Forrester CEO George Colony is taking heat for a blog post in which he argues that Apple began its inevitable decline the day Steve Jobs left this earth.
“When Steve Jobs departed, he took three things with him,” Colony writes. “1) [A] singular charismatic leadership that bound the company together and elicited extraordinary performance from its people; 2) the ability to take big risks, and 3) an unparalleled ability to envision and design products.
“Tim Cook may be no Steve Jobs, but much of what Colony says about the vacuum of leadership at Cupertino is completely untrue,” Wired retorts. “In fact, Apple’s arguably in better shape now than it ever was when Jobs was at the helm.”
Colony insists that Apple is the next Sony, i.e., a company coasting ever slower on yesterday’s innovations. Not so, says TechCrunch. “If anything, Apple can become the next Disney,” it writes. “The cultural products that came from Disney studios are beloved by nearly everyone.”
Just going by the numbers, “the fade Colony describes doesn't appear to be on the immediate horizon,” CNN notes. “This week, Apple reported doubling its profits in the first three months of the year, largely on the strength of the 35.1 million iPhones it sold (a number that far exceeded predictions).”
Still, seeming to fall into Colony’s camp, Jeff Bertolucci writes in PCWorld: “Apple in a way reminds me of a famous musical group that keeps churning out hit after hit. Eventually, the songs fall flat. Creativity fades. In Apple's case, I'm not sure you can pin that inevitability on Tim Cook.”
Adds Daring Fireball blogger John Gruber: “Colony’s pessimism is, unlike most Apple bearishness of late, perfectly reasonable. Apple did not fall to pieces when Jobs died, but no one with a clue expected it to. But Tim Cook and the remaining leadership team have yet to prove themselves in the long run. I’m not saying I agree with Colony (I don’t), I’m just saying his argument is reasonable. Apple is untested in these regards.”