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Apple's spirit lives in Apple stores

Steve Jobs retrospective
Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs in the early days of Apple

The reality of an Apple without Steve Jobs fully engaged is starting to set in, and the reminiscing about the past and speculation about the future continues.

Former Apple Macintosh evangelist Guy Kawasaki told Bloomberg TV that Apple equals the Apple store, and they are not dependent on Jobs. "For most people what represents Apple goodness and enchantment is the Apple store," he said. And, Apple stores are the most profitable stores in the nation as measured by sales per square foot of retail space.

Kawasaki also said that Apple's products, not its stellar marketing, has made Apple successful. "Apple is 98-percent engineering and two-percent marketing," Kawasaki said. "It's much easier to add marketing to a great product."

Bloomberg TV also interviewed Jobs' Apple co-founders Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne, who shared tales from the early days of the company, which was incorporated April 1, 1976. Wayne said he knew he was standing in the shadows of brilliant young men, but sold his Apple shares for $800.

Wozniak has no guesses about what Jobs' role would be as Chairman of the Board, but said that Apple would continue to hit "home runs" without Jobs as CEO. "He wants to be an employee, he feels loyal to Apple," Wozniak said. "One thing Steve always did when he found people very good at something, better than the average person, he wanted to hire them...Apple is full of incredible people."

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New Apple CEO Tim Cook sitting at Steve Jobs' right at an event in 2007.
James Martin/CNET

"You can't discount value of Jobs," Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, who worked at Apple briefly as the Macintosh was being born, told Bloomberg. "He is the best CEO in the world." 

Tim Cook has some big shoes to fill. It's like replacing Phil Knight or Richard Branson, Beniofff said, but he believes an Apple without Jobs at the head can stay ahead of competitors. "Apple has delivered multiple generations ahead of everyone else....everyone else trying to catch up to where they are."

The stock market fallout from Jobs' resignation was muted on Thursday. Apple shares closed only marginally down for the day, reflecting a hope for an Apple dividend and some confidence in the future success of the company without Jobs at the helm.