what Steve is doing on The Cloud – Day 16 of 30

Thursday 20 September – Day 16 of 30

Steve woke up this morning right on time for his new early-to-rise regimen and immediately set out on his morning walk. Arriving at The Square, he saw that Ghandi was still holding court with his giant sculpture of Lord Ganesh.

In the last twenty-four hours the two of them had acquired a great deal of personal ornamentation—both were festooned with garlands and leis. Candles, bowls of fruit, burning incense, notes, cards, and flowers surrounded them in a tight circle that spread out to the size of a small pond. Even if Gandhi had wanted to abandon his meditative pose and get up for a stroll, he could not.

The Cloud must have a large Hindu population, Steve thought. He hadn’t noticed, because, he admitted to himself, he had paid no attention to his fellow residents. He wanted to sit with Gandhi again, like yesterday, and see if Lord Ganesh could remove some obstacles for him, but he couldn’t even get close.

He went on to breakfast, then to work. During his lunch break he went up to the tenth floor of the ITower for a quick look at the news to see how the new iPhone 5 was doing. He already knew it would be in the stores tomorrow.

Steve did not go back to work this afternoon.

Instead he sat glued to his personal reserved iMac, obsessively reading story after story about the colossal failure of the new Apple maps iOS6 application. He pored over embarrassing screen shots from all over the world showing gas stations on skyline rooftops, the Dublin zoo relocated to the city centre, the disappearance of a town called Stratford-upon-Avon in the UK, directions to a Woolworths that went out of business in 1997, a drop pin marking the location of the Washington Monument in a grassy field several hundred yards south from the real thing, buckled bridges in Germany, clouds obscuring the streets in Switzerland. The map app couldn’t even find the Apple store in Sydney.

He barely glanced at the positive stories (“the handsomest phone you can buy”) and skimmed over the praise (“there’s only one great smartphone”). He took it for granted that the iPhone 5S was the best product in the world—he expected that, he demanded that. Of course they took two million orders in twenty-four hours!

But what happened to the map app? How could they be so stupid? What was Tim thinking, releasing a new product with such a gigantic flaw? Apple had gone so wrong in just one year without him.

Steve was literally paralyzed by his feelings of betrayal and rage. He sat there in the iTower all afternoon, hour after hour, reliving staff meetings and consultations with engineers, remembering his daily life as the CEO of the most valuable company on The Earth.

Gradually he realized what was really going on—he was not angry, his heart was broken. He had put everything he had into his company. He loved Apple. And, clearly, Apple still needed him.

Although he had promised himself, and Gandhi, to give up trying to return to The Earth, Steve knew that was wishful thinking. He was going back.

But how?

(to be continued tomorrow)

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