Facebook’s so-called “pivot to privacy” has elicited a number of reactions. One of the more incisive ones comes from Kara Swisher. In a New York Times Sunday review column, Ms. Swisher compared Facebook’s attempts to bolster private messaging, in direct competition with Snapchat, to the battle between Steve Jobs and Bill Gates. In that case, Mr. Jobs’s “stunning creativity” eventually “won out.” This time, the size of Facebook may mean Mr. Zuckerberg can make a success of the Snapchat model. If he really means it.
Mr. Zuckerberg is to Bill Gates as Mr. Spiegel is to Steve Jobs. Mr. Jobs always had better ideas and vision than Mr. Gates. But Apple spent a long time in dire straits while he pushed his high-level concepts about security, privacy, and design and simplicity. Mr. Gates, on the other hand, was an unqualified genius at business models and systems, and he clearly understood the depressing truth that good enough was good enough for a lot of consumers.
Bryan Chaffin is joined by Dave Hamilton to take a very high-level look at Apple, comparing the company from its early days to the company of today, and looking ahead to what kind of company Apple might be tomorrow.
Johnathon Heaf writes how Apple’s white earbuds changed the industry forever. It all started with the iPod.
The “silhouette campaign” ads, which I’m sure many of you remember more than the early hardware, focused on the white earbuds that came with each iPod – a design feature that Ive has since stated was pure serendipity.
When he first saw the ads, Steve Jobs was worried the iPod wasn’t visible enough. Yet they were popular because they were fun and emotive.
The Macintosh turns 35 today. Steven Jobs unveiled the product on January 24, 1984 during Apple’s annual shareholders meeting.
The original Macintosh was priced at $2,495 in the United States, equivalent to just over $6,000 today, and was a big deal because of its graphical user interface rather than command-line interface. Tech specs included an 8 MHz Motorola 68000 processor, 128 KB of RAM, and a 400 KB floppy disk drive.
The 2018 iPhones were fairly expensive, and this isn’t a new Apple strategy. The company has been down this road before with the Lisa computer.
Named for Saint Steve’s daughter, the Lisa project kicked off in 1978, finally making an appearance on 19 January 1983. It was pitched as a graphical competitor to the tiresome text-based computers dominating the marketplace.
Aside from all the snark the author pumped into the article, it’s a nice blast from the past. As Battlestar Galactica says, “All of this has happened before and all of this will happen again.”
Former Apple software Vice President Scott Forstall has focussed on Broadway productions since leaving Silicon Valley. However, he does occasionally hark back to his time in tech. He did that in an October episode of the Philosophy Talk podcast, the full video of which was posted on YouTube on Tuesday. The interview, noticed by 9to5Mac, gives a fascinating insight into creativity and working for Steve Jobs. Mr. Forstall also discussed Apple TV, which he said came from somebody presenting him with the idea of a 10-ft user interface. It “was invented because someone was encouraged to do whatever they wanted for a month,” Mr. Forstall explained.
Operations are supposed to be what Tim Cook does best. Under Steve Jobs he was the Chief Operating Officer at Apple. And while he may have done a great job there, he is a failure at it as CEO.
Bryan Chaffin and John Kheit chew on Apple’s rare guidance warning like the mangy junk yard dogs that they are. They also discuss innovation, scale, how a giant Apple should be structured, and what a Macintosh, Inc. spinoff might look like. It’s a rollicking episode, and you’re cordially invited to listen in!
Designers would win by being able to make more focused and less compromised designs; consumers would win with more choices; Apple would win with greater focused products, more revenue, better margins, and better market share.
Bryan Chaffin is joined by guest-host Peter Cohen to discuss Apple’s cloud services, including the ones they do really well and the ones that suck. They also talk about password management and practices, and look at Apple’s leadership team 8 years after Steve Jobs’s passing.
So far, Apple and other companies have invoked Machine Learning to make our lives better. But there’s also a dark side looming.
Curiosity.com writes about Steve Jobs and the first iPhone. There was a little more to that keynote than meets the eye.
The iMac is 20 years old, and it’s the computer that started Apple down the path to become the first company with a trillion dollar market cap. Then interim CEO Steve Jobs unveiled the first iMac on stage in May 1998, and the all-in-one computer shipped on August 15th. That computer shipped with a 233 MHz G3 processor, Mac OS 8.1, a 4 GB hard drive, and was the first Mac with USB. Check out Steve unveiling the original Bondi Blue iMac.
Lisa Brennan-Jobs, daughter of Steve Jobs, is publishing a book on September 4, 2018. She tells the story of “the pride and pain of a childhood spent navigating the vastness between her struggling single mom and Apple’s mercurial founder.” She wrote a book adaptation for Vanity Fair where she discusses some of her experiences.
In the spring of 1978, when my parents were 23, my mother gave birth to me on their friend Robert’s farm in Oregon, with the help of two midwives. The labor and delivery took three hours, start to finish. My father arrived a few days later. “It’s not my kid,” he kept telling everyone at the farm, but he’d flown there to meet me anyway. I had black hair and a big nose, and Robert said, “She sure looks like you.”
My parents took me out into a field, laid me on a blanket, and looked through the pages of a baby-name book. He wanted to name me Claire. They went through several names but couldn’t agree. They didn’t want something derivative, a shorter version of a longer name.
John Martellaro and Dave Hamilton join Jeff Gamet to talk about the emotional aspect of Apple’s trillion dollar market cap, and the Lisa Brennan-Jobs memoir about growing up as Steve Jobs’ daughter.
Of the top 50 companies in the S&P 500, 78% are directly connected via one or more board members.
Steve Jobs was an interesting and fascinating man, and his interviews reflect that. If you’re interested in checking out his insights going back to 1980—well before the internet and smartphones—check out the All About Steve Jobs website. Their collection of interviews includes magazine articles along with videos from Rolling Stone, Playboy, Fortune, Smithsonian, and more.
Cult of Mac brings us news of a Steve Jobs portrait created from cigarette ash. Regardless of whether you think Mr. Jobs would approve this “toxic portrait” or not (I mean, yes cigarette chemicals are toxic), I think it’s a cool and creative way to make art. I don’t think I’ve ever seen ash art before, and this image of Mr. Jobs is very well done. The artist—who goes by the name Shin—recreated the famous Albert Watson photo, with Mr. Jobs posing and resting his hand on his chin. Shin also uses food and paper cups as media. You can find more of Shin’s work on Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.
The U.S. Senate passed legislation that would restore Net Neutrality in the country, but Bryan Chaffin and Jeff Gamet explain why they don’t think it will go any further. They also break down Ralph Nader’s kind-of-weird whiff in complaining about Apple’s share buyback program. They cap the show with a look at how Sir Jony Ive is a watch-man, though Steve Jobs wasn’t involved with Apple Watch.
Check out this wonderful presentation from Susan Kare, a member of the original Mac team who designed the icons and typography for those early Macs. This movie has been around for years, but I just saw it in a piece at Tested about the Command Key icon. That story is part of the presentation and involves Steve Jobs. In fact, it includes all kinds of anecdotes and lore, and if you’re interested in Apple or Apple products, you will enjoy watching this presentation. And the reality is if you use a modern computing device, you owe Susan Kare a debt of gratitude. She’s done a lot of work for many other companies, too, and she touches on that in this preso. It’s great!