Apple Without Jobs: The Pessimist's View

By  |  Tuesday, January 25, 2011 at 5:41 pm

The conventional wisdom at the moment about Steve Jobs’ medical leave seems to be that Apple is in solid shape to flourish indefinitely without him. Here’s an interesting opposing view from my friend Phil Baker (who’s guest-blogging for Jim Fallows at the Atlantic).  Phil draws a comparison between Apple and Edwin Land’s Polaroid–and he has every right to do so, having worked both for Apple after Jobs left the first time and for Polaroid in the Land era.



4 Comments For This Post

  1. @johnbaxter Says:

    I keep thinking of Henry Singleton at Teledyne. Not Jobsian in the vision sense, but very much the soul of his very successful company. (A conglomerate, ever expanding and ever more wide ranging, which always produced financial reports within a couple of weeks of the end of the period.)

    Think Water-Pik among many other things.

    The company survived him quite well indeed.


  2. Reece Tarbert Says:

    I know I'm nitpicking, but:

    "how well they work". Correct.

    "how well they're made". Correct.

    "how well they look". What?!?

    And the pessimistic view boils down to one paragraph at the very bottom of the article, by the way.


  3. Paul Says:

    I think drawing comparisons to when Jobs was ousted back in the day are quite flawed. The situation was very different back then and much more internal problems. Jobs was also fired back then – today he would just retire – a far different scenario.

    The only comparisons to Apple back in the 90's and the possible scenario today (or tomorrow) is that there is no Jobs – but the industry is very different from those time periods and using a scenario where Apple was not the same company is just not that fair.

    When Jobs leaves, he is going to make sure that things will be as close as they can be to when he was there – in control. Not like in the 90's when he wasn't.

  4. David Says:

    The conventional wisdom is that Apple is going to tank, so I don't think this guy is any sort of contrarian.

    The company and its position, the very environment is entirely different today than it was when Steve Jobs first left Apple. Let's see what happens.