8 Great iPad Launch Memories and 4 Reasons Why Apple Needs A New Steve Jobs

3 minute read
| Editorial

Bethany Bongiorno (@bella-borgiorno) is a former software engineering director at Apple, a stint that included leading software project management efforts for iPad. Over the weekend she tweeted eight memories from creating the iPad, most of which I hadn’t heard before. Four of those memories were stark reminders of just how important Steve Jobs’s penchant for detail was to making Apple’s products great.

Here’s the Twitter thread in full, and I have some commentary below the fold:

Bethany Bongiorno Tweetstorm

The Devil’s in the Details

I love all these anecdotes, and it’s wonderful that Ms. Bongiorno shared them with us. Anecdotes 1, 4, 5, and 7 are the ones that reminded me how important Steve Jobs was to making Apple products insanely great.

He focused on the little details most people simply don’t see, don’t care about, or don’t bother to do anything about even if we do see them. This was always a huge part of what set Apple products off from the competition. Even if we didn’t know why they seemed so much better, the fact that they were better was inescapable.

I’ve never been one to believe, think, or argue that Apple can’t succeed without Steve Jobs. Current CEO Tim Cook has done an amazing job of building on Steve Jobs’s own work ensuring Apple would continue on without him. I’ve gone so far as to argue that Mr. Cook may well be the better CEO to leverage Apple’s incredible success into new and bigger markets.

But in recent months, I’ve been feeling what I fear is Steve Jobs’s absence. From the worst security disaster in modern computing to ever-more frequent UI glitches, Apple seems to need that person who can obsess over the things the rest of us miss. Ms. Bongiorno’s stories were a sober reminder of that reality.

6 Comments Add a comment

  1. Rick Allen

    It does show Steve’s greatness and pedantic attention to detail. Yet I think it must have taken a different mindset to work for him. Seems like if his actions were taken the wrong way; it would seem like a dictatorial micromanaging boss. Of course I only observe from the outside so its great to hear people that actually lived it.

  2. JonGl

    You know, I thought Jonny Ive was supposed to be that person to obsess over the tiny details, etc. But he’s obviously been busy doing other things. Maybe he’ll now get back to these product matters that matter…

  3. NorthSaanichBC

    Steve Jobs is gone. Get over it.

    And no, there was nothing “special” or “different” about SJ’s attention to detail, than it is in Apple since his death. For example… read up on Jon Ive’s almost excruciating attention to detail, just regarding the Apple Park project. Everything from materials used, to methods of construction, even to choosing the ultimate chairs for the building, was painstakingly overseen by Ive.

    And at the same time he was just as involved in the minutia of the development of all the great new Apple products that have been produced since Jobs’ death. These include: the amazing iPad Pro(s); the Apple Watch; AirPods; HomePod; and iMac Pro.

    And that is just Jon Ive’s involvement. There are many other leaders at Apple, like Tim Cook, Angela Ahrendts, Eddy Cue, and Craig Federighi, who have been doing exemplary work in their respective areas of responsibility.

    It’s time to stop pining for the “old days” when Steve Jobs was around, and to actually become aware and appreciative of how innovative Apple has been in his absence.

    • makeitup

      Not to mention, great new Apple products like the garbage can Mac Pro, wonderful Apple Maps, helpful iPhone throttling, the reliable IOS11, intelligent Siri! Yup, carrying on Steve’s legacy.

  4. Jamie

    Apple’s products and mentality have been plenty enough of a sobering reminder over the past number of years all on their own. In my opinion, the iPhone was the last true innovation to emerge out of the Valley. The passing of Jobs was in a very real sense the end of an era, we will likely never have precisely that ever again. Doesn’t mean Apple can’t clean up its act, and I really hope they do.

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