Bring Back Steve Jobs

Forgive me for saying this, but someone has to have a heart-to-heart with Tim Cook, CEO of Apple. This is the guy who Steve Jobs put in place when he knew his days were numbered. I just watched a video (I posted it below) of the press conference this Wednesday where the iPhone 5 was introduced. I immediately could hear Steve bellowing from above, “Those idiots. I left them in charge and they are acting like they are constipated. There is no magic in the presentation. Haven’t they learned a thing from me? What a waste! After all my years of showing them the excitement of a strong stage presence, this is the best they can do? Nothing like taking a miracle product and bringing it down to a ho hum yawn. Go after them, Lois!”

I read the Steve Jobs book by Walter Isaacson. I understood Steve’s passion when I read it and I also understand it now. People faulted him for his arrogance, his impulsiveness, his odd behavior and his insults. He spared no one. He even belittled and betrayed Steve Wozniak. Woz understood him the best and told everyone that while he did not condone Jobs’ behavior, he also knew that it took this kind of ruthless leadership to create the greatness of Apple. Woz was the antithesis of Jobs. He wanted to take a back seat. He did all of the coding and product creation, but it was Jobs who kept pushing Woz and teams of developers to do the impossible. They accomplished that but many were wounded warriors.

There are people who I speak to that say he could have been nicer, more tolerant, more accepting. I believe that these folks truly don’t understand what it takes to produce something so extraordinary. There is no time for pampering your team. They should know how to take care of themselves. Steve Jobs had to get people to open their minds to new thinking and become innovative. In my 46 years in the workforce, I can say that most people do not like to think. They want to punch a clock and do what they consider is the best they can do.

Well, that is just not good enough in the world of technology. Steve proved it and now Apple better watch themselves. They don’t have Steve to keep them in shape. This press conference was as dull and unenthusiastic as you can get. Unless I am missing something, there was no showmanship, no accent on the positive, no dramatic pauses to let silence speak for itself, which Jobs did so well after he said something profound.

Tim Cook has to learn theater. If he can’t do it, he better find others who can. Going to an Apple press conference used to be like going to a great Broadway play, full of suspense, captivation and euphoria.

Watch the video. Click on the arrow in the middle of the screen. It is great for insomniacs. It will put you to right to sleep. Thank goodness the iPhone5 can speak for itself, because this just doesn’t cut it.