Goodbye, Mr. Jobs

So while I was trying to figure out what to write about this week, news came of Steve Jobs’ resigning as CEO of Apple Inc.  If I had to describe how the news made me feel, in a word, i’d say ‘unsettled’.  Now this could be dismissed as ardent consumerism at its worst.  But I think there’s a lot more to it.  There’s a reason why Apple, like no other company, had a cult-like following centred around its CEO.  And that’s the very reason why I’m unsettled by the news.  Because no matter how much I tell myself that, like pundits have been saying since Jobs’ cancer became public knowledge a few years ago, Apple is one of the most forward-looking and secure companies, with or without its visionary leader at the helm, there is a clear sense of brokenness associated with this change.  Those who followed the company all shared an absolute trust in the foresight and knowledge that the leadership of Apple brought to each and every major decision they made, as evidenced by the comeback of uniquely epic proportions since Jobs returned to Apple in the 90’s.  And so to have the change that is beginning today, however slight it might be, and however well prepared all relevant parties at Apple are for it, is jarring.  As this generation has become more and more defined by our incessant attachment and reliance on our technological gadgets, to see the certainty of knowing that the best and brightest will be hard at work producing the Next Big Thing in tech gadgetry dislodged even a bit is understandably troubling.  Whether this is a good thing is a totally different question, but I think that what followers of Apple are feeling today actually gets at what the idea of a ‘brand’ is more than being simple consumerism.  It is a mark that says so much more than “Made by Apple in California” — it is a symbol of all that we love about the company and how they have striven to make the tasks that we all need and love to do as effortless as possible.  So I hope that everyone on Wall Street gets over themselves soon and realizes that Apple is still the most innovative (and most valuable) company in the world, and I look forward to reading astute and engaging commentary about a major loss in the business world.

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