17 March 2016
I wonder what it feels like to watch the business that you founded and nurtured go down a path that you had never imagined it would.
Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has hit the headlines today for just that. ‘Woz’ has expressed his concern surrounding the Apple Watch, stating that Apple is no longer the company that he founded back in 1976.
To some extent, this is naturally going to be true; no company will stay the same across 40 years but there should definitely be some correlation – culture, brand values etc. What Wozniak is raising is the move into the ‘jewellery market’.
This seems like a strange claim to make for me. Apple was started to develop and sell personal computers. Then – as personal computers became more than just desktop PCs – it moved into personal music devices, then into phones and then into the Watch, with several extras in between. The common thread with all of this is the technology. The company has evolved with the trends of computing – often setting those trends.
Had there been no technology within the Watch then that is something to raise but, for me, it seems like the logical next step for a company thriving in the personal technology market.
It is also worth noting that Apple was never actually the company that Wozniak set up. Steve Jobs dramatically change how it looked and felt.
Perhaps it is more a sign of how much he is missing Steve Jobs.
He has clearly stayed extremely close to the company and, despite having left officially in 1985, he is a regular feature at Apple launch events.
It must be incredibly difficult to sit back and watch the company that you founded evolve into something you hadn’t envisioned and wondering if you could do better.
What do you think, has Apple got it wrong with the Watch?