I found myself deliberating on something unexpectedly the other night. I was thinking about buying the iPad–which I’ve wanted for a long time–and it occurred to me: What’s the future of Apple?
Previously, the issue was whether I should I invest in iOS and start the conversion over from a lifetime on Windows. After all, my dad was a 30-year IBM vet, which put food on the table and paid my tuition. I grew up seeing mammoth mainframes, punchcards…glowing green DOS. No Apples of any color in our Big Blue household.
But on this occasion, it wasn’t a question of brand loyalty. It was the obvious: the loss of Steve Jobs.
I still find myself processing his passing both emotionally and practically. I remember how the AP alert popped up on my phone and it literally felt like someone had punched me in the stomach. I admired him for living authentically, taking billion dollar gambles on ideas, picking himself up after billion dollar failures, and holding steadfast (stubborn?) to his vision.
I’m convinced his near-religious zeal over every minutiae of product design stemmed from the same social ethic that led to Apple’s creation: to make computers so easy and user-friendly that everyone could benefit from computing’s powerful potential. Not just the technical, highly-educated and elite. Computers for Everyman.
Attention to detail. Risk-taking. Singular focus. These are among the core values of the Apple brand. As I considered buying the iPad, I wondered: Are these values sufficiently infused in Tim Cook and the company DNA to continue on without Steve? Or will Apple employees slowly lose direction like followers of the North Star left without guide over too many cloudy nights?