An email I wrote on Oct 6 2011…

… after Steve.

Curiously enough, there was no sense of sadness. That emotion was for when he resigned as CEO. The end-of-an-era sadness.

But there was a rush of rudderlessness. Perhaps this is what Nehru felt when he said ‘the light has gone out of our lives‘.

Who will take the floppy drive out of the flagship computer in fucking 1999? Who will convince all major labels to sell their songs for never-before-imaginable 99cents? Who will no longer offer his flagship operating system on a CD/DVD? Who will refuse USB ports on any of his mobile devices? Who will refuse to display the filesystem on those mobile devices? Who will drop wired Ethernet ports on his flagship computer? Who will, in other words, in a world of obfuscation, equivocation, careful risk-free hedging, will refuse bullshit in all its forms? Who will build something he himself truly wants? Who will say ‘We can’t ship junk’ to his customers and walk that talk?

Saying no has become a rare trait today, one to be admired. Still, you could make a case that he has built Apple in his own image, one that does refuse bullshit, that does say no straight up and unapologetically.

But that’s just one half. The easier half.

Who will say ‘this is what a computer will be’ and build the Macintosh, the NeXTStation, the iMac, the Macbook Air and the iPad, say ‘this is what a phone will be’, ‘this is what a music player will be’, ‘this is how we will experience music/movies/TV/games’ and build iPhone, iPod, iTunes, say ‘this is what computer programs will be’ and inaugurate the app era?

You can’t do that by saying no. You can only do that if you’re someone who ‘does his market research by looking at himself in the mirror every morning’.

Who will do that now? And deliver?


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