Sunday, January 18, 2009

On Apple Computer...

Steve Jobs macbook air.jpg

There has been a lot of press regarding Apple's Steve Jobs since he announced his leave of absence.

There are three central questions that have been flying about since this happened.

1. Was Steve Jobs' health a private matter and not anyone's business?

2. Can Apple continue without Steve Jobs?

3. Will Apple go out of business after Steve Jobs?

The answer to these questions is, "No, yes, and probably, respectively." Let me explain why.

Let me break it down for you.

Is Steve Jobs health a private matter?

Steve Jobs is the founder and CEO of Apple Computer. He is widely recognized as a driving force at Apple Computer as well as one of the greatest pitch men in the industry. Most importantly, Apple is a publicly held company. The health of such an integral member of its management is a matter of public interest.

Disclosure: I own Apple Stock.

Can Apple continue without Steve Jobs?

Apple has 23 billion dollars in cash. It has no debt. Children practically pop out of the womb wanting an iPod. Apple has a sufficiently deep bench to prevent Apple from being a one act circus. Johnathan Ive is still there. He's the guy who gave us the iPod, et. al.

Will Apple go out of business after Steve Jobs?

I'm sure at some point in the future, Apple Computer will close its doors. I couldn't tell you why. Maybe it will be after the war with the super intelligent computers when we decide nobody should make computers anymore. Who knows? On the other hand, maybe Steve Jobs is like the Dread Pirate Roberts. Maybe every few years somebody new is dressed up in a black turtleneck and Apple will live forever. I actually stole that idea from Andy Ihnatko. I wish I had thought of it but didn't.

I lived through a decade where it wasn't easy being an Apple user. The company was mismanaged. The product line was downright byzantine. Everyone said that Apple would be gone in a year. I survived that round of incorrect speculation. I'll make it through this one. So will Apple.

Image of Steve Jobs by Matthew Yohe

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