Clearly I’m not an analyst but I have religiously followed Apple since I bought my first Mac in 1984. Apple products have been a staple in our family and in my companies since they first hit the market. I was definitely in the “Cult of Mac” until this morning, when I came to a very solid realization: I’m not and actually never was.
I was in the cult of Steve Jobs and that’s gone.
In the last year I’ve watched Apple make several painful missteps and winced at every one. Apple Maps would have never made it out of the gate had Steve Jobs been actively involved, the creation of the mini iPad while financially a success is a definite “me-too” product and now watching Google Search slowly but steadily replace Siri.
In thinking about all of these items the one constant is that there is no single minded, maniacal leader at the helm demanding innovation, excellence and superior marketing. Revere him or revile him, Steve Jobs was the spark that lit Apple’s flame and kept it burning and now they are currently running on the embers left behind with his departure.
No one roots for Apple more than me. I love the company and I’ve owned stock over the years; all of my interactions with Apple have been nothing less than fantastic, but I’m reaching the realization it is because of what they stood for not what they currently are.
I hope I am proven wrong but we’ll see. After the upcoming iWatchwhatever they will have to really pull a rabbit out of the hat to capture the imagination of the faithful and not just become another great footnote in the history of American business.
Photo credit: Hakan Dahlstrom