Monthly Archives: December 2008

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Can Apple Survive Without Jobs?

Steve Jobs, that is.

The answer is, of course it can.

But, you wouldn’t know it based on the flurry of activity this week in response to Apple announcing a) that it would no longer participate in MacWorld, and b) that there would not be a “Stevenote” this year. Instead, the keynote will be delivered by Phil Schiller, Apple’s marketing guru.

Since then, there are numerous stories talking about the “end” of Apple, that Jobs is stepping down because of health issues, promises of protests at the keynote by Apple fanatics who feel slighted by the non-appearance of Jobs, the stock immediately takes a dive, etc.

We all know this and shouldn’t be surprised by this. Never before has a company’s health/success been directly tied to its CEO.

Just look back at October’s announcement of the new Macbooks and Macbook Pros. There was almost as much press about the fact that Jonathan Ive played a big part in the presentation as there was about the notebooks themselves.

Apple understands this, and this week’s announcement is simply another step in getting the world used to the idea that Apple can thrive without Steve Jobs at the helm.

What about MacWorld? Can Apple survive without it? All Apple has to do is hint that it might be scheduling a press conference, and the world will be buzzing about what they might announce. So, yeah, they’re gonna be fine, and they can be free to announce products when they’re ready instead of sticking to an arbitrary schedule.

Can MacWorld survive without Apple? Sure. The big guys aren’t attending, so what? Transform MacWorld into a conference that gives the thousands of smaller third party Mac and iPhone software developers a chance to show off their goods.

Regardless of Jobs’ health, there will eventually come a day that he wants to step down as CEO. What he will do after he does step down and who will take over as CEO is beyond speculation, but Apple certainly isn’t going to shrivel up and die without him.