When Steve Jobs passed away on 5 October 2011, the world mourned the man who guided Apple from a California garage startup to the most valuable company in the world. However, talk soon turned to whether the Cupertino-based company could survive without him; did he take the mystique of Apple away?
Apple has answered its critics, opening its annual Worldwide Developer Conference with a mission statement video (above) that stressed that the spirit of Jobs is still alive and well at Apple. It does not feature any products but a simple message outlining the company's mission statement.
Titled "Designed By Apple – Intention," the video displays words set against simple design patterns. The commercial's message reads:
"If everyone is busy making everything, how can anyone perfect anything? We start to confuse convenience with joy, abundance with choice. Designing something requires focus. The first thing we ask is: What do we want people to feel? Delight. Surprise. Love. Connection. Then we begin to craft around our intention. It takes time... There are a thousand no's for every yes. We simplify. We perfect. We start over. Until everything we touch enhances each life it touches. Only then do we sign our work: Designed by Apple in California."
This simple yet elegant approach appears to mirror the tone and feel of Apple's other recent advertised focusing on the iPhone as a lifestyle device. However, the message contained in this latest video appears to be less of a reminder to consumers of the company's product quality and more of a direct message to the tech industry.
An interesting turn yesterday, noted by many tech insiders, was the rise of Craig Federighi, Apple's senior vice president of software engineering. One of the early architects of Jobs' vision at NeXT and Apple, Federighi returned to the company in 2009 after a decade-long absence. Although Tim Cook embodies the spirit and sincerity of Jobs in his mission to push the company forward, many onlookers remarked at how naturally Federighi seemed to evoke the "innovation as magic" approach of Jobs.
Using humour and a familiar command of the audience, in much the same way as Jobs did for years, Federighi's job was to roll out the latest features of iOS 7 and Mac OS X Mavericks, but he ended up reassuring many that the Apple we've come to know really is still alive, despite the untimely end of its co-founder.