Tag Archives: steve jobs

Thoughts on Apple and Steve Jobs as he resigns as CEO


Steve Jobs has written to Apple’s board of directors:

I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple’s CEO, I would be the first to let you know. Unfortunately, that day has come.

I hereby resign as CEO of Apple. I would like to serve, if the Board sees fit, as Chairman of the Board, director and Apple employee.

As far as my successor goes, I strongly recommend that we execute our succession plan and name Tim Cook as CEO of Apple.

I believe Apple’s brightest and most innovative days are ahead of it. And I look forward to watching and contributing to its success in a new role.

Apple is at times an infuriating company, but it is infused with genius that Jobs has inspired and nurtured.

I do not know how the computing landscape today would look without his influence, but I am convinced that it would be very different and largely worse.

Under Jobs, Apple refined personal computing with successive versions of the Mac, reinvented the music industry with iPod and iTunes, made the first mobile phone that was a delight to use and freed us from the tyranny of mobile operators so that the promise of the mobile internet could be fulfilled, and created the first tablet computer that is sufficiently useable and affordable to bring touch computing to the mainstream.

I count that as four milestones, any one of which would be enough to make Apple a great company. Most companies live forever on their first and only breakthrough idea or technology; only Apple has continued reinventing itself.

Apple inspires devotion from its users not only because of its delightful products, but also because Jobs has fought on our behalf as users, rejecting who-knows-how-many ideas and features that were not quite there and would have spoilt our experience. These are the ideas that most companies deliver as version 1.0 of their product.

Jobs remains at Apple, but his letter suggests that his health is failing so my guess is that his role will be greatly reduced.

Apple after Jobs will be a different company and is unlikely to be a better one, though its strong culture and many brilliant engineers and designers remain. New CEO Tim Cook has been acting CEO for some time so the transition will be smooth.

Thank you to Steve Jobs for making computing better.

Steve Jobs saying Flash is bad does not make it so

I’ve mulled over the statement by Apple CEO Steve Jobs on why he hates Flash. It’s been picked over by many, so there’s little point in analysing it line by line, spotting what’s true, what’s false, what’s twisted. It doesn’t matter. What counts is that Jobs is disallowing Flash and attacking Adobe – he’s decided it should get out of the runtime business and just do tools for HTML5:

Perhaps Adobe should focus more on creating great HTML5 tools for the future

Apple is a powerful enemy; and what I’ve found alarming watching the reaction is the extent to which Jobs saying “Flash is bad” has lowered the reputation of Flash; it’s as if all the great things which it has enabled – web video that works, pushing the boundaries of what is possible in a web browser, an entire industry of casual gaming – has been forgotten because one charismatic and influential individual has called it old stuff that crashes Macs.

The army of enthusiasts which leaps to the defence of all things Apple both amuses and disturbs me. I understand some of the reasons. People warm to Apple because the company has improved their lives, in computing, in music, in mobile phones – especially in contrast to the efforts of Microsoft and its partners who have all too often made computers and mobile devices that are hostile and unpleasant to use. This last factor is not Apple’s fault; and without Apple it might not now be changing. Apple deserves our thanks for that.

That doesn’t make Jobs or his followers right about Flash, which is a magical piece of technology. Yes, it’s been widely abused to make annoying ads and animations; yes, it crashes the browser sometimes; yes, both HTML5 and Microsoft Silverlight are encroaching on Flash territory.

Still, Flash is never going to be allowed on Apple’s new wave of personal computing devices, which by the looks of things it intends to form the core of its business. Nor can we write for Flash and compile for Apple; it’s not allowed.

This is the new model of computing: the web if you want open, or humbly seek permission from the device overlords if you want a local application install, at least on Apple’s platform; and Microsoft is headed in the same direction with Windows Mobile 7. It’s not a model I like; but the trend is unmistakeable.