NEW YORK (MainStreet) – In the wake of Apple CEO Steve Jobs's resignation, analysts have generally shied away from any Chicken Little prognostications about the company’s future. The general consensus seems to be that Jobs, while a visionary and one-of-a-kind chief executive, has found a capable replacement in his hand-picked successor, Tim Cook. The markets seem to agree, as Apple stock (Stock Quote: AAPL) has seen relatively modest losses in morning trading.
Still, that doesn’t mean his absence won’t be felt. No matter how capably Cook runs the company while Jobs takes it easy as chairman of the board, there are some things we’ll always miss about the man who saved Apple:
Dramatic product launches. When Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg held a rare media event last November to launch the new Facebook messaging system, it gave us a new appreciation for how well Apple pulls off its own product launches. It wasn’t that Zuckerberg’s media event was uninteresting or poorly executed, but nobody launches a product quite like Apple. Never ones to send out a press release when an epic, hyperbolic media event would do, Jobs has always had a knack for making us hang on every word whenever there was a new iPod to show off or a new version of iTunes to download. While the products themselves didn’t live up to the hype 100% of the time, Jobs knew that his track record of success meant he would get our full attention – and he took full advantage.
His candor. Despite his humble wardrobe, Jobs has always been an outsized personality, even by CEO standards. Sometimes that made him hard to like – when iPhone 4 users complained of dropped calls, he standoffishly denied the problem and told them they were holding it wrong – but as a general rule his willingness to speak his mind was refreshing. Jobs was known to communicate with the press and customers alike with blunt, to-the-point emails (always sent from his iPhone, of course) directly to people who had written in to Apple. And remember, this is the guy who once suggested that Microsoft would be in better shape if Bill Gates would drop some acid. He wasn’t always nice, but we appreciated a guy who would speak his mind.
His consumer-friendliness. Sure, every company that makes consumer products is supposed to be consumer-friendly, but Jobs elevated it to an art form. No one else would have thought to open a line of experimental stores dedicated solely to selling Apple products, staffed by an army of “geniuses” ready to bend over backwards to fix your Mac or replace your headphones. And products like the iPod, iPhone and iPad weren’t just triumphs of innovation that made the company billions – they also set a new standard for usability that the rest of the tech world has struggled, with mixed success, to replicate.