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On Steve Jobs’ 60th birthday, Apple has never been stronger

Updated Feb 24th, 2015 3:10PM EST
Steve Jobs Birthday
Image: The Steve Jobs Archive

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Today marks what would have been Steve Jobs’ 60th birthday. While Apple’s website hasn’t been changed to acknowledge the date, Apple CEO Tim Cook published a tweet earlier today in honor of Jobs.

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Cook’s tweet reads in part, “The only way to do great work is to love what you do”, a sentence Jobs famously uttered in his iconic Stanford commencement speech.

With Steve Jobs’ 60th birthday upon us, it’s perhaps an appropriate time to quickly take stock of how Apple has performed during the Tim Cook era. Suffice it to say, with a market cap bordering on three quarters of a trillion dollars, it’s overwhelmingly apparent that Jobs chose his successor wisely.

At the same time, Tim Cook, to his credit, hasn’t been afraid to put his own stamp on Apple.

Indeed, Jobs wisely cautioned Cook not to fall prey to “What would Steve Jobs do?” syndrome. And true to form, Cook has shown himself to be a smart and independent leader not prone to blindly following in Jobs’ path.

Cook, for instance, initiated a massive capital return program a few years ago consisting of stock buybacks and investor dividends. Quite famously, Jobs was always reluctant to return the company’s vast cash hoard to shareholders.

Additionally, you might recall that Cook didn’t think twice about firing Scott Forstall, one of Jobs’ most trusted and loyal lieutenants. Without question, Cook has shown himself to be a level-headed and logical leader more than capable of making extremely tough and important decisions.

Looking ahead, Apple’s next big product launch is the Apple Watch, a device slated to begin shipping sometime in April. What makes the impending launch so intriguing is that the Apple Watch represents the first major product fully conceived and developed entirely during the Tim Cook era.

In the wake of Jobs’ passing, a commonly levied question was whether or not Apple would be able to innovate without its co-founder at the helm. Come April, we’ll finally be able to answer that question without qualification. That said, if the past few years have been any indication, it’s good bet that the answer to that question will be a resounding Yes.

Yoni Heisler Contributing Writer

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large with over 15 years of experience. A life long expert Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW.

When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.

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