Apple without Jobs

There is probably no CEO more identified with a company than Steve Jobs is with Apple. Everything from the products to the look of the company is part of Job’s persona. Jobs has the uncanny knack of creating the right product at the right time. There have been occasional misfires like the cube and Newton, but on the whole Apple’s products have captured the public’s imagination. With the Iphone and Ipad he has yet again started another revolution. If Jobs has any weakness it is his ability to play nice with the industry. For example, his refusal to use flash on many of Apple’s mobile devices has isolated these products from much of the industry mainstream. A quarter century ago, Apple failure to license its superior operating system and was eventually surpassed by Windows.
To see the influence Jobs had over Apple one just has to look at the company after he was forced to leave in the 80’s. This is where Apple’s steep decline started. Quality was still top notch, but the products began increasingly bland. Suddenly, it seemed that Apple was releasing rather ordinary looking beige towers, with the main design characteristic being the multi-colored Apple logo. It did not help that at this time Microsoft was ripping off much of Apple’s operating system.
When Jobs returned in 1997 he introduced the multi-colored Imacs that set the industry on fire. During this time Apple’s products suddenly became more colorful. Gradually, Apple restored its main fan-base as well as a few new customers. Right now, Apple is going through another revolution with its touch screen devices and mobile devices. There are similar products now out there, but Apples still feel more polished and refined.
I am not sure how Apple will fare with Jobs no longer at the helm, but one thing is for certain his legacy at Apple will remain there forever.