Watching Steve Jobs’ “Let’s Rock” presentation from yesterday and I can’t help but notice that Steve is getting old. According to my calculations, he is only 53 years old but is certainly showing his age while presenting these products. Steve has always been a geek 2nd and a businessman first. Despite not being a total geek, he was very intimate with the products being showcased but since 2007, I’ve seen Steve using more cue cards, having more issues with controlling the iPods and clearly staring at the prompter to see what’s up next.
It may be memory loss with a combination of shaky hands but he is certainly getting older. Many CEOs can run a company and don’t do public hands on presentations of the products but Steve has a very visible role at Apple so each time he comes on stage we are watching his every move. If Steve was to remain in his office at Apple and not make public appearances from this day forward, I’m sure talk about his weight loss and signs of aging would never be brought up but when Steve takes an iPod nano and fumbles with the click wheel skipping over a few songs while reading the instruction card, it’s obvious that he’s not young anymore.
Steve even brought Phil Schiller up to play some games on the iPod Touch. Steve tried to pinpoint a specific song on the iPod nano and skipped over it back and forth a few times. He lowered his glasses to read instructions on a card on the table and the entire presentation, he was staring at the prompter at his feet to see what was coming up next. There were many obvious pauses in the presentation and when it came time to read off the iPod Touch pricing, he didn’t even know what it was and paused for 5 seconds to review the pricing prior to hitting the next slide.
Commenters will say that I’m being overly critical and I should leave him alone. I’m just saying that yesterday’s presentation did not force me into a reality distortion field at all because Steve wasn’t the smooth salesman that he used to be. The excitement and buzz of attending a Steve Jobs keynote was lost and now it’s just an old man showing off products that are targeted to people born in the 90s. Sorry Steve. I love Apple and the beautiful products. Your position as CEO is critical to Apple, Inc. but maybe it’s time to step down and let someone else take over the presentations from here on?