I remember when I found out about it. It was the night after the iPhone 4S announcement and I had volunteered to do some community work for a few hours that evening. About fifteen minutes before I was set to leave, my iPhone started buzzing like crazy. Buzz after buzz after buzz — I honestly thought I was getting texts from friends who were just trying to annoy the hell out of me.
Then when I finally left to go home, I checked my phone and I had nine or so text messages and one voicemail. Every single one of the text messages read something along the lines of “Did you hear the news? Aren’t you upset?” or “I’m so sorry, he was a great guy.” At this point, I just wanted to know what the hell was going on. I checked the single voicemail from my friend who also followed and appreciated Steve Jobs’ contributions to the world. She said “George, I’ve been trying to get in touch with you. Steve Jobs passed away. I can’t even believe it. Call me back.”
When I heard those words my heart sank into my stomach. When Jobs resigned a couple of months back in August, I knew this news was inevitable but at the same time I also thought he’d find a way to pull through and live on, reigning as Apple’s CEO again soon enough. Unfortunately, the former was true.
The entire night and day following was just eerie. The entire technology world seemed to just stop what they were doing, all the companies and publications. Everyone just froze to pay tribute to Steve Jobs.
The fact of the matter is we owe him a lot. We largely owe him for the modern personal computer, the way we download and listen to our music, the way we now can fit the entire world in the palm of hands, and even the way we watch some of our most beloved animated films. The world would be a very different place without his existence, and to we mobile enthusiasts, there’s no denying he (and Apple) has dramatically revolutionized the entire industry in only a few years.
So where does Apple stand without him? From one year ago today until now, Apple released the iPhone 4S, announced and released the third-generation iPad, revamped the MacBook line and unveiled a 15-inch MacBook Pro with retina display, announced and released iOS 6, revamped the entire iPod line, and of course announced and released the new iPhone 5, which numerous reports have said Steve played a large role in creating before his death.
All of that has been done in a fairly short amount of time under Tim Cook’s leadership. Cook mentioned in an interview at the D10 conference that Steve told him to never think “What would Steve have done?” and instead focus on just doing what is right.
The stock market seems to agree Apple has made a lot of right moves over the past year. The stock price nearly doubled in the last 52 weeks with a range from $363.32 to its all-time high at $705.07. As I write this, it’s at $657.98. Factor in all the new products, the stock market price, and let’s not forget the over $1 billion dollar legal victory against Samsung, and I think it’s safe to say it’s been a very good year for Apple.
One product introduction that didn’t go as planned was the new Maps app in iOS 6. It’s obviously a slip-up and Apple did eventually issue a public apology and acknowledged that a team is hard at work to fix it. What I don’t appreciate is when people say “Steve Jobs would have never let this happen.” Oh wow, that’s really fascinating, can you read my mind and tell the world what I’m going to do next too? Nobody knows what Steve would have done. He’s made plenty of mistakes during his time as CEO.
Apple is very much the same company it’s always been and it’s not going anywhere any time soon. When the iPhone 4 came out with antenna issues, Apple was doomed, when the iPhone 4S came out without LTE, Apple was doomed, when the iPhone 5 came out it was a disappointment and Apple was doomed, and when Maps started failing, Apple was doomed. In case you haven’t noticed, Apple has been “doomed” for a few years now, yet it somehow keeps racking in more cash than any other company.
Based on what Steve had said himself, he wouldn’t have wanted to see Apple crumble without his leadership, no matter how egotistical he may have been at times. He wrote in his letter of resignation as CEO, “I believe Apple’s brightest and most innovative days are ahead of it.” 366 days after his demise and I think he’d be proud of the company’s accomplishments so far and plans for the future.
Rest easy, Steve. You may not be here to see it, but your dream lives on.