Like a lot of us, I’m affected by the news of Steve Jobs leaving Apple. I don’t know how to interpret his resignation except to imagine that he believes he’s too sick to continue doing the work he so obviously loves. I find it sad when someone is robbed of something they want desperately to do by disability, sickness, or poor health. A few years ago at a commencement speech, Jobs said that working at Apple was “the best decision he ever made.” I bet choosing to leave Apple was the hardest he’s ever made.
Where does this leave Apple? I think Jobs’ greatest legacy may not be the actual products he shepherded into creation, but rather the vision and culture he created and made famous. What other hardware / device company can you think of where holding the product in your hands will tell you who made it? How many companies can you think of where you’d know how to work there and know what’s expected of you on your first day when you walk in the door? The aesthetic & culture of Apple is understood throughout the world, and I think this legacy will live on even if Steve is no longer with us.
Maybe the greatest accomplishment any leader can hope for is that the team, organization or business he built can continue & prosper without him once he’s gone.
I know there are a lot of Apple detractors on Google+ — I wish I had a place to post this where people could appreciate what I’m saying instead of commenting about what I got wrong, or something even more crass. Whether you like Apple or Jobs, I hope you see these words in the most important context: that we are all in this together… this thing called life. Thanks Steve. 🙂