The Cupertino Earthquake

Steve Jobs

Yesterday the world was rocked by a massive earthquake… not the earthquake in Virginia… not the earthquake in Peru… but the earthquake felt around the world, the Cupertino Earthquake.  Steve Jobs has resigned as CEO of Apple.

Whether you are a PC or a Mac, you cannot deny the impact Steve Jobs has had, not just in the world of computers, but in our entire social structure world wide.  Full disclosure, I am firmly in the cult of Apple.  So… other than making superior computers and operating systems, what has Steve Jobs done that makes him so significant and his resignation have such a massive impact on so many?

Steve Jobs founded Pixar.  Can you recall when Toy Story was released as the first fully computer animated feature film?  Can you imagine the animated film industry without computer animation anymore?

Going back further in time… the Apple IIc and Apple IIe… monumental achievements for their time, and many would argue, the very operating systems that made Microsoft famous… once they were stolen (kidding… sort of…).

Is there any street, in any city, in any country anywhere in the world where the ubiquitous “ear buds” are not being worn?  The iPod above all else revolutionized how we interacted with music.  Again, if you can remember a time when the most music that could be carried at any given time was dependent on how much information you could get onto a CD or cassette tape, or worse yet, non-portable music… then you can conceivably understand how amazing it is to have an entire music library at your disposal.  Not to mention podcasts.

The iPhone… the iPad… basically the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.  Once the stuff of science fiction, now we complain if we can’t get complete coverage hiking in the Himalayas.  Again… massive game changers that seem to always leave the competition scrambling to either catch up, or wither and die.

Hardly last… certainly not least… love it or hate it, Steve Jobs and iTunes destroyed the music industry that preceded it.  Although the industry still survives… and in many ways thrives… it is not what it once was.  Gone are the large record store chains such as Tower and The Wherehouse… gone is the experience of flipping through racks of albums/CDs/DVDs… now we flip through digital racks online in the comfort of our homes.  Granted, this is not an across the board positive thing, but at least iTunes ensure the artists get paid and proper downloading aids in anti-piracy efforts (I abhor piracy and never promote illegal downloading of music or movies… artists deserve to get paid for our entertainment).

So what next?  Steve Jobs was the visionary… how could they possibly replace such a man?  They can’t.  Tim Cook has been elected as the new CEO of Apple.  This is the man who had previously taken control of the company when Mr. Jobs health had failed him in the past, and he did a great job and has Jobs’ full confidence.  Steve will be staying on as both the Chairman of the Board as well as a humble Apple employee as per his request.

Finally, the saddest aspect of this is not the loss of vision for the corporation, but what his resignation means regarding his personal health.  Steve Jobs is a sick man and has been for some time.  He has said on more than one occasion that he would only resign when his health disallows him to give his everything.  Seeing how he has obviously reached that point, the best we can do is to wish him well and thank him for all he has given.

Cornelius J. Blahg

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