Friday, October 7, 2011

What will the future hold for APPLE?

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WITHOUT JOBS

The world still reeling in shock. The outpouring of emotions are still evident through out the world. People from different walks of life expressed sympathy.... sense of grief was heard all over, for the great loss of a man who redefined and reshaped how people should live in the modern world under the wonders and comforts of sleek electronic gadgets.

But the biggest question now is: "Can Apple sustain its spirit and highly defined success without its brilliant CEO and founder, Steve Jobs?"

Everybody knows Apple was Jobs's life, it was this man's spirit and energy that drove Apple to unparalleled greatness and success, his shrewd guidance and management style propelled Apple to become world's most admired company. But can the company sustain the magic that Steve Jobs created?

TOUGH ACT TO FOLLOW

History tells us that when inventors or founders passed away, their legacy never diminish and their companies continue to thrive and survive, Ford motors for example, flourished after its founder, Henry Ford passed away and so with Walt Disney after Walter Disney died. Apple too can survive and will continue to be the major player in the world of technology, it is too established and now part of the consumers' life. But the question is "how long the company can sustain the pressure of competition? Can Apple continue to be the leader in the industry?"

Apple's success partly relied on the shrewdness and brilliance of Steve Jobs. It's edge has always been based on BEING THE FIRST "by solving problems others thought to be unsolvable", creating products that changed how people worked, played and communicated. Steve Jobs was a tough fellow, what he had done at Apple was a very hard act to follow. Even during his medical leave, Tim Cook, his eventual heir as CEO, relied most of the time for his advises and guidance.

APPLE and SONY

Hopefully history won't repeat itself.

In the past, before Apple vaulted to greatness, there was SONY, the leader of innovation and technology. Just like Apple, Sony also propelled to greatness because of its founders' energetic personalities--AKIO MORITA AND MASARU IBUKA, both Japanese. They were all behind everything what Sony did, much like Steve Jobs to Apple. In a strange twist of fate, Morita and Ibuka were very much like Steve Jobs, they were visionaries with unique talents, bringing technology closer to the masses and established a world-renowned company with unparalleled reputation and success in the industry.

When Sony was acquired by other entities and Morita and Ibuka left the scene, Sony's fame began shrinking. Though it remains one of the biggest players in the electronic industry today, Sony was not able to recover its shining glory during Morita and Ibuka's leaderships, the reputation and "glory" eventually were taken over by APPLE in the middle of 1990s upon Steve Jobs's appointment as its CEO. Since then, Apple shoot unfailing success.

Sony was managed by talented and highly intelligent teams after Morita and Ibuka but the spirit of two founders were not emulated by the successors, eventually, Sony had never been the same again without them. Few more years later, Sony's managers and executives were trying very hard to recapture and revive the Morita-Ibuka  spirits but none of them succeeded. There will never be Morita and Ibuka again for Sony.

Now, it's Apple's turn. Will history repeats itself?

Just like Morita and Ibuka, there was only one Steve Jobs for Apple. Jobs possessed the rare ability to link emerging technologies with consumers' habits and tastes in a way that built powerful corporation and an internationally beloved brand. Only few people in the industry can claim that skill, Steve Jobs was one of these rarest individuals. That's why he was called a visionary leader, a legendary inventor, in our time, it was only him who had that skill, he was probably unrivaled in matching great ideas with unique marketing and management techniques in the finest execution. That's why there's enough reason for Apple to worry for its future.

As what Fred Anderson, former chief financial officer of Apple, had said "There will never be another Steve Jobs, Only he understood the soul of Apple and its innovative roots, and the importance of combining art and science in the creation of truly great products. Only he had the powerful personality, vision and taste to achieve greatness."

Time magazine commented that in order for Apple to sustain its growth and success, the new management should learn something from the fate of Sony, they must grow and act beyond its dynamic founders and find a new future away from the shadow of Steve Jobs, they must learn to grow by themselves, they must stop looking backward to an end that could not recreate.

A very tough road indeed for Apple.
  
This article was based on the analysis report of Michael Schuman of TIME magazine


Read more about Steve Job's awe inspiring life at FORBES MAGAZINE COVERAGE OF HIS LIFE
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