70,000 Steves

Amazing work by the MacRumors team rounding up the rumors about the 5S, 5C, and iWatch.On the iWatch: I can see the original release date being for 2013 but Tim Cook pushed it back to take more ownership of the product.

Cook is still overshadowed by Steve's death almost two years ago. Everything that Apple innovates for the next few years will inevitably be followed up with the criticism, "Steve must have planned that before he died" or "They're just on Steve's roadmap".

If the next big innovation for Apple is the Apple TV or iTV, people will most definitely look to Jobs's statement to Walter Isaacson and see Jobs as the source.

Cook has been baiting us as much as a CEO can with his comments about his interest in the wrist. Notice his use of first person: he did not say "we" or "Apple" is interested in the wrist, he said "I". The next big product must be the watch because Cook has something to prove.

However, I believe that in Tim Cook's mind his number one job is not to convince the tech blogs, shareholders, or customers that Apple is capable of innovating but to convince Apple that they are capable of innovating without Steve Jobs. His mission is to reinstate confidence in the team that the ship will continue to sail without the inventor of the boat and to look to themselves for the next big thing.

The truth is that Apple was not built solely by Steve Jobs. It was built by an amazing team of over 70,000 people (and climbing). Steve Jobs was no perfect man and to solely give him credit for where Apple is today is an insult to the brilliance and talent Apple possesses. The iPod, iPhone, and iPad were not built solely by Jobs himself.

If Tim Cook can succeed in this mission of convincing the people who work for Apple that they are the reason Apple has risen to dominance, there is no ceiling to what they will create in our lifetimes.

70,000 Steves are better than 1.