The problem is the "Innovator's Dilemma." While most companies focus on sustaining innovation, Apple brought the world disruptive innovations for 30 years. Some of Apple's disruptions are barely manifest even today, but will inevitably disrupt markets for years to come. However, what is Apple without Steve?
Microsoft. Well run, but a sustaining innovator, not a market disruptor.
Like the big three U.S. auto makers, the big tech companies have moved from making money from innovation into making money from squelching innovation. The favorite weapon employed by big companies, including Apple, is the patent lawsuit. There are even "dummy" corporations springing up with no true physical presence or innovative intent that act more like patent trolls than patent bullies by forcing settlements like a troll forces payment to cross a bridge.
I make no apology for Steve Jobs' patent bullying, but he more than made up for it with his innovations. My fear is that without Steve, the big tech companies will stop innovating just like the automakers did after Henry Ford and we will slide into another century long innovation rut.
So who is left to innovate?
Mark Zuckerberg? Doubtful, he is much more like Bill Gates than Steve Jobs, much more of a conventional MBA modeled businessman. Capable of innovation, but drawn towards the safety of sustaining innovation than disruptive innovation.
How about Elon Musk?
Although he is a great choice, he is focused on revolutionizing the automobile and finally pushing the automakers to get off of their asses and do something. Besides, Elon is way to nice of a guy to machiavelliate the kind breakthroughs that Jobs is famous for.
What we need is someone new, someone from the outside, someone that is as brilliant and creative as Jobs. We need an artist with vision. I nominate Jack White! Jack White is as narcissistic as Jobs and even more creative. If Apple put Jack in charge of developing the next great disruption Apple would remain as the industry model for innovative development. Maybe we would get the iCar? Something like the Tesla and the Google car combined, improving safety and sustainability while keeping it cool and priced for the masses.
But sadly, no one ever listens to me.