Steve sends a Steve-note: I'm just thin

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thinnerSo Steve isn’t dying, he’s just thin. WSJ got a note from Steve describing his malady as some sort of nutritional/hormonal problem and, it seems, all is right with the world. First, the note.

Dear Apple Community,

For the first time in a decade, I’m getting to spend the holiday season with my family, rather than intensely preparing for a Macworld keynote.

Unfortunately, my decision to have Phil deliver the Macworld keynote set off another flurry of rumors about my health, with some even publishing stories of me on my deathbed.

I’ve decided to share something very personal with the Apple community so that we can all relax and enjoy the show tomorrow.

As many of you know, I have been losing weight throughout 2008. The reason has been a mystery to me and my doctors. A few weeks ago, I decided that getting to the root cause of this and reversing it needed to become my #1 priority.

Fortunately, after further testing, my doctors think they have found the cause — a hormone imbalance that has been “robbing” me of the proteins my body needs to be healthy. Sophisticated blood tests have confirmed this diagnosis.

The remedy for this nutritional problem is relatively simple and straightforward, and I’ve already begun treatment. But, just like I didn’t lose this much weight and body mass in a week or a month, my doctors expect it will take me until late this Spring to regain it. I will continue as Apple’s CEO during my recovery.

I have given more than my all to Apple for the past 11 years now. I will be the first one to step up and tell our Board of Directors if I can no longer continue to fulfill my duties as Apple’s CEO. I hope the Apple community will support me in my recovery and know that I will always put what is best for Apple first.

So now I’ve said more than I wanted to say, and all that I am going to say, about this.

Steve

So there we have it: Steve isn’t so sick, Apple isn’t pulling out of MacWorld because it thinks the show sucks, and we’re all morons for prying into Steve’s business.

Here’s my take:

1. Steve is really sick.
2. Apple is pulling out of MacWorld because it sees the ROI on big shows as less than nothing.
3. We’re all morons for prying into Steve’s business.

There is much dissembling going on here. It’s OK that Steve is sick and I don’t need to see him on a stage going “Bango boingo” with a new iPod in his hand. Apple is lying about his health. Apple likes to run the conversation. Even this email is a well-crafted addition to that selfsame conversation. Read it again:

For the first time in a decade, I’m getting to spend the holiday season with my family, rather than intensely preparing for a Macworld keynote.

Awww… he’s a regular guy!

Fortunately, after further testing, my doctors think they have found the cause — a hormone imbalance that has been “robbing” me of the proteins my body needs to be healthy. Sophisticated blood tests have confirmed this diagnosis.

The remedy for this nutritional problem is relatively simple and straightforward, and I’ve already begun treatment. But, just like I didn’t lose this much weight and body mass in a week or a month, my doctors expect it will take me until late this Spring to regain it. I will continue as Apple’s CEO during my recovery.

Sounds feasible. He just needs a sandwich. Or some yogurt.

I have given more than my all to Apple for the past 11 years now. I will be the first one to step up and tell our Board of Directors if I can no longer continue to fulfill my duties as Apple’s CEO. I hope the Apple community will support me in my recovery and know that I will always put what is best for Apple first.

Translation: This has no bearing on Apple’s financials.

So now I’ve said more than I wanted to say, and all that I am going to say, about this.

Translation: You people are all dicks.

He’s not Apple. Apple is Apple. Linus Torvalds doesn’t kiss every version of Linux that rolls down the pike and neither should Steve. He hired good people, terrorized them, made them make great product, and should be allowed to go take a nap every now and again without his stock price falling. If fanbois would get out of the financial analysis business, I think we’d all be better off. Shareholders wouldn’t bolt the moment someone gets an anonymous tip from chinaoffice@appel.cn saying the iPhone will contain pork, thereby alienating the Jewish customer base. Think about it: when is the last time a CEO’s health effected a stock price? Does Sony falter because that British guy has a cold? Do Richard Branson’s bunions effect Virgin’s bottom line? In fact, Steve should fly around the world in a balloon. If he, as CEO, cheated death regularly I think we’d all look at Apple’s product line instead of his waistline (HA!).

As for #2, Apple left MacWorld because Apple gets nothing from MacWorld. They have 10,000 apps in the App store. They get a cut for each sold, but the authors get a bigger cut. The same goes for hard drives, iPhone cases, and headsets in the Apple Store: Apple gets a cut, but there are 50 guys waiting in line to get on Apple’s home page for every company that made it. So who cares more about selling more apps, peripherals, and desktop software for Macs? The guys making said apps, peripherals, and software. Apple doesn’t have to convince developers to program for Tiger Ultimate vs. Tiger Home. They just dump out their toy wagon, we buy their stuff, maybe pick up a printer, and move on. The vendors in the hard drive game are the ones who need MacWorld. They need to publicize their wares to a jaded public. Apple already has our ear. MacWorld is not Apple’s show. They can’t control it. They don’t run it. They do run their sexy little press conferences where men literally have orgasms in their seats when Steve comes out (I heard it with my own ears). They’re going to do just fine without doing a keynote this year.

As for #3, yes, Steve is the head of a public company. Yes, we all love Apple. Yes, we care if he has a tummy problem. But does it really matter? Steve didn’t mold the iPhone out of ceramic in his home kiln. Hell, he didn’t even build the original Apples – Woz did. He’s an entrepreneur, not a jolly elf who makes us the magical devices that will change our lives. Maybe with him gone we can actually pay attention to the current state of MacWorld, which is dismal at best. As Nicholas said in our chat room, there’s no reason to have these big shows anymore. The Mac community isn’t a bunch of guys who like old cars and would like to hold a meet-up in a motel in Marietta, Ohio. As Nicholas wrote: “Send out a few emails, rent a hotel room in nyc and san fran and you’re all set.”

I know I’m feeding the rhetorical flames here but seriously: Who cares?

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