Betteridge’s Law says that “Any headline that ends in a question mark can be answered by the word no.” I don’t know if there’s a similar named law that covers the assertion “This isn’t what Steve Jobs would have done,” but I know that’s something most of us try to avoid. Because. Times have changed. CEO Tim Cook is in charge. Apple is much larger and wealthier. Because.
Those who knew Steve Jobs well or worked with him closely are entitled to make observations about the current ledership of Apple. In this case, it’s the esteemed Ken Segall. The article is: “Apple: earning the wrath of Steve.”
There, Mr. Segall notes that, for Mr. Jobs, wasting time was an “unforgivable sin.” He writes:
I saw this more than once in our regular marketing meetings. Someone would confidently present their ideas, Steve would ponder for a moment, and then let it out: “That’s it? You could have done this one day after our last meeting. What have you been doing for the past two weeks?”
The conclusion is this regarding Apple’s Oct 27, 2016 “hello again” event. We waited. Apple built up expectations, as they do, depending on our patience and loyalty to rescue them from the inevitable dashed hopes. Apple let us down. Apple wasted our time..
Accordingly, we are irritable. Disappointed. Less likely to forgive Apple’s lapses, silences and delays.
At the end of Mr. Segall’s note, we get the punch line.
I think it’s up to Apple to explain ‘what they’ve been doing all these years.’
In days of old, when Steve expressed that bit of displeasure, people would work around the clock to fix things, as if their jobs depend on it. Which was a pretty good assessment of reality.
Apple’s rise from the ashes has been powered by its ability to fire on all cylinders at once. Today at least a few cylinders seem to be sputtering.
I know Apple cares deeply about its customers, but it has to say that out loud. And in the world of Apple, it’s the products that do the talking.
My reaction to Mr. Segall’s excellent article is to wonder what would have happened if Mr. Cook and Mr. Schiller had been able to magically present, in another timeline, their “hello again” event agenda to Mr. Jobs a week before the event. What might the reaction have been?
It might have been something like this. “That’s it? That’s all you have to present? You kept your customers waiting for years, and now you’ve built up their hopes, leveraging from my iMac announcement, and that’s all you have to deliver? You’ve wasted my time. Rewrite the script and show me again tomorrow.”
It’s something to ponder.
This discussion closes the books for me on that event. It’s time for a new year and new beginnings for Apple.
Next page: The news debris for the week of December 2nd. Phooey on growth. Build out the Apple ecosystem.