If You Read One Thing About Steve Jobs’ Resignation, Read This! Then Watch This Video
By: Hillel Fuld
What else can I say that has not been said about the man, the legend, Steve Jobs? He officially sent in his letter of resignation today, which read as follows:
"To the Apple Board of Directors and the Apple Community:
I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple’s CEO, I would be the first to let you know. Unfortunately, that day has come.
I hereby resign as CEO of Apple. I would like to serve, if the Board sees fit, as Chairman of the Board, director and Apple employee.
As far as my successor goes, I strongly recommend that we execute our succession plan and name Tim Cook as CEO of Apple.
I believe Apple’s brightest and most innovative days are ahead of it. And I look forward to watching and contributing to its success in a new role.
I have made some of the best friends of my life at Apple, and I thank you all for the many years of being able to work alongside you."
Of course, as soon as word got out, the Web and technology world went nuts. Now, nothing about Jobs, the man, or the company he built is normal. An article I read back in 2008 for example, about Apple and how the company goes about its marketing, has left a tremendous impact on me and my work. A must read, you can find it here.
Then there is the famous story of Steve Jobs and the case of the Macbook screw that was just sticking out a little too much to go to market. Read that here. The bottom line is Jobs is the king of paying attention to detail. However, that is a symptom. A symptom of everything jobs represents, which can be summed up in one word. Passion. He has true passion for what he does and what his company builds and releases to market. Forget the Android iOS debate for a second, there is no denying the superior manufacturing of the iPhone as a mobile device as well as the small details that make iOS what it is. That is Steve Jobs for you.
One more story that sums up Jobs perfectly was posted on Google+ this morning by Vic Gundotra, VP Engineering of Google and it is a must read. However, for those of you who do not like clicking on links, I am pasting the story below as told by Vic. Your jerk reaction will be that Jobs is a little overboard, but that attention to detail is what has made Apple the most profitable company in the world. Here is the story:
"One Sunday morning, January 6th, 2008 I was attending religious services when my cell phone vibrated. As discreetly as possible, I checked the phone and noticed that my phone said "Caller ID unknown". I choose to ignore.
After services, as I was walking to my car with my family, I checked my cell phone messages. The message left was from Steve Jobs. "Vic, can you call me at home? I have something urgent to discuss" it said.
Before I even reached my car, I called Steve Jobs back. I was responsible for all mobile applications at Google, and in that role, had regular dealings with Steve. It was one of the perks of the job.
"Hey Steve - this is Vic", I said. "I'm sorry I didn't answer your call earlier. I was in religious services, and the caller ID said unknown, so I didn't pick up".
Steve laughed. He said, "Vic, unless the Caller ID said 'GOD', you should never pick up during services".
I laughed nervously. After all, while it was customary for Steve to call during the week upset about something, it was unusual for him to call me on Sunday and ask me to call his home. I wondered what was so important?
"So Vic, we have an urgent issue, one that I need addressed right away. I've already assigned someone from my team to help you, and I hope you can fix this tomorrow" said Steve.
"I've been looking at the Google logo on the iPhone and I'm not happy with the icon. The second O in Google doesn't have the right yellow gradient. It's just wrong and I'm going to have Greg fix it tomorrow. Is that okay with you?"
Of course this was okay with me. A few minutes later on that Sunday I received an email from Steve with the subject "Icon Ambulance". The email directed me to work with Greg Christie to fix the icon.
Since I was 11 years old and fell in love with an Apple II, I have dozens of stories to tell about Apple products. They have been a part of my life for decades. Even when I worked for 15 years for Bill Gates at Microsoft, I had a huge admiration for Steve and what Apple had produced.
But in the end, when I think about leadership, passion and attention to detail, I think back to the call I received from Steve Jobs on a Sunday morning in January. It was a lesson I'll never forget. CEOs should care about details. Even shades of yellow. On a Sunday.
To one of the greatest leaders I've ever met, my prayers and hopes are with you Steve. "
OK, I think you get the point and just in case you don't, watch the amazing video below of Jobs speaking at Stanford about love, passion, death, and all the lessons he has learned over the years. This video gives me goosebumps every single time I watch it.
The big question that remains is will Apple survive this blow? John Gruber says yes and I agree.