But whilst the wider ‘Apple family’ may have found themselves in a state of collective shock, stock markets reacted with relative calm, dipping only a couple of percent. The reason why the markets reaction to the death of the iconic innovator who singularly defined Apple, it’s products and it’s ethos was so muted, is legacy.
When Steve Jobs returned to Apple in the 1990’s he built a company that was not about technology. Of course he was an innovator in his own right but as my colleague David Scholtz described it to me, “Apple is a company about enabling people to do things with technology. This is fundamental and is what sets Apple apart from its competitors. Steve Jobs understood consumer psychology and went on a mission to bring that understanding to a world.”
When in August, Steve stood down as Apple CEO, he set in place a well considered legacy strategy, passing the reigns to his COO Tim Cooke. Jobs carefully crafted the transition by taking on the role of Chairman of the Board- it was a well considered strategy to soothe any market concerns.
Jobs has changed not only the way we use technology but more importantly the way we perceive its value in our lives. In much the same way as he instilled his ethos of innovation he has also embedded a new management team to lead Apple, without giving us reason to doubt his strategy.
What happens now to Apple only time will tell. Apple have lost their ringmaster and greatest showman but they have the legacy of Steve Jobs and the knowledge that he handpicked the team to lead at a time he described as “Apple’s brightest and most innovative days.”
Thank you Steve, not just for your technology but for the way you thought…not just outside the box but how you redesigned it.