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How Apple Could Survive Without Steve Jobs 331

ThousandStars writes "The Wall Street Journal asks How Apple Could Survive Without Steve Jobs: 'Speculation about the continued reign of Mr. Jobs — which has popped up from time to time since his 2004 treatment for cancer — underscore how closely Apple's fashion-setting products are identified with its co-founder.'"
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How Apple Could Survive Without Steve Jobs

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  • by Fahrvergnuugen ( 700293 ) on Thursday December 18, 2008 @10:18AM (#26159375) Homepage
  • Re:Well (Score:4, Informative)

    by JaredOfEuropa ( 526365 ) on Thursday December 18, 2008 @10:49AM (#26159735) Journal

    I love my Apple TV, but it's not a very successful product, over all. Time capsule is probably about the same. The Cube was a failure, and quite frankly the MacBook Air ONLY has its form factor going for it (otherwise it is so hellaciously overpriced that it's like a time warp back to the mid 1990s for Apple).

    The fact that a lot of people buy a MacBook Air despite its ridiculous price/performance ratio and solely for its form factor, is saying a lot about the importance of the package technology comes in. Same for the iPhone: from a pure functional point of view it's not a very good phone, and it has a few issues that we would not accept from any other manufacturer, but still people are literally lining up to get their hands on one. Despite some important areas where the iPhone performs poorly, there are other things like the form factor, design and ease-of-use where it outshines the competition.

    And it's precisely design, form factor and ease-of-use where Steve Jobs has a lot of influence. Perhaps not directly as a designer, but as a (purportedly) insanely demanding critic. Someone ascribed Apple's success as a trendsetter in design to this; where other companies design for an identified or assumed market segment, Apple designs for Steve Jobs, a rich gadget freak who happens to have a decent taste.

  • Re:Absolutely not! (Score:2, Informative)

    by inline_four ( 594390 ) on Thursday December 18, 2008 @10:52AM (#26159773) Homepage Journal

    Just because something is popular, doesn't imply it's popular on its creative merits. Britney Spears is a lot more popular than Sonic Youth, for example.

  • Re:Absolutely not! (Score:5, Informative)

    by Cally ( 10873 ) on Thursday December 18, 2008 @10:53AM (#26159791) Homepage

    Er,... Hardy Amies?

    Versace? OK, so Donatella's still flogging crap but doncha wish she wasn't?

    Yves St Laurent?

    Ironically, I am a bit of a poof, but I don't own a stitch of designer clothing.

  • Re:look at polaroid (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 18, 2008 @10:57AM (#26159843)

    Really? I would attribute Polaroid's downfall entirely to the digital transition. If Ed Lane was immortal, the same thing would have happened.

  • by zerofoo ( 262795 ) on Thursday December 18, 2008 @10:58AM (#26159855)

    Is exactly the same as yours.

    I'm the IT director for a small private school, and my "enterprise issues" are identical to yours.

    My favorite question by Apple support, when calling about our xserves, is : "Is your xserve in a basic or advanced configuration?"

    What does it matter? You sold me the product, support it no matter what the configuration.

    Apple really needs to get their head around the enterprise. Why bother selling Xserves, and Xsans if you aren't going to support them properly?


  • Re:WTF? (Score:5, Informative)

    by SausageOfDoom ( 930370 ) on Thursday December 18, 2008 @11:03AM (#26159893)

    It's actually very few forms of cancer that can be completely cured, which is why people working in medicine talk about cancer survival rates rather than the percentage cured. You're talking about the percentage of patients who survive the first 5 years after being diagnosed - after that, all bets are off.

    It's quite heartbreaking to hear people talking about fighting their cancer and how it has been cured - when you have been treated successfully, your cancer goes into remittance, but chances are that it'll be back; usually the best you can hope for is that you've postponed the inevitable for a few more years. And when it does come back, it's often more aggressive and systemic than before; frequently to the point that all that can be done is treat the symptoms to ease the patient's passing.

    Even though Jobs' form of cancer has an extremely good survival rate, he wasted time before getting treatment, increasing the opportunity for it to grow and metastasize. I'm not saying it will definitely come back, and no doubt his prognosis is better than many other forms of cancer - but it has been 4 and a half years since he was diagnosed, so shortly the published survival rates will mean very little.

    We the public are not privy to his medical records, so all we can do is talk about odds - and the odds are rarely good when dealing with cancer. Although planning his funeral may be premature, talk of the future of the company is only fair, especially for a company that appears to owe so much of its success to just one man.

  • by billcopc ( 196330 ) <> on Thursday December 18, 2008 @11:15AM (#26160055) Homepage

    Ultimately it might end-up in the same state as Commodore (which also lost its visionary CEO and slowly but surely died-out).

    If being directly responsible for the computer industry crash of 1983 is what passes as "visionary" to you, well I have a C64 to sell you for the low low price of $99. Jack Tramiel was a loose cannon, so desperate to beat everyone that he beat his own company, by bargaining it out of existence. At that point, everyone was bleeding money, so he did the unconscionable and bought Atari's dying corpse for a song, and then used it as leverage to dick around with Amiga through his creative interpretations of contract and IP law. He still wasn't making any money, but he made damned sure no one else could either.

    If that's the man against whom you want to compare Steve Jobs, well I must say I don't know what the hell you're smoking.

  • by DCstewieG ( 824956 ) on Thursday December 18, 2008 @12:03PM (#26160695)

    ipod: six generations and 3 variations of this piece of shit and you can't get ogg playback support???? wtf?

    OGG is not going anywhere, sorry. If you're lucky it'll be the standard web audio format, but even that's doubtful. I'm not knocking the format itself, this is just the way it is.

    mac laptops: sleek form factor but overpriced and WTF why is apple so obsessed with their keyboard layout? It's not 1985 anymore give me a print screen, home, pg up/dn, insert and delete keys already. Stop being snobs and just give me a real keyboard already.

    Yes these would be nice but, really, no one cares.

    apple TV: apple what?

    Yeah you're right. But the problem with ATV isn't style over function, it's control over function.

    Mac OSX: ok it's decent. But it still needs a package manager and real window manager. Aqua sucks and it makes my mac a real pain in the ass.

    Sounds like you want Linux. Oh look, you ARE running Linux. So what's the problem? Aqua sucks? What, are you afraid of clicking blue, rounded buttons?

    Intel Chips: Oh what happened to the "technically superior" PPC chip? Welcome to the rest of the world you stuck up assholes.

    Guess this was a no win situation eh? I suppose they should have said "well these chips suck, but wait a couple years and we'll start using Intel ones."

    iPhone: OMG I can't stand this piece of shit. Earth to apple - a smart phone without a real keyboard is just retarded. I can't believe that people shelled out 300,600,800 dollars for a phone whose screen is about half an inch tall while typing. This makes using it as an ssh client impossible. plus what's up with those keys being so close together? Steve please think of the men who might like to buy your products next time you say "oh we'll have a soft keyboard it'll be awesome!!!" Idiot. The screen is way too fragile and oh big surprise still no ogg support. and what the hell is the deal with app store? What makes apple think they know better than me what apps should be on my phone? I can't stomach this level of a God complex from a singe corporate entity.

    Oh yeah, the masses are clamoring for SSH support. As for apps, look at how it works: you could run any app on WinMo, but apps weren't so popular. You get Apple-approved apps in an easy to use store and sales are through the roof. Which do people want?

    Btw, apple, thanks for bringing us the graphic user interface, the adults can take it from here.

    Disclaimer: my phone is a G1 and my computer is a macbook pro running gentoo linux.

    Good, fine. Obviously you shouldn't have gotten a Mac in the first place and you've saved yourself the agony of having an iPhone. You're falling into the common trap of not realizing that your geeky needs are far different than the average person. Stylish, easy to use devices will continue to be popular and sell well because they're....stylish and easy to use. Even if they are less feature filled.

  • by Crispix ( 864691 ) on Thursday December 18, 2008 @12:12PM (#26160811)
    Jobs had a Whipple procedure -- a major operation that removes part of the pancreas and re-wires hit guts. The 5-year survival rate is around 25%, and Steve is right at the 5 years. I could not find 10-year survival stats, but even with a successful surgery and claims that he is "cancer-free", a Whipple means a shortened life span. Weight loss is a known complication. But who is he kidding? He's skipping the keynote because of his health. He's probably skinnier and more sickly-looking than before, and any other excuse is just that: an excuse. Warren Buffet knows he is not immortal, and while he has not named his specific successor, he has made numerous statements that it is taken care of, and Berkshire Hathaway is fully prepared for his eventual death. Jobs needs to do the same, and now. I hope he stays at Apple for a long time, but realistically he could be dead in a year.
  • Re:WTF? (Score:5, Informative)

    by DrgnDancer ( 137700 ) on Thursday December 18, 2008 @12:25PM (#26161025) Homepage

    Lance should have been dead. if Lance was literally anyone other than Lance he WOULD have been dead. The treatment plan IIRC was "we'll give you enough chemo to kill any two ordinary people and count on the fact that you're Lance Armstrong to keep you alive long enough for it work". Somewhat to everyone's surprise this turned out to be a highly effective plan. Lance's survival was mostly due to the fact that his cardio/vascular system practically qualifies him as an X-Man.

  • Re:Well (Score:4, Informative)

    by exp(pi*sqrt(163)) ( 613870 ) on Thursday December 18, 2008 @02:04PM (#26162455) Journal

    > the MacBook Air ONLY has its form factor going for it

    That's like saying that the only thing going for drills is that you can make holes with them.

  • by Khelder ( 34398 ) on Thursday December 18, 2008 @05:11PM (#26165259)

    At my office, I plug in: 1. power, 2. keyboard+mouse (thanks to the USB outlet on the keyboard, I only need one for both), 3. external monitor, 4. network (faster than the wireless), 5. usb-to-VGA adapter, 6. audio out to speakers

    I really like the auto-sleep when I close the MacBook, but I don't take it to as many meetings as I would otherwise, because connecting & reconnecting is such a PITA.

Whenever people agree with me, I always think I must be wrong. - Oscar Wilde