Tim Cook, speaking about Steve Jobs earlier this year, said, “He would flip on something so fast that you would forget that he was the one taking the 180 degree polar [opposite] position the day before.”
The idea is that one of Jobs’ great strengths was that he could change his mind. By not being stuck on one idea, he could pivot from idea to idea, finding something great that works for Apple.
However, despite his ability to flip-flop, there are certain things that have happened to Apple since he died that we don’t think he’d be thrilled about.
Jobs was a big fan of creating illustrations that look like real life objects. He loved the fake Vegas gaming table in iOS's Game Center. Apple just killed all of that. It's going with a flatter look that removes all the life-imitating graphics and animations.
This is sort of a silly one, but Jobs loved rounded rectangles. There's a story in his biography about someone questioning his decision for rounded rectangles in the early Apple days. He dragged the guy for on a walk around the block to show how many rounded rectangles there are in the everyday world. Apple's new iPhone software has more circles in it than ever. He wouldn't like that.
Jobs went on a big rant about how tablets that are smaller than 10-inches were going to be dead on arrival because they provide a terrible app experience. He said companies selling tablets ought to include sandpaper because users will need to sand down their fingers to use the tablets. Apple has since released the iPad Mini, and people seem to love it. Oops.
Jobs famously trashed the MobileMe team after it delivered a terrible product. What would he have done when Apple released Apple Maps? He would have been furious. But, interestingly, he may have approved of how Cook handled Maps. He fired the manager of Maps, and cut Scott Forstall, who was ultimately responsible for Maps.
Jobs was not known for his charity. Mostly because he never did any. At least not publicly. As soon as he was gone, Cook decided to make Apple a more charitable company. It does matching contributions with its employees.
Siri is a bad product. Jobs would be furious. It doesn't work well, and it's just extra junk. Just like he'd chew someone out over Maps, he'd chew someone out over Siri.
Jobs had an amazing ear for advertising. He made a lot of classic, fantastic ads for Apple. Since his death, Apple's marketing has been off. It's tried a bunch of different ad styles, but not of them have really stuck because they're not all that great.