Who Will Succeed Steve Jobs?

Jonathan Ive – Apples design guru who’s iconic vision for the iMac breathed new life into Apple and who’s iPod exploded Apple onto the general consumer goods scene. He’s British which will bring a touch of class to the keynotes, but he hasn’t exactly been given a lot of opportunities to speak at keynotes which implies he’s not really being groomed for the task.

Scott Forstall – The Senior Vice President of iPhone Software has clearly been studying old Job’s keynote addresses. Everything from his timing to his transition sentences says that he’s clearly trying to give presentations as inspiring as Steve. At the announcement of the iPhone SDK the camera panned to show him sharing a private little joke with Steve. Oh, ha ha, Scott, aren’t you the darling?

Phil Schiller – The veep of worldwide product marketing is often called upon to help with product demonstrations for keynotes, but am I the only one who finds him entirely annoying?

Al Gore – Sticking with the trend of vice presidents being in line for the throne, why not an actual Vice President? Al is both on the board of directors and has given Oscar-winning presentations, but is he a visionary worth of the mantle? Have you ever heard of The Internet?

Let’s take the “who” out of the picture for a moment and think about Apple’s future regardless of the CEO. The iPhone was in development for 3 years before it was released (longer if you take iPods as the precursor). It was 5 years before the first version of OS X was released. Apple has a long pipeline of projects in the works. Even if the next CEO is a flop, Apple will have a couple of years to coast.

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  1. Interesting stuff! I doubt Jobs’ CEO skills are directly keeping the quality of ideas in the pipeline up. For all we know, (a) Apple has released its last good idea even if Steve stays on for another decade or (b) the actual pipeline people are good enough to weather a CEO stint by, say, Huckleberry Hound. Not saying the CEO isn’t indirectly responsible for the quality of the pipeline, just that I really doubt the correlation is as tight as your last sentence seems to assume.

    Ohandanotherthing. We really have to talk about your spam protection. I enjoy our chats, and would be happy to have some in this space. But knowing that there’s going to be an 8-24 hour delay in comment posting (you’re not exactly johnny-on-the-spot in this regard) kind of deadens the impulse to leave a comment in the first place. And there doesn’t seem to be a separate feed for the comments on each post, much less an overall comments feed, which makes it hard to remember to come back and check for new responses. In short, your comment regime hurts me.

    I’m skeptical of the proposition that there is no spam control option for whatever platform you’re using that allows for trusted commenters. I would also point out that there are third party solutions like disqus out there. Please, I implore, you, do something. As it is, I only get fired up enough to comment when I think you’re wrong about something, and that’s no good. It is no good for *us*. :(sadface

  2. brian uses this form of spam filter in order to maintain his position as king of the blog. this way, he can post immediately but us plebians must wait and beg for our comments to be considered. this is not a democracy, but a horrible dictatorship controlled by sr. risk. speaking of which, sr. risk says shut yer darn trap. you’re lucky you can post at all! he giveth and he can taketh away. eight to twenty four hours? you want him to sell his donkey and buy a telegraph machine? are you sending commands to the allied forces or something? why the rush?

    the truth is that i just talked to brian about this and he’s just waiting until he finishes up his aromacaptcha which will emit a unique scent identifiable only by humans. (so buy a gq and brush up on your calvin klein scratch and sniff cologne samples if you want to stay relevant!)

    as for the apple ceo, i have priveleged information that says apple is going to score a real coup here. i won’t give too many details but his last name includes the syllables ball and mer and he sometimes goes nuts about developers.

    for real though if you want to track the history of apple’s good years, just look at the years jobs is there. he’s a fairly unique combination of creativity and visionary businessman and i wouldn’t underestimate what he brings to the table. patient enough to get it right but restless enough to do it fast. loves good design but only if it turns a profit. where do you find that these days? i mean, the guy makes computer animated movies too for chrissake. vot a guy.

    to see how huckleberry hound would perform under actual real world conditions, refer to the john sculley ceo era. actually i see him more as a hybrid between sam the sheepdog and yosemite sam. some definite huckleberry hound and wile e coyote genes too. kind of a futuristic genetically engineered superman.

    developers, developers, developers, developers…

    developing, developing, developing, dev…damn teleprompter just went out!

    who cares? buy as much aapl stock as you can on margin and what the hell, develop an iphone application or something, then fawn endlessly over steve jobs. everyone is doing it! at least i know a guy…

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