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TheStreet Open House

Steve Jobs' Retrospectives Deeply Flawed, Disrespectful

Stocks in this article: AAPL

Macke and Jackson seem to disagree, but they're both wrong.

Jackson says Jobs probably loaded the Apple pipeline for the next decade. Macke argues that Apple should veer from the Jobs' trajectory by, ironically, doing what Jobs would have done.

Get it straight: Coming up with "amazing" ideas, pushing your people "relentlessly" to make these ideas happen and "creating the future" is not something you merely prescribe as solutions to such a dynamic problem.

People give Jobs what amounts to token praise, then, without taking a breath, argue that Apple can and will just roll on. That's not only flawed, it's disrespectful to Jobs. It dilutes and minimizes the extraordinary impact of his genius.

He wasn't a dime-a-dozen Vegas lounge act.

Think of it this way. Springsteen constantly writes songs. He always has stuff on the shelf and in the pipeline.

In his last days, he might tell The E Street Band -- Don't ask what the Boss would do just do what's right? -- but do you really think they could maintain the greatness? You can lose Clarence Clemons and Danny Federici (members of Bruce's band who left us too soon in recent years) and stay great, but when Springsteen checks out, the party's over.

Jackson's argument implies that Apple lucked out. Jobs knew his fate and left the company with a decade-long pipeline of new and exciting products and innovations.

Let's suspend reality and ignore the fact that even if Jobs did vision a decade out, he would have made changes "on the fly."

If we can agree that the people Jobs left behind could not come up with the same idea flow, isn't it a slippery slope to assume they can execute his vision down to every minute detail he became renowned for micromanaging? After all, it's not only the vision, but this precision that made Apple great.

Despite the raging success of the last year, that precision appears to be fading.

Over at Time, Harry McCracken also simplifies matters. He argues that if I don't think Cook can keep Apple great, I should "name at least one person who'd be better-suited to the gig."

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