There is something almost pop-starish about Steve Jobs, the CEO of Apple. For a while, when his health was really suffering, there was a spate of articles about how the company might survive without him and as he strode across the stage at the developers conference no doubt there will be thoughts like that again.
Jobs is so integral to the success of Apple and gives the company a personality that would be difficult to replace. When he tells you that the iPhone 4 is going to be fantastic you find yourself wanting to believe it. If you feel like that you are not alone as the iPad has sold 2m units in just two months and this is for a product that comes at a premium in a tough market.
But people just feel that they have to own the latest Apple product and generally once they have purchased a product the users act as evangelists and demonstrators without further prompting from the vendor and the numbers of people who fall into that category are growing.
But for it to continue Apple not only needs to continue developing quality products that ooze designer values but it needs Jobs at the head and out there on stage selling the vision.
He is good, of that there is no doubt, and you can hear the whoops as he talks about the latest release being "the biggest leap since the launch of the iPhone". But as some of the big personalities have proved in the past when they go so does the spotlight on the company.
Sun was never quite the same after Scott McNealy stepped out of the spotlight and would Oracle be the company it was without the personality that is Larry Ellison?
Those of us in the media like to have some big personalities around but vendor boardrooms are clearly drawn into it as well with Jobs acting as an example of how well it can work. Hopefully he can keep showing how it works for sometime to come.
This was first published in June 2010