Steve Jobs Believes Apple Will Be OK Without Him



One of the most interesting revelations of the Fortune piece “Inside Apple” that’s making headlines this weekend is how Steve Jobs thinks Apple will be OK without him.

Fortune reporter Adam Lashinsky writes:

“Jobs himself believes he has set Apple on a course to survive in his absence. He has created a culture that, while not particularly jolly, has internalized his ways.”

Lashinsky says Jobs has been busy codifying the way he runs Apple — an argument I’ve been making for years.

“… these days, he’s especially focused on institutionalizing his ways of doing business. His mission: to turn the traits that people most closely associate with Jobs–the attention to detail, the secrecy, the constant feedback–into processes that can ensure Apple’s excellence far into the future.”

And here’s me writing for CNN in January:

In the last decade, Jobs has thoroughly remade Apple in his image. His personality traits have become encoded as the way the company does things. His perfectionism, attention to detail, even his design taste, have become part and parcel of Apple’s processes, from product development to advertising.

One of the most interesting revelations in Lashinky’s piece concerns the “case studies” that are being written about Apple’s most important decisions, such as consolidating iPhone manufacturing around a single factory in China. Jobs hired Joel Podolny, former dean of Yale School of management, as Apple head of HR. He’s been busy with a team of “eggheads” writing studies about Apple’s business decisions.

“It runs out Podolny has been busy working on a project that speaks directly to the delicate topic of life at Apple after Jobs. At Jobs’ instruction, Podolny hired a team of business professors, including the renowned Harvard veteran and Andy Grove biographer Richard Tedlow. This band of eggheads is writing a series of internal case studies about significant decisions in Apple’s recent history. It’s exactly the sort of thing the major business schools do, except Apple’s case studies are for an Apple-only audience… The goal is to expose the next layer of management to the executive team’s thought process… Jobs even is ensuring that his teachings are being collected, curated and preserved so that future generations of Apple’s leaders can consult and interpret them.”

Lashinsky’s piece isn’t yet online but is available on the iPad. MacStories has a pretty good summary.




  • Frank

    Is that from the current Forbes Magazine?

  • Atgred

    This is going to be very interesting….Apple’s Bible, Steve’s Gospel. Hope in this case there will not be different interpretations on his writings!!!

  • JoViKe

    If that’s not micro-management then I don’t know what is. He wants everything to be perfect including the future, all products and the one company left standing.

  • S. Mulji

    It’s from the newest issue of Fortune magazine. It should be on news stands now or very soon. I’ll definitely get my hands on one just to read this piece. Should be fun.

  • AlterThending

    Make your tag line a littler shorter and you can maybe fit more words into it so it will make sense.

  • George Farrell


  • Allan Cook

    As long as Steve’s vision is part of the Apple culture, Apple will be OK without him. It will be a sad day when he leaves the scene, but that is no reason Apple’s fundamental ethos should change. And there is no reason to think that, short term at least, Apple will be any less competitive or profitable without Steve. I think the danger will come later, when people who did not necessarily share the original vision take the reins and try to reshape or reinvent Apple. But this philosophical continuity issue is not a problem unique to Apple.

  • Ederrick… i dont like how he treats his employees but they still get paid

  • parrotcam

    BE OK

  • Websters

    Honestly… An egregious typo in the title… I stopped reading there.

  • ErinsDad

    While I believe he’s right, I’m in no hurry to find out. Be well, Steve.

  • Dilbert A

    i don’t know bro, they seem to be doing OK.

  • HerbalEd

    Interesting article except for the needless distraction of you bragging about your CNN prophecy. Who cares?

  • akri

    I hope when he does leave is b/c of retirement and not something worse.. It’ll sure be the end of an era..but if he taught them well and the employees are still as passionate about Apple as Steve is, then

  • akri

    Apple shouldn’t have any problems.

  • Dallastx

    Apple will be OK, Does he believes that he is a god?

    Mr. Steve let’s be realistic and accept it YOU ARE NOT A TECHNOLOGY gOD.

  • snookasnoo

    Grow up.

  • snookasnoo

    Yet you posted. Silly.

  • snookasnoo

    Its a business. Not a charity.