What Happens Now?

Steve Jobs has resigned as Apple’s CEO and will be replaced by the company’s COO, Tim Cook. Just a couple of hours after this announcement, Apple’s stocks fell as much as 7%. This drop in stocks illustrates the fears in what everyone is wondering; What will happen to Apple now that Jobs has left? Will Apple’s success continue post Jobs?

These fears and lack of faith, shown by the drop in stocks are somewhat warranted. Steve Jobs’ vision and entrepreneurship turned Apple from a bankrupt company into the world’s most valuable company in a little over a decade with the release of products such as the iMac, iPod, iPhone, and iPad. But maybe Job’s biggest success weren’t the products, but the Apple brand and culture.

Apple products may not always be cutting edge or the first, but Jobs and Apple did a good job making you think they are. Take the iPod. This wasn’t the first mp3 player, but it has become common nomenclature to refer to an mp3 player as an iPod. What more, Apple products are not always the most capable on the market. For instance, other tablets are able to do more than the iPad, but the iPad is still number one. So why does Apple always become the dominant player in the market?

It is because of Steve Jobs. Steve Jobs is synonymous with Apple.  I would say this is because Jobs is a natural salesman and marketer – the perfect spokesman.  He explains the technology in plain-speak, interjects catchy phrases that stick, and has the great ability to create hype. He sells his products as experiences, not as a product.  He also does a great job when it comes to design, making sure the products are intuitive to the user, simple, and sleek.  When i got my iPad, it didn’t come with a manual, just one slip of paper for instructions.  There is no doubt that Steve Jobs is the main reason why the company is back on top.

But now enter Tim Cook, the current COO.  He is in no way an innocent in Apple’s success. He is responsible for revamping Apple’s production processes and supply chain, allowing the company to handle demand, and thus increasing profits. He is why Wall street loves Apple.  But what scares some is that Cook has spent most of his time on the things that consumers never see.  So will he be able to reach the consumer like Jobs did? Can he replace Jobs’ visionary?

Part of Jobs success was surrounding himself with talent. If you don’t believe Apple will continue its success, then you are betting against Steve Jobs decision-making ability – which has been pretty successful thus far.   I don’t know if there is replacing a guy like Steve Jobs, but Cook knows the product, the culture, and he has been acting interim CEO while Jobs took health-related leave of absences.  Cook has been groomed for this position. Bottom line, don’t count Apple out.

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