In my last missive, I mentioned that Steve Jobs’ appearance at the iPad 2 event played upon my sentimental side. Therefore, it should not be a surprise when I take umbrage at this statement buried in the story I linked to before:
But the health of Apple’s chief, who runs the most highly valued tech company in the world, is more important to shareholders than it is to most of its customers, said Sarah Rotman Epps, a Forrester Research analyst focusing on personal computing.
“I don’t think the average person cares what’s going on with Apple’s leader,” she said.
There have been, in the history of American industrial culture, a large number of extraordinarily talented leaders, but some rise above all the rest (for good or bad): Henry Ford, Bill Gates, John Rockefeller, Mark Zuckerberg, and Walt Disney just to name a few that randomly pop into my head. Certainly prominent among those would be Steve Jobs, the guy who founded not one, but two wildly successful companies with high profiles in our popular culture. He’s the guy who’s fronted every significant introduction of game-changing products from Apple over the past 27 years, from the Mac, to the iMac, iPod, iPhone, and now the iPad. He not only embodies the creative genius and charisma of someone like Walt Disney, who reshaped the entertainment industry multiple times, but the business acumen of someone like Bill Gates or Henry Ford who both had clear visions of the future and the sheer willpower to make them happen. He is, without doubt, the single most talented CEO in America today (and maybe the world).
So yeah, I think the “average person” is aware of and cares about what’s happening with Apple’s leader. But, you know, that’s just a hunch. I don’t know that many average people.