The impact Steve made Apple make

I read a lot (too many) stories on the resignation of Steve Jobs last day. I find this one on O’Reilly Radar the best, really focusing on the impact and change he made Apple make.

In an era where entrepreneurialism is too often defined by incrementalism and pursuit of the exit strategy, Jobs’ Apple was always defined by true husbandry of a vision, and the long, often thankless, pursuit of excellence and customer delight that goes with it.

Ironically, though, Jobs’ greatest innovation may actually be as basic as “bringing humanity back into the center of the ring,” to borrow a phrase from Joe Strummer of the seminal rock band, The Clash.

Nuff said? Well, the article doesn’t go into the impact of the resignation itself. Is Jobs replaceable? He may have raised Apple to stand on its own feet, and he may also have built in the right insurance by staying in the board, but time will tell if this is enough to resist the urges from a market leader too control its positions in stead of keeping the view on the future product leaps.

I truely hope it will. But there are enough signals it is moving into a new phase. Not only based on the lawsuits for market protection and the patent wars, I think this was probably always a invisible part of the business. And also not only based on the fact that the new CEO Tim Cook has earned it credits in making the business more effective. But definitely by the next phase of lock-in strategies with the introduction of iCloud. How great the service seems to be, it could be well used to play the world domination card like we know it from Microsoft the last decades.

I’m a big lover and collector of the Apple products, and enthusiastic user of the service ecosystem. And I give it a fair chance that the DNA of the company is strong enough to inspire us with more disruptive human touched products. But it will be exciting times for sure…

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I am a design director at Structural. I curate and organize ThingsCon Netherlands and I am chairman of the Cities of Things Foundation. Before I was innovation and strategy director at tech and innovation agency INFO, visiting researcher and lab director at the Delft University of Technology coordinating Cities of Things Delft Design Lab.

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