Tuesday 9th September I watched the live Apple event as many other Apple fans. I was excited and curious – as I always am – to be virtually present when they are about to uncover their new products.
But when Tim Cook came out with his oversized shirt I felt a bit less excited. He was not Steve Jobs, even if he was trying to be him. And he was not the only one.
Steve Jobs’s unique way
At the Apple event on Tuesday there were many geeks – engineers, designers, etc. – dressed in a half ironed shirt or a simple T-shirt trying to mimic Steve Jobs’s incredibly powerful presentations, and I felt sad. I missed Steve Jobs.
I miss his charismatic, effortless way he had to walk on stage, his carefully studied pauses – and yet so believable! – when he was about to introduce something new. You could feel excited because Steve Jobs was totally excited himself, passionate, and present. Even from a silly screen you could sense his powerful aura.
I would have bought anything from that man because beside creating totally beautiful innovative tools, Steve Jobs was an artist. He was consumed by his vision and totally focused on making beautiful things that work. His quest for simplicity and making a better use of the limited time you have on this planet made an everlasting impression on our generations. He was a terrific visionary, connector and beauty lover.
Nothing and nobody could blur his vision. No person, no obstacle, no hardship. This is what genius is all about and it is thanks to whom Steve Jobs was that Apple is the company millions people love or even worship.
As you can see, I am a big Apple advocate and I probably will always be, and this has very little to do with whether their products work as well as they should do or not.
I find Apple products inspiring, beautiful, functional and perfect to make every day life easier.
Apple design is beautiful and seamless. Everything they create inevitably becomes elegant and timeless. And fun to use.
Their marketing is simple and incredibly effective – as Don Draper would say – and they are able to speak the language of emotions. Their brand identity is strong and universally recognisable and it appeals to almost anyone because of its clear, simple message that reflects perfectly their products. And most of all, their message is personal. It speaks equally to sporty people, mums, executives and beauty lovers.
Apple has become a feeling, and maybe even more that this. Apple provides with an experience and Steve Jobs was the art director, the main protagonist and the storyboard of that experience all at the same time.
Tuesday’s presentation at the Apple event was ok. The products are – as usual – innovative, sleek, beautiful and surely are going to make your life easier, but for the first time I was actually more excited by the products and wowed by the advert of the Apple Watch than by the presentation itself.
Tim Cook and Apple did an amazing job by delivering some incredible new gadgets again, but they also need to understand that merely trying to copy Steve Job’s charisma does not get them real charisma. You can tell it is just a copy. Something is to be confident, and “fake it until you make it”, but create interest and have the stage presence of a true leader is a different story entirely.
I hope that with time, and when Steve Job’s heavy presence in anything that Apple does will slowly fade away, Tim Cook and his team will make an impression that goes beyond the genius that Steve Jobs was.
I hope the new CEO will find his own style and voice to transform Apple in something other and better than a mere copy of Steve Job’s vision, or Apple will always be a reflection of someone greater than their successors.
In any case, I just wanted to say that I am totally in love with the new shiny iPhone 6 and the new Apple Watch and again, if I had any doubs to leave Apple for one of the competitors…I now have no doubts. It is going to be Apple again.