Businessweek had an interesting piece on Apple’s iOS chief Scott Forstall and his ever-increasing role at Apple, especially after the death of Steve Jobs. I can remember a few years back when Steve Jobs was diagnosed with cancer.  Obvious concern for his personal well being aside, I remember wondering how the company could survive without […]
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Scott Forstall’s new gig


Businessweek had an interesting piece on Apple’s iOS chief Scott Forstall and his ever-increasing role at Apple, especially after the death of Steve Jobs.

I can remember a few years back when Steve Jobs was diagnosed with cancer.  Obvious concern for his personal well being aside, I remember wondering how the company could survive without his… well, let’s go with aura, because presence seems to undersell his importance to the company.

This point has been beaten to death, but no public figurehead’s image was more intertwined with their company than Jobs was with Apple.  The survival of the company that once gave him the boot was dependent upon him.

The launch and explosion of the iOS community has sent Apple soaring to heights that seemed unreachable not even a decade ago.  And standing at the top, staring down the barrel of unparalleled success, was Steve Jobs.  But now, the company was forced to consider life after Steve Jobs.

This wasn’t the same company that Jobs saved.  When he returned in the 90’s, Apple was seen as the little guy in a losing battle with Microsoft.  Their goal was clear, and the path to reach that goal defined.  But now?  Apple had become much more than a computer company.  They defined a mobile community that now looks back at them to continue paving the path they have laid down.

The public perception that Jobs was Apple was not far off.  And I don’t mean that as disrespect to the talented staff around Jobs, as their brilliance is well documented.  But what little stories were written on the inner workings of Apple usually made mention of how hands-on Steve was with the company.  He was not only the company’s spokesman, but also the leader in every sense of the word.

The question is not who represents Apple, but rather:  Who guides Apple?  Who helps decide where Apple next puts its focus?  Not just who helps, but who makes the final call?

As iOS has grown, so has public awareness about Scott Forstall.  Considering that he just passed by 40, barring any sort of fall out, he has many more years with Apple.  It will be interesting to see what kind of relationship he has with Tim Cook and, perhaps just as important, the rest of the Apple community.

This article paints him as a polarizing figure as he is perceived as both a genius and someone who is very difficult to work with.  Now you might be thinking that sounds a lot like Steve Jobs.  And you’re right.  But Jobs attained success before the news-now era and had already earned public and shareholder respect.

People like Cook and Forstall are going to be under a very intense microscope.  While they may have the respect of their peers, the public does not yet trust them.  They have a lot of people to convince and enormous shoes to fill.  But it’s a double-edged sword because prematurely assuming the role of “the next Steve” could be the kiss of death.

What do you think of the post-Jobs era?  Does someone like Scott Forstall instill confidence or skepticism?

Image Source:  businessinsider.com

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