Time can be a funny thing, and not just in a Stephen Hawking yuk-yuk kind of way. For we intellectual mortals, time has a magical ability to change our perspective on things, making small things become important, and allowing us to all but forget what used to feel like was of end-of-the-world, apocalyptic magnitude.
That's what is going to happen in 2014, a year I believe will come to define the Tim Cook era of Apple. 2014 is the year when analysts and armchair numbnuts will go from erroneously worrying about Apple's ability to innovate without Steve Jobs to judging Apple's execution in bringing innovation to market.
Apple CEO Tim Cook
It's funny—and this time I'm talking yuk-yuks—but the two and a half years since Steve Jobs died have been awash in criticism aimed at Tim Cook for not having introduced something life changing and market disrupting. This criticism has always been couched as if Apple disrupted markets every year when Mr. Jobs was in charge, despite the nit-picky fact that this isn't true.
It also ignores the pesky reality that anything Apple might have released up until now would have had some involvement from Mr. Jobs. Any such product would have said about as much about Tim Cook's ability to deliver innovation as its absence says about his inability to do so. In other words, little or nothing.
What's extra fascinating is that such criticism continues to get pronounced with utter confidence by ill-informed, un-critical thinkers like Trip Chowdry, who recently called for Tim Cook's ouster as Apple CEO. His reason? Mr. Cook hasn't been aggressive enough in releasing disruptive products just as rumors of Apple releasing a wearables product are gaining enough strength to get up and walk their own way to an Apple Store.
It's face-palmingly stupefying.
Instead of pretending that Apple disrupts markets every season, people should instead have been focused on the incredible job that Tim Cook has really been doing. Jeff Gamet and I discussed this on Wednesday's Apple Context Machine, but here's what Tim Cook has been working on since Steve Jobs passed away.
Next: What Tim Cook's Been Up To