Stay the course
Must grow up
Best Argument: Must grow up
Only imbeciles could derail Apple
While Apple will never be the same without Steve Jobs, the company has so much forward momentum that it would have to be run by a bunch of complete imbeciles to derail its progress over the next 2-3 years. Fortunately for Apple, it’s going to be run by Jobs’ hand-picked product leaders. As long as they stick around, Apple is likely to stay the course.
One of the things we’ve learned from Walter Isaacson’s biography is that over the past decade Steve Jobs wasn’t just trying to build great products, he was trying to build an innovation machine that would continue to create products at the intersection of technology and liberal arts for long after he bowed out of the company. If he did half as good of a job with the company-building as he did with the products, then Apple will be in good shape.
Apple must return from Neverland
Steve Jobs was the computer industry's embodiment of Peter Pan. He never wanted Apple to grow up. And that is what made him and his company special. "Stay Hungry and Stay Foolish" was a Jobsian-centric philosophy that worked well while he alone stayed at the center of the company's universe. But Steve Jobs is no longer with us.
Apple's management and engineering bench could always rely on Steve to bless every product release or major business decision. Now they will have to make the important decisions completely on their own.
The company must return from Neverland, without its Peter, and face the culture shock of leaving their traditional consumer-only comfort zone and entering new markets such as the enterprise in order to sustain growth.
Tim Cook may never be Steve Jobs. But he's a sharp businessman who plays well with others -- a requirement for building the framework of a harmonious Apple corporate culture that will last another three decades and beyond.
Perlow by a nose
This debate was tough for one reason---time frame. Depending on what time frame you consider, either Jason could be right. In a one to two year time frame, Hiner is probably correct and Apple will stay the course, thrive financially, deliver an iPad 3, iPhone 5 and a kick-butt TV.
In the long run, I'm with Perlow. Apple will have to change/adapt and be increasingly threatened. However, Apple could milk the enterprise and probably add another $50 billion in annual revenue in five years. I don't have a crystal ball for either time frame so I merely have to judge this debate. As far as illustrating his points and making the case, I'll give Perlow the win by a slim margin.
Doc's final thoughtsIN PARTNERSHIP WITH Ricoh
First of all, Doc is very confused because both sides of the debate are Jasons this round. Give an old guy a break. Couldn’t one of you just be Tony for the week?
To Jason H, you’re only partly right (or is it partly wrong?). Apple will, most likely, be fine for the foreseeable future. But don’t be so sure about the long-term prospects for the company. We’ve seen massive company failures plenty of times before in all kinds of markets. Today’s Apple is tomorrow’s Krispy Kreme, if you catch my drift.
And to Jason P, you’re wrong too (though you’re also right a little). Apple, can, indeed, continue on great toys alone. What’s wrong with great toys? Especially when they appeal to all generations and to a global market. I’d love to have my share of the electronic toy market. And Apple defines the space.
But I agree with you that Steve is an undeniable influence on the company. This will make it really tough for current leadership as everyone in the company will be asking the question “what would Steve do?” Well, at some point it can’t be about Steve anymore and will become about the new guy, who won’t be new by then.
Great companies are almost always about great leadership. We still have to see about the current crop of Apple executives – good odds, but still unproven in a post-Jobs environment. Good luck to them all. We need you.