It's official. The end of an era. And for a Generation-Y'er like me, I'm crying (on the inside). Today, as I sat here listening to iTunes on my MacBook Pro, a notification popped up on my iPhone that explained Apple co-founder and all round genius Steve Jobs has resigned as CEO of Apple Inc. I am devastated. And, also, I am now concerned.
I'm a 24-year-old guy who has a media arts degree, takes lots of photographs and listens to lots of music. Needless to say, Apple is my life and has been a big part of it for a long time now. So when I first heard the announcement that the brains behind the whole company has resigned, I was sad. Then my sadness slowly evolved into a dull ache that I can only identify as worry. Where does Apple go from here? And what can we expect now that Steve is no longer holding the reigns and whipping the genius minions into gear? Mmm, yes, I don't know either, and I'm worried. And if you enjoy amazingly awesome portable devices and computers, then you should be too.
Steve Jobs is a genius. Or was. Well, he still is, but now he's not the CEO anymore, so I don't know what to call him. Either way, this is the man who basically created the technological society we live in today. Originally, he helped bring us the Apple Macintosh computer, and since then has re-defined the way we listen to music, use telephones and connect with one another via computer. But more than that, Steve Jobs has brought us together. As a community. That little knowing 'nod' to a fellow Apple user has now stemmed to a cynical rubberneck at anybody using 'non-Apple' products, and now Apple nerds and hipsters alike have something to agree on. That Apple is AWESOME.
Where would we be today without the iPod? I'll tell you where, still trying to figure out why the hell I have a mini-disc player. And where would we be without the iPhone? Still trying to break the snake record on our Nokia 3210s. Steve Jobs is the man that Apple themselves fired, and then begged to come back in '97 because they realised they were rubbish without him. And what happened then? Jobs came up with a little idea called the 'iPod'. Bang. Steve Jobs saves the company and changes the world. Literally.
But now, unfortunately, the day has come where Apple can only be described as slightly less awesome. With Jobs's resignation comes the announcement of his successor, Tim Cook, and I'm immediately hesitant. There's something fishy about him that I'm yet to figure out. It's like a divorced parent bringing in a new partner for the first time; you can't just jump straight in and trust them.
But let's look at the other events today, such as Apple stock taking a 6.1% dive immediately after the announcement. Call me negative, but is this drop entirely due to Jobs' resignation, or could it be because of Cook's appointment? I don't know this guy, he didn't give me 'i' anything, so what else am I to think? Am I supposed to just trust that Tim Cook is as brilliant as Steve Jobs and that my future with Apple products will remain the same? As I said earlier, I'm a Gen-Y, so, no. I won’t believe you Tim Cook, not until you can either impress me, or find something else I can focus today's attention on.
Part of the Steve Jobs 'awesome bubble' is his ability and willingness to show off and sell the products that he has helped create. It's a great business tactic, but also nice to see the enthusiasm and enjoyment of the creator showing off his creations. It makes people believe in not only the product, but the man himself. The annual Macworld presentations run by Jobs are loved for two main reasons: 1. They announce new products and 2. Steve Jobs comes out to play. So I ask, can we expect this of Tim Cook? Can we expect Tim Cook to come out and use the products and make us believe that they really are that simple to use? Because from what I read, people that know him don't consider him a visionary. And the man also stays well out of the spotlight which means he may just be another corporate executive running a financially successful business, and we have enough of those.
Don't get me wrong, I'm well aware Steve Jobs has become Chairman of the Board and that his weight will still be felt in the company. And I don't expect Apple to immediately turn to complete crap. But what a sad day. Steve Jobs wasn't just a CEO, he was a friend, and I'm sure many Apple lovers can attest to that. Steve Jobs wore black skivvies. The first sign of being awesome. His second sign is found simply by Googling old school images of him. AWESOME. I could go on forever on why he's awesome, but I won’t, because we already know he's awesome. Steve Jobs probably invented the word 'awesome.'
All in all, I guess we just wait and see. Wait and see if Tim Cook really means business or whether he'll flake out just like other business dudes. I'll give him a chance - he was, after all, recommended by Jobs, so he's got to have something going for him. What scares me most is that Apple will become another faceless company feeding the masses. Sure, they've blown up over the last decade to feed the masses, but we were still always under the watchful eye of Jobs. Until today. Farewell, CEO version of Steve Jobs.
The opinions expressed in The 7PM Side Project blog do not necessarily reflect those of The 7PM Project or the Ten Network.