To me, Apple exists in the spirit of the people that work there, and the sort of philosophies and purpose by which they go about their business. So if Apple just becomes a place where computers are a commodity item and where the romance is gone, and where people forget that computers are the most incredible invention that man has ever invented, then I’ll feel I have lost Apple. But if I’m a million miles away and all those people still feel those things and they’re still working to make the next great personal computer, then I will feel that my genes are still in there.
In the language of innovation theory that Clayton Christensen created, companies are characterized by three attributes
- Values (or Priorities)
Resources come and go, typically arriving every morning and leaving every evening.
Processes take a lot of hard work to change but they can be changed.
Values and priorities are almost immutable. They are what Jobs refers to as the “genes”.
The fact that Steve Jobs said these words about Apple in 1985 after his first departure gives one hope that in 2011 (after his return and departure and return and departure again) the genes are still in there.