Former Apple executive — and the man who took over Steve Jobs’ position of head of Macintosh development when Jobs was forced out of Apple — Jean-Louis Gassée has written an enlightening op-ed for The Guardian today lamenting over all the “Apple is doomed” commentary from internet and tech pundits we see all the time.
In the op-ed, Gassée points out a number of common “Apple is doomed” arguments and then refutes them with quotes pulled from John Gruber and Philip Ellmer-DeWitt, among others. While those bits are entertaining to read, it’s the central theme of Gassée’s piece that is enlightening about the “Apple is doomed” narrative:
“This is something I heard 33 years ago when I signed up to start Apple France in 1980, and I’ve heard it constantly since then…
I recently experienced a small epiphany: I think the never-ending worry about Apple’s future is a good thing for the company. Look at what happened to those who were on top and became comfortable with their place under the sun: Palm, BlackBerry, Nokia …
In ancient Rome, victorious generals marched in triumph to the Capitol. Lest the occasion go to the army commander’s head, a slave would march behind the victor, murmuring in his ear, memento mori, “remember you’re mortal.”
With that in mind, one can almost appreciate the doomsayers — well, some of them. They might very well save Apple from becoming inebriated with their prestige and, instead, force the company to remember, two years later and counting, how they won it.”
Gassée is currently a venture partner at Allegis Capital.