When Jobs resigned in August, John Gruber wrote "Jobs’s greatest creation isn’t any Apple product. It is Apple itself." I couldn’t agree more. While I'm lucky to have been able to have received both product and demo advice from the man, I'm privileged to have had even the briefest experience with the culture of Apple that he helped create. Excellence, quality, passion, attention to detail -- those aren’t just attributes of Apple products, they’re attributes of how people at Apple work.
Over the next few days and weeks, we’ll hear a lot about what Jobs did at Apple over the last ten years. While he may be impossible to replace, I have to believe that the senior team at Apple knows that their most important job, and the best way to honor his memory, is to continue the culture he created at Apple. Based on what I saw three years ago -- and the products they’ve introduced since -- I’m bullish.
Apple isn't perfect, and my recent trip to the Genius bar went way less smoothly than my last visit to the RI DMV, but what is most striking from the point of view of 2011 is how uniform the quality of implementation is across Apple's ventures. It seems easier to understand that Apple's computers have better industrial design than other companies than, say, the fact that their commercials are a lot better too. Apple isn't an advertising company, they just hire a contractor like anyone else, yet still everyone else's commercials are shit in comparison. Same with the retail stores. Same with their overall business model. The rest of the industry, while still often vastly profitable, is just a bunch of people running in circles waving their arms around in comparison.