Tag Archives: Steve Jobs

Apple without Jobs

What makes Steve Jobs the driving force behind innovation at Apple? Is Apple’s model of innovation broken, in that they rely so heavily on Steve, or is the rest of the world’s model broken, in that they do not have a “Steve Jobs” on board?

To me Apple and Steve are anomalies. The rest of the world is heading down the connected, open innovation path, and innovation@Apple still centres around Steve.

Look at the fuss made about the following email, sent out to Apple employees on Jan 17. Its all over the press, and an email like this can dramatically affect share price.


At my request, the board of directors has granted me a medical leave of absence so I can focus on my health. I will continue as CEO and be involved in major strategic decisions for the company.

I have asked Tim Cook to be responsible for all of Apple’s day to day operations. I have great confidence that Tim and the rest of the executive management team will do a terrific job executing the exciting plans we have in place for 2011.

I love Apple so much and hope to be back as soon as I can. In the meantime, my family and I would deeply appreciate respect for our privacy.


It will certainly be interesting to see what happens to Apple once Steve retires permanently. Perhaps then we will have a better insight into the innovation engine that drives Apple – is it the ultimate innovation model we all need to adopt? Or not…….

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Steve Jobs – taking customer centricity to a new level

Lots of companies talk about customer centricity. And many companies use multiple mechanisms to attempt to tap into the customer’s brain and way of thinking. One of the best examples is Procter and Gamble. They use a range of processes to understand the customer by watching, listening and observing their customers’ behavior.

Steve Jobs does it differently. Steve Jobs has, I believe, the unique gift of being able to see into the future – to predict what the customer will want 2-3 years out. And of course, what is uncanny about his ability is that, if he asked the customer today what they wanted, the customer would not be able to articulate it. Would anyone have asked Apple to create a device that would revolutionize the music industry? No way. Would a customer have been able to describe the iPhone interface for Apple to build? No way.

I am a firm believer that a very very deep understanding of customer behavior is a necessary condition for the success of any business. We are fortunate to live in the same era as Steve Jobs, who can, I believe, project the customer’s expectations into the future in a way no one else can do. And that is significantly amazing.

There is a great article on Steve in the magazine Seeds of Success. It’s worth a read.

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