24 thoughts on “On Steve Jobs, Mossberg Is a Voice of Reason”

  1. Walt is seriously undervaluing what Steve brings to the table. It’s fine to have a first class execution team, but it was Steve that made the decision to pull the trigger on the iPod and the iPhone, which seemed crazy at the time. Apple isn’t Apple if he steps down.

    Unless you’ve run a company you wouldn’t know this. The problem is that most of these journalists have never run a company.

  2. Michael

    I totally disagree — I have run a company and have brought in a transition team and I was in the same precarious position as Steve Jobs is – though not as important, obviously. So I think it is safe to say, I might have some opinion about this. I think Walt nailed it this time.

  3. The Apple team is great at execution, but there are no leaders there who can fill Jobs’ shoes. Pointing a team in the right direction is way more important than the team running in that direction effectively. Leadership is everything.

    Why the big wet kiss to him anyway?

  4. @OM
    Would Steve J have made the same mistakes that Steve B made, if in the same position?
    Would the Apple exec. team let Steve B make those mistakes if they would have worked for him?

    Just something to think about.

    I’m with Michael, but short term everything will be fine. Sort term it’s just about execution and leaders need a team to execute to get where they want to be.
    Managers are not Leaders, but Leaders need Managers for execution. I think we saw that a few times at Apple.

    1. @ronald

      Thanks for your comment. I am not sure Steve J v Steve B issue – I would say, Steve Jobs has a much stronger team around him – to survive him you need to be very very strong. Since we don’t know what kind of a leader Cook or someone else is, it is hard to jump to conclusions. I think the company will be fine — mostly because the team is good. I am pretty sure you and I will disagree on this 🙂

  5. Apple does not ‘need’ Jobs or Woz or Allen!

    “Lest We Forget” – Apple was floundering under Jobs leadership in the 1980’s and had little leadership until the BoD brought in John Sculley.

    John Sculley ‘saved’ Apple from Jobs management style (sic) in the mid 1980’s thru 1993 – Newton was a bit of a wet squibb but perhaps the incubation / inspiration of Palm and the PDA market (?).

    He lowerd Mac prices and competed against a very savvy Microsoft and their Apple look-a-like Windows OS (thanks to turncoat Steve Capps that pioneered Apple OS then left for a job at Microsoft designing Windows); streamlining product (Mac Vs. Lisa vs. Apple III) and creating an corporate infrastructure.

    Scully brought in Del Yocam as COO who structured the company into a lean mean fighting machine and Satjiv Chahil’s briliant global marketing strategy (remember that ‘1984 Commercial) okay Chiat Day gets credit as well!! LOL!

    Michael Spindlers – Apples chief European strategist was left alone and catapulted Apple into Europe and the Rest of the World with his marketing strategies and gained significant market share against MS-DOS.

    Steve stepped back into a well structured corporation, a professionally run company with experienced managers, and a clean bill of health (pun intended) to take a creative ‘think tank’ leadership role – and is he irreplaceable? me thinketh not.

    Great figurehead – and so is Queen Elizabeth II – but will Apple and England survive without them? SURE!!!!!


  6. @Om
    How did you know I would disagree 🙂
    I think, Steve B is really good at analyzing data, I guarantee when they (MS) make a decision they have more data then required by a Moon landing. But look at their Products, all driven by short term data.
    The illusion is that you can reach a goal like somebody who set out with the long term goal. The reality is every time you do a new study of the data, there will be a different short term goal to reach. Which is slightly of the line. In other words you create a really big mess really fast.
    Since Cook is the COO it’s save to assume he is really good at analyzing data, short term no problem. In the long run it will show up in the products. Which is ok, if there is only Microsoft and Google and the like to compete with.

  7. I think the thing I hate most about the internet are video players that don’t allow you to pause and buffer ahead. I’d really like to watch this video but I can’t. Awesome.

  8. @om
    I deal with a lot of Professors, who always disagree with me at first, until I drive my point home.
    Sorry for that. Seems to have become second nature.

  9. Obviously SJ’s product and marketing chops are amazing, but I think people are not properly valuing the outstanding job he has done at two of the most important jobs of a CEO – 1) defining the organizational vision, which done properly manifests itself in the company DNA, and 2) building an outstanding team, who in turn hires an outstanding team. SJ does not have every idea, nor do everything himself. When you look at companies that have success over decades, this is what mattered, not some individual product launch – no matter how successful. I guess only years from now we will get to agree on how he graded out. Of course, in six months he will just show up at Infinite Loop one day and tell us all to get back to work 🙂

  10. walt has very serious credibility issues with me and other technology followers. until he starts reviewing AAPL products with the same overly critical eye he uses for non-AAPL products, his opinions are worthless to me and others.

    David Pogue of the ny times is much more fair, credibile and of course, entertaining. Lam’s team over at Gizmodo are also worthy of mention as a source of fair reviews.

    sorry Walt and for Steve, god speed on your recovery.

  11. I can’t understand why everyone thinks spiritually Apple will collapse without Jobs. He’s a good idea guy with a brave sense of things tech wise, but he isn’t irreplaceable and Apple is on a course to be just fine with anyone capable at the helm at this point.

  12. @Screen Sleuth

    Amen to what you have to say and I think @Mike Janes makes a good case for Apple without SJ. It won’t be the same — of course nothing is ever the same.

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