You are on page 1of 3

[T 12] S R R

PERSONALITIES

Americas iconic company has lost its superstar CEO;what comes next Thirty-five years after starting Apple,cancer has forced Steve Jobs to step down as the CEO of Americas most iconic company.Theres no other large listed company in the US,or possibly anywhere else in the world,whose successes have been associated with one man.Jobs and friend Steve Wozniak who founded Apple,brought out the first personal computers and the first portable one,but more than that,they pioneered a design and development culture that seemed to click instantly with consumers wants.There have been mp3 players before the iPod and tablets before the iPad,but Jobs insisted that people didnt know what they wanted and he could surprise them with better and smarter stuff.He made sure this mantra worked,again and again.Apple realised his value between 1987 and 1996 when Jobs was exiled from his company by a CEO recruited from PepsiCo.In his absence,Apple floundered,lost most of its value and Jobs was brought back to rescue the company.The iMac,iBook and iPod followed each other in the next five years.By 2010,when a visibly ill Jobs launched the iPad,Apple had overtaken Microsoft as the most valuable tech company on the planet.Will Apple,which briefly overtook ExxonMobil to become Americas most valuable company this month,continue to grow under new CEO Tim Cook Many believe that it can: Jobs could be rude and abrupt,but he had a bunch of fanatically loyal people working with him.Many are likely to stay on with Cook.The culture of design innovation,secrecy about new products and proprietary technology will continue.But there are chinks in Apples armour.Its not a particularly great innovator,relying,instead,on design,functionality and branding to charge huge markups for its products.Increasingly,to fend off rivals like Google,it has had to resort to costly patents lawsuits.Japanese and Korean rivals are snapping at its heels;Indian and Chinese companies will follow.Gadget makers know that market leadership can change faster than you can say Nokia.Apple under Jobs played its hand well,but the going is bound to get tougher without its charismatic leader.

Apple Started Up in a Garage The duo set about creating a cult brand think Mac,iMac,iPod,iPhone,iPad that today has a cash pile larger than the forex reserves of developed countries such as Canada,Sweden,Norway and Spain.Apple started up in a garage in Jobs home in Los Altos,California.The company was founded with a seed money of $1,300,which came from the sale of Jobs Volkswagen van and Wozniaks scientific calculator.Wozniak wrote later in his biography that he joined Jobs because even if Apple closed down,both could boast to their grandchildren that they started a company.They started a gold mine.Apple today has cash assets of more than $76 billion,and revenues of over $65 billion! This year the company is expected to gross over $100 billion,growing at 82% in a receding US economy.Not bad for a man who had enrolled in a calligraphy class,used to eat free meals at the Hare Krishna Temple,and did odd jobs for pocket money.Jobs later said his dropping out of college allowed him to learn calligraphy,which helped users get better styled fonts in Apple computers.Born to Abdulfattah Jandali,a Syrian professor at University of Wisconsin,Jobs was placed for adoption soon after his birth.He was adopted by Clara and Paul Jobs,and discovered his biological parents only after he was 27.At the helm of Apple

R AMAKANTH

Page | 1

[T 12] S R R

PERSONALITIES

Inc,Jobs created products that have disrupted many sectors at the same time.The Apple I and II led IBM to start production of PCs.Launched in 2002,the iPod has almost killed the MP3 player market and the earlier dominant personal stereo players,dominated by Sony. The iPhone disrupted the smartphone market.Players such as Samsung,Nokia have been forced to compete with Apple on touch phones,though without huge success.Launched last year,the iPad is now threatening to disrupt the PC industry in developed markets.In the US,the personal computer market is declining at the rate of about 5.6% due to the rise of the iPad,which has eaten about 11% of the American PC market.The iPad has sold almost 30 million units since its launch last year.It's expected to sell double that number in 2011. The iPhone and iPad now account for 68% of Apples $100-billion business,which will now be run by COO Tim Cook.Almost 38 years after his India visit,cancer-struck Jobs has clearly enlightened the world with a glimpse into the future of technology.Apple fans back home,however,would be wishing that his visit to the country for meaning in the early 70s would have happened in the new India.Jobs might have still not found enlightenment,but Apple consumers looking for its products soon after launch as well as those dying to work for the iconic brand would have stood a better chance than they do today.

"Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life," Jobs said during a Stanford commencement ceremony in 2005. "Because almost everything -- all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure -- these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important." "Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart."

R AMAKANTH

Page | 2

[T 12] S R R

PERSONALITIES

R AMAKANTH

Page | 3