If you were in charge at Apple, what would you do?
See Effective Management p378.
Steve Jobs was certainly central to Apple's operation and success. His charismatic leadership, innovative ideas and centralized decision making brought Apple to the pinnacle of success. However, let's not forget that it's the team that worked to develop new products and the same talent is still there; the only thing missing is Jobs' magic touch.
I would continue with the innovative product development and launches, as has been the strategy of Apple for the last decade. Our product has to be at least a few generations ahead of our competitors, so novel that it should not even be in the research division of any other company. Our success is contingent upon such products. Remember the first iPhone; it was beyond anything that was conceivable at that time. Apart from refreshing our product line and new product launches, we have to maintain our margins. We can use our cash reserves for acquiring small but innovative companies whose products are crucial for our product development.
There are no substitutes for Steve, but Apple has been doing fine without him. The stocks are near record high and Apple is projected to attain a market valuation of 1 trillion dollars (US) in the near future. Steve's leadership cannot be replaced, however we can do all we can to keep Apple ahead of the pack. I would go with centralized decision-making at Apple, with Tim Cook leading Apple (instead of just managing it) and all employees following one theme (decided by the CEO and top management) with passion to deliver the most innovative product. Apple is synonymous with novelty and style and as long as these continue to be the theme, Apple will stay successful. I would motivate my engineers and developers and stress that they are the same guys who gave us the iPod, iPhone, iPad and iCloud; now is the time to shift gears and bring out something new using the same passion they displayed under Steve's leadership. And I believe that Apple will continue to lead the market for years to come.