Steve Jobs Breaks the No News Cycle

steve jobs co founder of apple computer
Image by Annie Bannannie

Contrary to popular speculation, Steve Jobs is not dead, at least not yet. But it is hard to blame people for the dramatic belief that the icon’s end is near given his ongoing health issues and his weight loss. Further, Jobs’ sudden departure from the day to day helm of Apple broke a monotonous summer of no technology/social media news. Really, how many more Google+ blog posts can we read?

Given that Jobs has asked for and received the Apple Chairman position and will still counsel on new products, he sure doesn’t seem to be planning an imminent funeral. Perhaps it’s simply time to balance his life a little more because life (health, family, mind, etc.) demands it.

The Jobs departure is similar in stature to Bill Gates leaving Microsoft. A true industry titan, Jobs has had a critical role in shaping the U.S. technology in three critical phases — the PC revolution, the .com era, and again in the 2.0 era. And like Gates and Microsoft, it is unlikely that Apple will be the same.

There is so much to reflect on and think about when it comes to Steve Jobs. But until he dies, let’s save the obituaries. Keep breathing the air, Steve.

What are your thoughts on Steve Jobs’ departure from Apple?


  • I already miss him.

  • This journalist echoes my thoughts:

    Steve Jobs was brilliant at changing the entire culture of the business. He was a leader who made sure he was surrounded by people who understood, supported and advanced that vision. 

    So, while his personal era is surely coming to an end, his era of influence isn’t. I think that distinction is significant. 

  • It is very huge blow to Apple. I wish Steve a speedy recovery!

  • It is very huge blow to Apple. I wish Steve a speedy recovery!

  • Apple will continue to be influenced by Jobs for as long as that is possible. While I believe it’s an easy leap to presume the worst, given the “no news” and this sudden step-down, I too hope he is doing so to pay more attention to other things in his life. 

    • I think if you are as successful as he is, and you have a capable successor, and you have also been in a fight for wellness as he has been, it only makes sense.  Plus he has been in this chairman role before with Pixar.

  • I agree Geoff. Although Jobs is a known entity to us because of Apple, I feel fairly sure his life extends beyond that. It’s fine to look back on his career, but the eulogizing to me is almost disrespectful. Almost.

  • @geofflivingston:disqus Like many people I fear that Jobs wouldn’t take this step unless his health is deteriorating quickly and the Chairman title was to cushion the blow. I hope that’s a wrong interpretation on my part and that he has decided there are more important things in life than Apple. That’s a lesson we should all learn about our jobs, even incredible jobs. I do hope he “keeps breathing air.”

    Product wise I’m sure the pipeline is loaded for some time to come. What I think we’ll find out now is whether he created a culture that will continue his legacy or ‘just did it’ and had followers to execute. I get very mixed messages on which one of those it is from friends who work there or work closely with the company.

    Personally I think Jobs’ departure is an order of magnitude beyond Bill Gates leaving Microsoft. Gates had phased himself out over the years leading up to that. He was not the charismatic driving personality of the company that Jobs has been since he returned. Gates also wasn’t as micro-controlling as Jobs has been – as integral to each and every product.

    This is going to be a very interesting transition to watch and learn from. 

    • I think you’re right. Unfortunately. 

      • I’d rather be wrong – cause I love my Apple products. My wife now has a PC from work that comes home once in awhile. I can no longer figure out how to help her make that thing work right.

    • Let’s hope Cook is no Balmer, either. Talk about a lemon.

      • I would like to believe that there is only one Balmer – although he does, frankly, prove that a brand, and maybe a reputation, can survive mediocre leadership or is it just that even some technologies are too big to fail no matter how bad the leadership? Talk about a void!

  • Thank you. We’re on the same page again.

  • Very good Geoff.  Most journalist and blogs read as if he is dead or will be dead tomorrow.  They are focusing more on him not going into detail about his health being the reason for his resignation then just he needs to strike a healthy balance.  He is a titan.  He is a visionary.  He is Apple.  But he isn’t dead.

    • Hewlett Packard and Ford both survived their founders. This may or may not be a similar situation. He is not dead, and neither is Apple.

  • My Crain’s article that is published tomorrow talks about what I think. Which is…the consumer electronics industry is screwed. ALL of the innovation comes from Apple. I’d like to think Tim Cook will be able to lead the company to the same vision and innovation, but it’s doubtful.

    • @twitter-17925141:disqus  Once upon a time Sony had all the innovation – starting with transistor radios (I know, I’m old) and going through the walkman. I hope that Apple doesn’t lose it that badly. PlayStation was about their last hit and it has certainly faded since PS3 which is not a young product.
      Cook doesn’t necessarily have to be the innovator but he needs to have the innovators and give them a company culture to succeed in. It MAY exist but I’m not very optimistic. Perhaps they can find it in this transition.

      Looking forward to your article… 

    • Someone will rise to fill the void. History always shows us a new player. I doubt it will be Apple branded though.

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