Why I’m Not Worried About Steve Jobs’ Health

December 30, 2008

Gizmodo, after running with the iPhone Pro article, now revives the whole Steve Jobs is deathly-ill = pulling out of MacWorld rumor. This sort of speculation is in bad taste, and is rather silly.

I’ll admit to much worry back when the first inkling of Steve Jobs’ ill health began coming forward. But recently I’ve become resigned to the inevitability that Jobs will step down and an Apple future without El Jobso – and am increasingly okay with the prospect.

For one reason. I have much faith in both Apple and Steve Jobs. And it’s not blind faith, but based on past performance.

Since Jobs’ return to Apple, the company managed several very tricky transitions: saving the company post-Amelio, OS 9 to OS X, and more recently, from Motorola’s Power PC to Intel.

The last transition in particular was a masterwork of foresight, secrecy, and PR: they kept an Intel version of OS X a total secret for years within the company, as a backup strategy in the event Motorola faltered with their processor roadmap. One day, Apple decided to give Motorola the finger, and the secret transition plan was set in motion. Today, all Macs run on Intel and G4s and G5s are a fading memory.

Keeping in mind how gracefully they handled these transitions, I fully believe Apple has a secret transition plan in the works, ready to go, in the event Steve Jobs steps down, or meets an untimely death. I’m certain such a plan exists because Jobs has had ample time to consider such an event following his first brush with pancreatic cancer. Sadness aside, the time to prepare is a gift. Many companies aren’t so lucky to have such advance notice before the death of an executive. And I feel the exacting, prescient, and perfectionist side of Steve Jobs would seize the opportunity to devise the ultimate backup strategy to take Apple into the future.

When this plan unfolds, it will be a wonder to behold. Surely the new management team will be introduced in deft Apple marketing style, through public events and promotional videos and finely tuned messages. Perhaps Jobs has mapped out future, “dream products” based on current technologies, enough to last Apple another ten years. Perhaps Jobs has spent the last few months working on some world-changing, pet-product as an end-cap to a great career – the ultimate “one more thing” – that goes beyond the G4 Cube. Imagine some insanely great Minority Report multitouch black cube computer – I can; drool.

To sum up: Because Apple has managed other, daunting transitions expertly, I fully expect them to manage a “post-Jobs” transition with equal skill. Have a little faith, people. This is Steve Jobs we’re talking about, the stereotypical control-freak. There’s no way in heck he’d leave leave the future of the company he saved – and saved his reputation – to chance.


  1. jcieplinski says:

    Couldn't have said it better myself. Of course there is a plan in place, and of course Jobs will retire soon, regardless of his health issues. I truly believe the iPhone was his push to change the world one last time. Apple is set on a smooth course to outlast the current economic slowdown, while the competition will continue to struggle. Handing over the reigns over the next year or two is the wise thing to do, and the fact that Jobs is doing it should be having a positive, not negative, effect on the stock price.