If you don’t know yet, Apple announced today that Steve Jobs has taken leave for a period of 6 months. It is highly likely that he has pancreatic cancer, an extremely serious condition and a recurrence of the diagnosis that he has suppressed once before.
Internet celebrity of sorts, Robert Scoble, had this to say: ”It’s too late to sell your Apple stock. If you sold it today, you are a genius. But tomorrow? You’ll be the biggest loser. Why? Apple has the best team, the best distribution, the best supply chain, the best management in the business. Everyone, from Palm to Microsoft to Google wants to be like Apple. Hint: they can’t. Hint: they won’t (although Palm got very close by hiring a ton of key iPhone execs and developers and PR people away from Apple). Apple is more than just Steve Jobs. Now you’re about to find out just how much more.”
I’m not so sure that they will sail on without their team and its direction losing focus for some time. The impact this guy has had is immeasurable. I don’t think the company will fold, but it will certainly take a knock (and not just in stocks).
Check out this video to get an idea of the man (It’s his address to the Stanford Graduates in 2005 – well worth a watch, also because he talks about his illness):
Great leadership is a very hard, very, vary valuable thing. The question now is whether Jobs is a ‘Level 5′ or a ‘Level 4′ leader. In other words, has he created an organisation whose growth is sustainable with or without him?
And by the same token, don’t discount the guy from beating this thing. At Heavy Chef (and World Wide Creative) we’re praying for you mate.