Two years ago tomorrow, Steve Jobs lost his battle with pancreatic cancer. To commemorate Jobs's passing, Apple CEO Tim Cook is circulating an e-mail honoring Jobs's ingenuity. 9to5Mac obtained a copy of the memo:
Tomorrow marks the second anniversary of Steve’s death. I hope everyone will reflect on what he meant to all of us and to the world. Steve was an amazing human being and left the world a better place. I think of him often and find enormous strength in memories of his friendship, vision and leadership. He left behind a company that only he could have built and his spirit will forever be the foundation of Apple. We will continue to honor his memory by dedicating ourselves to the work he loved so much. There is no higher tribute to his memory. I know that he would be proud of all of you.
It's clear that while Cook's business decisions are of his own making, the company is still heavily influenced by Jobs's legacy. Indeed, we're still debating whether Apple can survive without him.
But Cook's memo is also an important symbolic step for the company. Outsiders — and a good many insiders too, probably — focus a lot today on Apple's tactics, mostly through the prism of Jobs. Would he have approved of this? Would he have done that? One thing the language of mourning accomplishes, however, is an easing of that pressure. Jobs is being transformed from a baseline against which all Apple's actions are judged into a cultural guide. That's going to be really liberating for the company.