley. Sculley was the one who initiated the change to PPC, expanded the product line beyond all reason (the Performa started under the Sculley era as the home equivalent of the Quadra, while the LC became the education version), botched the Newton, and lost control of the company. Yet Sculley wasn't all bad. His conception of what computers would sell was more reality-based than Jobs, who opposed introducing hard drives to the Macintosh. If it wasn't for repeatedly falling on his face at NeXT, Steve Jobs would be as dangerous to Apple now as he was in the mid-80's.

    As for Amelio--absolutely. He did everything that was necessary to return Apple to profitability and ensure its future survival as a computer vendor. Amelio (and Fred Anderson, his CFO) made history by floating the largest bond issue yet at the time, but as a testament to the gamble, Apple shortly moved to a state of holding no long-term debt. Amelio also inaugurated the practice of slaughtering unnecessary and unfocused projects, eliminating a lot of Apple product lines. But if it wasn't for Jobs, there would have been no iPod or iPhone, no iTunes, dozens of clone vendors cannibalizing Apple's market share, and none of the marketing to underly these successes. Amelio gets a bad reputation because he lost a billion dollars in a single quarter, but that billion dollars has long since earned itself back in profit. About half of that went to buy NeXT, after all. Steve Jobs alone is probably worth a billion dollars to Apple--throwing in what would become Mac OS X is just gravy.

  • Re:Ummm, (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Chris Burke (6130) on Friday January 12, 2007 @07:07PM (#17583754) Homepage
    Contrast to IBM and M$, who let the IBM PC clones freak flags fly, welcoming any and all third party developers and apps.

    Uh, not hardly. They had a proprietary BIOS and they wouldn't share it with anyone. Compaq reverse-engineered the BIOS so as to make clone, and IBM sued them for copyright infringement. Seeing as this was pre-DMCA, and Compaq did a good job of clean-room reverse engineering, they won the lawsuit, and were able to start manufacturing IBM-compatible machines.

    That wouldn't have been the end of it, except IBM made a strategic error in not signing an exclusive license with Microsoft for MS-DOS. So Microsoft started selling DOS to Compaq and all the other clone makers that cropped up like weeds. Now the thing that made a PC a PC was not IBM, but Microsoft, and overnight control of the market switched to MS. Oh, and the market exploded as the clones became cheap and popular.

    Make no mistake about it: IBM "allowed" clones only under duress. It was only after being beaten up badly in the 80s and early 90s that IBM started to learn some lessons about openness.
  • Re:Jonathan Ive (Score:1, Insightful)

    by sxtxixtxcxh (757736) on Friday January 12, 2007 @07:12PM (#17583796) Homepage Journal
    maybe THAT'S where the "i" comes from:
    i(ves)Mac, i(ves)Pod, i(ves)Phone
  • by Froomb (100183) on Friday January 12, 2007 @07:52PM (#17584230)
    After the shocked reaction to the iPhone, various Wall Street institutions have done their best to play up the options issue, claim Steve Jobs is about to go on a leave for health reasons, and generally spew FUD from every direction. As a general rule, if you introduce a story from Bloomberg or the WSJ having financial implications for a stock just days before an earnings report (next Wednesday for Apple), you're likely just carrying water for someone with a special agenda.

    NASDAQ up.
    AAPL down.

    Good team work guys!
  • by GaryPatterson (852699) on Friday January 12, 2007 @07:54PM (#17584250)
    The real problem with that is that Steve Wozniak doesn't have enough business acumen to lead a big company like Apple.

    Imagine him negotiating with the RIAA.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 12, 2007 @08:33PM (#17584696)
    Why exactly would the board be "forced" to fire Jobs? This isn't written in the rules anywhere. Companies just do it as a symbolic thing -- "Look stockholders, we got rid of the guy who caused the problems. Things will be better now."

    In this case, I doubt there will be an angry mob of stockholders demanding his resignation. They all know his ability to demo things at Macworld is half the reason their stock is 6x what it was a few years ago.

    Maybe they'll fine him some. It'll effectively be a slap on the hand, as he has a boat load of money and he's gonna be even richer after they sell a few million iPhones and the stock goes up even more. But I don't see why he'd have to leave.
  • by Alien54 (180860) on Friday January 12, 2007 @09:20PM (#17585194) Journal
    As Jerry Pournelle (long of Chaos Manor from Byte Magazine in ages past) has noted [jerrypournelle.com]

    The LA Times has a We Hate Gates series. Most of the press seems to have a similar crusade against Apple. One wonders if some press consortium has sold Apple stock short and is working to make it come true?

    Because whatever irregularities in the stock option of many years ago, Jobs has taken Apple from a struggling company to a major player, and the stockholders were rewarded with a 1200% stock value increase.

    Why regulations designed to protect minority stockholders are now being used to smear Jobs is a story someone with more resources than I have should dig into. I doubt it's really coincidence.
  • by amper (33785) * on Friday January 12, 2007 @11:00PM (#17586242) Journal
    Oh, really now. Why is it that everyone always seems to start dropping their panties the minute somebody mentions the name Steve Jobs? I mean, I'm as much (or more) of an Apple (and Steve Jobs) fanboy as anybody you care to name, but the fact of the matter is that it's quite well documented that Steve Jobs can be a complete and utter dickhead and/or spiteful jackass when it suits him. Not that he has anything even remotely approaching a monopoly on that sort of behavior.

    Is he a genius? In some ways, yes, in others, no. But very often, Steve has proven that concepts which really ought to be, and sometimes *are*, obvious to most people are very often concepts which they will either willfully ignore, or are too terrified to embrace. What makes Steve special is the fact that he doesn't accept the current state of technology (ever), and he brooks very little in the way of compromise when it comes to product design. As the saying goes, Steve wants everything he has a hand in making to come out "insanely great". Sometimes he misses the mark, but he's right more often than not because it's clear that he gives a shit about the product (and in his own small way, the people) rather than just wanting to make a load of greenbacks. Not that Steve doesn't want to make money, because obviously he has, but he does it by making some really cool shit happen.

    Aside from the considerable mystique that Steve has built up over the years, it really wouldn't be all that hard to replace him. In fact, I will only semi-jokingly propose that Apple replace Steve Jobs with *me*. Seriously. I'd love to have the job, and I'd even do it for a modest salary because I think it would be one of the coolest jobs on the face of the Earth and I don't really *need* all that much money, in the end.

    Here's what you need to be the next Steve Jobs:

    1. The ability to see beyond what technology has become to what it ought to be. This is the most essential aspect. Steve Jobs ranks up there with the greatest figures in the history of computing when it comes to a vision about what the role of technology should be in our lives.
    2. A black mock turtleneck. Simple, understated, not quite elegant, highlights your face on camera, and makes you look slimmer, to boot.
    3. Friends and associates like Steve Wozniak, Jonathan Ive, Andy Hertzfeld, Avi Tevanian, etc (not to mention a whole bunch of people over at Pixar). Go take a look at the list of people who have worked for Apple and/or Pixar and what they've done. It's freaking shocking. Apple alone has, over the years, made both Microsoft and Google combined look like a bunch of kindergarteners. And Pixar? Do I even need to go into it?
    4. The willpower not to accept a compromised design. Don't settle for less than "insanely great". Money isn't everything, you know, and it's not even the only thing.
    5. And, of course, target the high end of the market, and make no apologies for it. Quality over quantity.

    That's it, really. It's not all *that* difficult. Unfortunately, even most people involved with technology tend to forget that it's not all about the actual techie bits. It's also about design and philosophy, and a whole lot of other fuzzy ideas about Life, the Universe, and Everything that most brainiac gearheads have a difficult time wrapping their eggheads around. Those of us who can *do* exist, though we may be a extremely small subset of the population.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 13, 2007 @03:54AM (#17588426)
    Jobs isn't going anywhere soon. By the time he goes, he will have driven Apple so far in the right direction that it won't matter. And that will go well; an organization like Apple is not made of one person.

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