Will Tim Cook come out of the shadow of Steve Jobs?




Probably the most difficult for the head fate – to become the successor of the great leader. After all above his head no longer jump, right? To win in this situation, it is almost impossible, and you can lose everything. Whether to attempt to emulate that style of leadership, through which your predecessor so successful? Most likely, the comparison would not be in your favor. All change and develop your own style? But it is possible to destroy an established, well-functioning mechanism.


Three years ago, Tim Cook faced a similar challenge. And that lasted for three years transitional period without significant prime minister, but on September 9, he announced his intention to learn a new category – the smart watch. On entering the market Apple Watch Tim Cook announced that famous phrase that Steve Jobs used to repeat at the end of every speech: “And one more thing …” So, no matter what we think about the new watch, these very words cause some concern, says Harvard Business Review.

Watch Apple’s inspire me, like many others, have mixed feelings. Design is perfect, and the fact that the user gets the maximum satisfaction, the company has also taken care of. Some functions are unique hours – for example, unprecedented forms of communication and understanding between the people who will wear them. You touch of a finger can convey the rhythm of your heartbeat partner.


But are the new watch another example of how Apple with some delay entering a new market, and offers his own interpretation of already mastered product, remaking it possible? In this I was not convinced. At this time the company has not acted so decisively. This category of goods not radically revised, and differences from Apple Watch already on the market (Moto from Motorola, SmartWatch from Sony and Gear from Samsung) is not so striking. Some observers say even on the ongoing trend of plagiarism (just as the larger screen of the new iPhone 6 came under the influence of the smartphone from Samsung). Some people think that Apple has lost its former magic.

But even with such caveats Apple Watch can break out of the winners. Success is ultimately determined by the users (and to some extent by the application developer).


More concerned about the tone of the event itself: how the new leadership of the company presented itself. It was like a remake of a friend of the film: the format specified by Steve Jobs, the same scenario, the same colors and lights, the same rhythm and the same content, practically the same faces and voices, the same epithets, praising the possibility of a new product, the same “one more thing” and the same musicians (group U2) behind the curtain. Sometimes slight figure Tim Cook even outwardly seemed similar to the silhouette of Jobs.

Apple has always been craving for art, so I allow myself to resort to an analogy from the art world: I thought that Apple executives have entered a period of Mannerism. In the XVI century, after the great revolution of the Renaissance masters – Leonardo, Raphael and Michelangelo – many artists seemed impossible to open new paths, and they began to copy and inflate the style of their teachers. Their way was to draw more artsy compared to the natural harmony of the Renaissance genius – and a lot less free. In other words, the entourage recent presentation seemed an exaggeration of the classic style of Steve Jobs.


And it’s dangerous for Apple: if Cook still decided to follow the recipe already tested leadership. Of course, any company needs stability, in rituals, in certain ways to honor the itself. However, she needs to be updated, renovation – not only because it is changing the format of markets and competition, but also because the staff, especially the young and newly arrived beginners need a new mission. They need their own rituals, the style to which they have a hand: independent actions open up new sources of energy and strengthen confidence in the future. As shown by various studies of innovation and strategy, the most dangerous competitor successful organization is not outside, but inside it. At present the most formidable rival Apple – a company of Steve Jobs.

Cook for personal and professional risk is the risk that, in imitation of Jobs, he never beats him. One day, looking back at those years, he would think I did everything right, but he could not be the best. Of course, the style of the Cook has a strong influence its long-term proximity to Steve. And, of course, emotions, gratitude and affection play a role. But everyone is different. Will own style Cook is favorable for the company and whether it will help it to reach new heights? Can not say in advance. But it should give yourself a chance and Apple.

I would like to believe that now that Cook has proven its ability to follow the example of Steve, he will be free and will operate in its own way.

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