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A get well card to Steve Jobs – from everyone

There is very little to be said by us at Faultline, that you won’t have already heard about both Steve Jobs new health problems and Apple’s first quar


Published: 20 January, 2011


There is very little to be said by us at Faultline, that you won’t have already heard about both Steve Jobs new health problems and Apple’s first quarter figures. But since everybody else has given their opinion, it’s probably fair that we give ours.

First thing to say is that we have followed Jobs since the Apple II (33years ago) and wish him well, not only in his recovery, but in getting back to revolutionizing the planet. It’s fun to watch, although, as we have pointed out many times, it can sometimes be a frustrating experience and mostly it involves very little new of substance, mostly new style. But Jobs makes our job fun and shows the world how much can be done with technology which already exists.

At Faultline we have always backed Apple, since 2003, to become a Consumer Electronics behemoth and it has, and we have always credited it to the way Steve Jobs ignores the traditional ways of doing things, and tries to change the rules. It doesn’t always work, but he always tries it and when it does work, you get results like the latest quarter (see elsewhere in this issue), which has Wall Street talking up Apple as a $100 billion revenue business, and if it does four quarters like that one, Wall Street is right.

Very few of us felt initially that the iPad really did create a new product category, but what is $4.6 billion of revenue in a single quarter, a quarter where the Tablet is still in ramp up mode, if it does not signal a new product category. Most financial analysts looked at the way in which it came on the scene and felt that people didn’t NEED to have one, and that during a recession they would replace their smart phones, replace their laptops, but NOT buy a Tablet. At Faultline we FELT they were wrong, but couldn’t come up with a solid reason why. But that’s what happened. (Our report Tablets 2.0 – This time Think Bigger details the future growth and usage of Tablets globally, email peter@rethink for an executive summary).

It’s like anything else that is new. People sense that it is new, that they will like being part of something that is new, and they find the money for it, regardless of their financial condition.

The first question everyone is asking is whether or not Apple can continue to shake up the world if Jobs leaves completely or even dies. First off we don’t have a concrete idea of what Jobs’ health problem is, so we don’t know whether that is likely to happen. People are trying to read huge amounts into the precise selected wording of his departure notice. We think it is fairly safe to say that the departure of Jobs from running things day to day is largely irrelevant. That fact that he remains alive and well enough to chew out the rest of his management team, even if it is only once a week, is enough to continue his dynasty. That was shown when Tim Cook led the team in Jobs’ absence while having a liver transplant.

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