I Shall Now Make My Apple Event Predictions!

I always like to make my predictions AFTER the fact. Improves accuracy. Yet I’m still bound to get a few things wrong.

You can only predict things after they have happened. ~ Eugene Ionesco

Truth be told, I’m working on some massive articles regarding the Apple Event and they’re just not done. I simply haven’t been able to absorb the information yet and I’d rather do it right than do it now.

I’m finding it impossible to keep up with the research in my field” (said every researcher ever throughout history). ~ David Smith (@drs1969)

So I thought I’d fill this week’s column with my quick takes on last Tuesday’s Apple Event.


Surprises? Not So Much.

Lots of leaks. Few surprises.

Sales Projections

Expected sales? AT&T said that iPhone 6 demand was “off the charts” and Apple has confirmed the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus crushed earlier preorder records. So how many are they going to sell?

My official answer to how many iPhones Apple will sell in the holiday quarter— crap tons. ~ Ben Bajarin (@BenBajarin)

Average Sales Price

Apple is selling its base mode iPhone with 16 gigabytes  of storage and its mid-tier iPhone with 64 gigabytes of storage. Further, the iPhone 6 Plus starts $100 higher than all previous iPhone models did before it.

Apple has 10% of handset sales, high-end Android another 10% and the rest of Android a further 40% (& growing). Guess which Apple targeted. ~ Benedict Evans (@BenedictEvans)

A weird thing is about to happen. The Average Sales Price of the iPhone is about to go UP! That’ll put a real dent in the “iPhone” is a commodity theory.

The iPhone Is A Commodity Claim Chowder

With all things tech, fused products and commoditization are inevitable markers of the product cycle. The iPhone 5 will be Apple’s last hurrah as competitors increasingly gain ground. ~ Kofi Bofah, Onyx Investments, 29 August 2012

As the mobile phone market increasingly offers more quality phones at a range of price points, Apple now faces a difficult choice. Does it try to remain a premium product-premium price company, or does it dive into the commoditized lower priced arena? Neither choice is very appealing. ~ Bob Chandler, Motley Fool, 2 May 2013

I’m guessing the choice to go premium wasn’t as tough as old Bob here imagined it to be.

Phones and tablets are inevitably following computers into commoditization. ~ Peter Nowak, MacLeans.ca, 28 January 2013

The iPhone as a commodity. That’s really all Apple’s iStuff is — an enormous and very profitable fad. It’s the Pet Rock of the new millennium. ~ Anders Bylund, Motley Fook, 6 Mar 2012



Here’s a couple of miscellaneous thoughts for you all to chew upon as you wait for me to finish my research and publish my Magnum Opus on the Apple Event:

It’s still a common mistake to see smartphones (and even phones) as a luxury. In fact, their value is inversely proportionate to income. ~ Benedict Evans (@BenedictEvans) 8/15/14

More people on earth have a mobile phone than a street address. ~ Benedict Evans (@BenedictEvans)


There’s been a lot of talk of late about tablets diminishing in importance. I don’t see it that way. To me, phones and tablets are just one big continuum — they’re all tablets. But that’s an article for another day.



Platform building is one of the hardest things in tech. A payment platform requires simultaneous adoption by 1) Banks; 2) Retailers; and 3) Consumers. It took years and years and years for credit cards to finally gain critical mass and they were mocked all along the way.

How do you stop a charging Rhino? You take away its credit card.

And many digital payment schemes have come and gone without consumers even noticing.

Only here’s the thing. Apple makes platform building — the hardest thing in tech — look easy. Take a gander at some of the ads that appeared on the very day of the Pay announcement:




Some people say Apple is late to the NFC party. But until Apple showed up, NFC was a wake, not a party.

It will take years for this to play out, but I believe Apple has already pushed digital payments past the tipping point. Pay is a done deal. Once we’re using our phones (and watches) to make payments, it will change the way retail looks and works forever.

Never underestimate the impact of the law of unexpected consequences. ~ Harvey B. Mackay


On his ‘Critical Path’ podcast, Horace Dediu expressed surprise at Apple’s move from i-everything to -everything branding. I am surprised by his surprise.

iNames, RIP. ~ John Gruber (@gruber)

The “i” Brand was misnamed from the start (not that it matters to a brand). It originally stood for “i”nternet in the iMac and now it’s simply a nonsensical way of knowing it is made by Apple. Apple is moving into an era where they need consumers to know the product or service was made by Apple. “iPay” would have been generic. Pay is anything but generic. The  branding is both a name and a logo and the  will put Apple’s brand in your face — which is right where Apple wants it to be.


Mea Culpa

I thought the Apple Watch would be more of a wrist band, less of watch. I was very concerned about battery life, so I thought the Apple wearable might have no screen. I was wrong.

Apple went the fashion route. Now, the fact Apple made all those fashion hires should have been telling me something. But I wasn’t able to put 2 + 2 together. It’s not the first time I’ve been wrong about Apple and it most certainly won’t be the last.


A lot of the post-Apple Event discussion on the Watch has been around whether Apple provided the “why”. “Why should I buy this?” “Why does this product even exist?” My favorite take on this so far is by Ben Thompson at Stretechery: “APPLE WATCH: ASKING WHY AND SAYING NO“.

I agree with most of Ben’s article but I have some serious issues with a couple of the details. I hope to write a too long article about this in the not terribly distant future.

What’s Next

Here’s a rough outline of the series of articles I’m working on:

  1. The Why Of The Watch
  2. Steve Jobs On Category Creation
  3. Category Mistakes We Makes
  4. Knee Jerk Objections
  5. Lessons Unlearned
  6. Watch Use Cases
  7. Watch User Interface
  8. First Generation Issues
  9. Fashion Issues
  10. Price Issues

All topics are subject to change.

Change is inevitable, except from vending machines. ~ Anonymous

I hope to have the articles done before Watch 2.0 comes on the market in 2016.


Rest assured, the Watch is no hobby. Tim Cook used the “one more thing” line to announce the Watch. He called it the “Next Chapter” in Apple’s story. And it was announced by Tim Cook himself. If the Watch fails to become a category, it won’t be due to any lack of effort on Apple’s part.


Apple’s Wheelhouse

Keep the following in mind. As things get smaller, design matters more. And as design matters more, Apple’s expertise in design matters more.

I love how people say a big company can just ‘get good’ at design – they’d never say that about search or AI or big data in the same way. ~ Benedict Evans (@BenedictEvans)

Further, as things get more personal, fashion matters more. And fashion is an alien concept to most tech companies (and to most tech observers, like you and me). Apple is way, way ahead of most companies in design. And they seem to have “stolen a march” on most companies when it comes to fashion, too. Apple’s wearable products will never achieve mass adoption. However, Apple seems willing to settle for massive admiration (and massive profits) instead.

The most expensive Apple Watch will cost more than the most expensive iPhone which will cost more than most PCs. ~ Horace Dediu (@asymco)

Claim Chowder, Redux

Finally, I’ll end with some delicious claim chowder. Enjoy!

I was talking recently to someone who knew Apple well, and I asked him if the people now running the company would be able to keep creating new things the way Apple had under Steve Jobs. His answer was simply ‘no.’ I already feared that would be the answer. I asked more to see how he’d qualify it. But he didn’t qualify it at all. No, there will be no more great new stuff beyond whatever’s currently in the pipeline. ~ Paul Graham, March 2012

(W)hy are people losing their faith in the money-making machine that is Apple? Maybe it’s because they’ve done it all. What is there left for Apple to do? ~ ~ Emily Knapp, Wall St Cheat Sheet, 24 May 2011


Tim Cook Has The Know-How But Steve Jobs Had The Know-Why

On June 13, 2014, John Gruber posted his epic, “Only Apple.” In part of his article, Gruber focused specifically on the changes occurring at Apple under new CEO, Tim Cook.

Jobs was a great CEO for leading Apple to become big. But Cook is a great CEO for leading Apple now that it is big, to allow the company to take advantage of its size and success. Matt Drance said it, and so will I: What we saw last week at WWDC 2014 would not have happened under Steve Jobs.

New Apple didn’t need a reset. New Apple needed to grow up. To stop behaving like an insular underdog on the margins and start acting like the industry leader and cultural force it so clearly has become. ~ John Gruber

These words were received with near unanimous approval by the Apple community. But is Gruber’s sentiment accurate? Does Apple really need to “grow up” and become more mature? Whatever happened to Steve Jobs’s famous admonition that one should:

“Stay hungry, stay foolish”? ((Stewart [Brand] and his team put out several issues of the Whole Earth Catalog, and then when it had run its course, they put out a final issue. . . . On the back cover of their final issue was a photograph of an early morning country road, the kind you might find yourself hitchhiking on if you were so adventurous. Beneath were the words, “Stay hungry, stay foolish.” It was their farewell message as they signed off. “Stay hungry, stay foolish.” ~ Steve Jobs))

Is Tim Cook The Better CEO?

When Cook succeeded Jobs, the question we all asked was more or less binary: Would Apple decline without Steve Jobs? What seems to have gone largely unconsidered is whether Apple would thrive with Cook at the helm, achieving things the company wasn’t able to do under the leadership of the autocratic and mercurial Jobs.” ~ John Gruber

There’s not a doubt in my mind that Tim Cook is a better CEO than Steve Jobs ever was. I thought so from day one. But is that the right question? Shouldn’t we be asking ourselves instead whether or not Tim Cook is a leader and whether he can lead Apple forward without Apple losing that rare mixture of genius and madness that made Apple so very unique?

The Price Of Efficiency

It has long been axiomatic that Apple is not the sort of company that could walk and chew gum at the same time. In 2007, they issued a (very Steve Jobs-sounding) press release that stated Mac OS X Leopard would be delayed five months because the iPhone consumed too many resources:

However, iPhone contains the most sophisticated software ever shipped on a mobile device, and finishing it on time has not come without a price — we had to borrow some key software engineering and QA resources from our Mac OS X team, and as a result we will not be able to release Leopard at our Worldwide Developers Conference in early June as planned.

Or consider the October 2010 “Back to the Mac” event, the entire point of which was to announce features and apps for the Mac that had started life on iOS years earlier. ~ John Gruber

Apple has always generated stories like this. It’s long been a given that Apple is understaffed — that Apple had only one guy doing project X and when he got pulled to work on project Y, project X foundered and ground to a halt. Such delays drove us all crazy as understaffed Apple let things — important things — linger, sometimes near death.

But did you ever ask yourself why this was? It’s not like Apple was under resourced. They’ve got more money than god. And it’s not like Steve Jobs was a head-in-the-clouds CEO who didn’t recognize the need to acquire additional talent. So why? Why?

Throughout the years in business, I found something. I always ask why you do things. The answers you invariably get is, “That’s just the way it’s done.” Nobody knows why they do what they do. Nobody thinks about things very deeply in business, that’s what I found. ~ Steve Jobs

Being inefficient was one of the many prices Apple paid for having Steve Jobs as its CEO. Jobs notoriously didn’t tolerate “B” players on his team. He felt they infected the company and soon led to the proliferation of “C” players as well. Jobs wanted only “A” players and he was willing to have Apple be understaffed rather than to fill vacancies with anything less that what he deemed to be the best.

[pullquote]Some enjoy comforting the the afflicted. Steve Jobs enjoyed afflicting the comfortable.[/pullquote]

So you put the B team on this one, did you? ~ Steve Jobs

The result? Superb products that were always running on the edge, always running late; always in danger of not coming out in a timely fashion or in any fashion at all.

This is a very uncomfortable way to run a company. It’s a very inefficient way to run a company. But it also proved to be a very effective way to run a company.

Is Apple running smoother now? Undoubtably. But is that necessarily the good thing everyone seems to think it is? Perhaps not.

Apple Wants To Be The Developer’s Friend

John Gruber writes:

(Apple has) begun to act more magnanimously. They’ve given third-party developers more of what we have been asking for than ever before, including things we never thought they’d do. Panic’s Cabel Sasser tweeted:

My 2¢: for the past few years it’s felt like Apple’s only goal was to put us in our place. Now it feels like they might want to be friends.

It’s ironic (to me, at least) that John Gruber used the above tweet as an example of how well Apple is doing when, in my article entitled “Whither Apple or Wither Apple?“, I used that very same tweet as a cautionary tale. My take from that article:

You know who needs a friend, Cabel? End users, that’s who. Because when developers become more important than end users you get — Microsoft. Putting developers “in their place” — which is, to say, placed behind end users — is exactly what Apple should be doing.

Does the above mean that I want Apple to not have a good relationship with their developers? Not at all. I just don’t want that increased friendliness come at the cost of losing focus on the end user. Because if that focus is lost, Apple is lost as well.

Efficiency vs. Effectiveness

Undoubtably, Tim Cook is making the machine that is Apple run more efficiently. But efficiency is getting the trains to run on time. Effectiveness is getting the trains to the right stations. It doesn’t matter how fast you’re going, unless you’re going in the right direction.

My philosophy is that everything starts with a great product. ~ Steve Jobs

Sure, what we do has to make commercial sense, but it’s never the starting point. We start with the product and the user experience. ~ Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs’s “North Star” was making a great product that provided the end user with a great experience. But what is Tim Cook’s guiding principle?

What is Apple’s mission? To make the very best products in the world that really deeply enrich people’s lives. ~ Tim Cook

Identical in word. That’s good. But identical in deed? That’s the hard part.

Creativity Is Fragile

I’ve found that the most creative people are confident about one thing: their doubts in themselves. ~ johnmaeda (@johnmaeda)

At the memorial service given on the Apple campus following Steve Jobs’ death, Jony Ive had this to say:

[pullquote]Creativity comes from spontaneous meetings, from random discussions. You run into someone, you ask what they’re doing, you say “wow,” and soon you’re cooking up all sorts of ideas. ~ Steve Jobs[/pullquote]

Steve used to say to me (and he used to say this a lot), “Hey Jony, here’s a dopey idea.” And sometimes they were — really dopey. Sometimes they were truly dreadful.

But sometimes they took the air from the room, and they left us both completely silent. Bold, crazy, magnificent ideas. Or quiet, simple ones which, in their subtlety, their detail, they were utterly profound.


As I re-watched the video and re-read the transcript of Ive’s speech, I was re-reminded of the fact that creativity lives on the edge.

[pullquote]This is the thing about creativity that is rarely acknowledged: Most people don’t actually like it. ~ @jessicaolien[/pullquote]

Creativity is the power to connect the seemingly unconnected. ~ William Plomer

Creativity is dopey thinking — right up until the moment when it suddenly becomes brilliant. It’s unimaginable thinking — right up until the moment that it suddenly becomes the only solution imaginable. It’s uncomfortable thinking, it’s dangerous thinking, it’s lonely, isolated thinking — right up until the moment when it’s embraced by all.

Artists often work within the uncomfortable space that precedes “Aha!” or “Oh, I get it!” ~ johnmaeda (@johnmaeda)

People listened to to the crazy, creative ideas of Steve Jobs because Steve Jobs was Steve Jobs and Steve Jobs was the CEO. And sometimes even that wasn’t enough. Sometimes, they STILL didn’t listen to Steve Jobs and they fired Steve Jobs, even from the company he had helped to found.

Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted. ~ Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Genius is more often found in a cracked pot than in a whole one. ~ E. B. White

Now that Steve Jobs is gone, who is there at Apple to promulgate, and to promote and — most of all — to protect fragile new ideas?

The best CEOs try to make their companies a safe place for those with wild ideas, and a wild place for those with safe ideas. ~ Dr. Mardy


Worldly wisdom teaches that it is better for reputation to fail conventionally than to succeed unconventionally. ~ John Maynard Keynes

know how knowledge or education concept with button on computer keyboard

The thing that bound us together at Apple was the ability to make things that were going to change the world. ~ Steve Jobs

[pullquote]The art of progress is to preserve order amid change and to preserve change amid order. ~ Alfred North Whitehead[/pullquote]

Despite all my questioning and kvetching, I do believe that Tim Cook is — as Steve Jobs was — bound to Apple by his desire to make things that are going to change the world. And I believe that Tim Cook is just crazy enough to give the crazy people the run of the company. ((Updated language courtesy of Michael Glotzer @Mglo))

But I don’t know that for sure. It’s far, far too early to make that call.

Now don’t get me wrong. Based on all the available evidence, the verdict is clear — Cook and Apple are on the right track.

But that’s exactly the problem. There’s mounds of evidence in existence that we are not privy to. And there will be mountains more evidence produced over the next couple of years. So any verdict reached today will be terribly, terribly premature.

[pullquote]Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the wise. Seek what they sought. ~ Matsuo Basho[/pullquote]

You can’t connect the dots looking forward you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something: your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leads you off the well-worn path. ~ Steve Jobs

images-100It’s as if Steve Jobs was speaking to us — and particularly to Tim Cook — from beyond the grave. Tim Cook has to be his own man and do his own thing. We know he’s got the know-how to do the job. We’ll have to wait and see if he, and Apple, still retain the know-why.

Why Apple Is Not Like A Movie Studio

On April 22, 2014, Walt Mossberg wrote an article entitled: “Why Apple Is Like A Movie Studio.”

Is This The Beginning Of The End?

    “Some have argued that Apple’s era of greatness is over, that with CEO Tim Cook sitting in Mr. Jobs’s chair, the magic is gone, and Apple is now, at best, just an ordinary company. Others have countered that, financially, Apple is still doing quite well, and that there’s no evidence that it’s out of ideas.” ~ Walt Mossberg

Let’s make one thing crystal clear from the start. This is not a new debate. The debate over whether Apple’s “magic” is gone didn’t start with Steve Jobs’ death, it started with Apple’s birth. The only difference between the Apple doomsayers of today and the Apple doomsayers of yesteryear is pundits used to say Apple was doomed BECAUSE of Steve Jobs. Today pundits say Apple is doomed because of the ABSENCE of Steve Jobs. The doomsayers have altered their lyrics, but they haven’t changed their tune.

Where Is This Parade Of Which You Speak?

    “Steve Jobs has been dead for about two and a half years now, and it’s hard not to notice that the regular parade of game-changing Apple products for which he was famous seems to have disappeared with him.” ~ Walt Mossberg


The founding premise, upon which Mr. Mossberg’s entire article is built, simply doesn’t exist. There never was and there never will be a “regular parade of game-changing (tech) products” under Steve Jobs or anyone else. True game-changers are few and far between. And they appear sporadically and at anything but regular intervals.

Expecting Steve Jobs’ successor or Steve Jobs himself or anyone for that matter, to produce disruptive, game-changing, category busting products every couple of years simply ignores reality. Tech game-changers are to tech iteration as diamonds are to coal: rare, extremely hard to discover and precious.

Is Apple Like A Movie Studio?

    “…I think the most useful way of thinking about Apple is to see it as a movie studio. Studios release blockbuster franchise movies every few years, and then try to live off a series of sequels until the next big, successful franchise.” ~ Walt Mossberg

Spool and filmWith all due respect, you simply cannot compare the creation of a movie franchise to the creation of a disruptive, game-changing, category creating product. They’re at different orders of magnitude.

  1. A movie franchise emerges once every few years.
  2. A game-changing product emerges once every few decades.
  3. A movie franchise alters the course a company.
  4. A game-changing technology product alters the course of an industry.

Take, as a single example, the notebook computer.

The notebook computer was basically re-invented when the PowerBook was introduced in 1991.

(T)he first PowerBook would set the standard for basic laptop design for the next twenty years, a fact that still surprises everyone. “We hit a homerun with the PowerBook,” Brunner said. “It surprised me to death. There were so many flaws with that machine and that design. I thought it was going to be a huge failure. But looking back today, basically all laptops are that design—a recessed keyboard, palm rests, a central pointing device.” ~ Excerpt From: Leander Kahney. “Jony Ive.”

The basic design for the notebook wasn’t changed again until the introduction of the tablet in 2010 — some nineteen years later.

Demanding Apple “re-invent” computing again — only 4 years after the release of the iPad — is akin to demanding the movie industry evolve from live stage performances, to silent films, to talkies, to digital special effects, every few years. It’s simply unreasonable.

Is It Now Or Never For The Sequel To The iPad?

    (S)equel time is almost up. It’s time for a new franchise. And it had better be desirable, logical and elegant. ~ Walt Mossberg

Are you kidding me?

You say: “time is almost up.” Why is that?

Wasn’t there time enough for the iPod to disrupt the MP3 market? Wasn’t there time enough for the iPhone to disrupt the smartphone market? Wasn’t there time enough for the iPad to disrupt the tablet market?

History’s Answer: “Yes, yes, and oh hell yes.”

You say Apple’s offering “had better be desirable, logical and elegant.” Why is that?

images-87It’s not as if Apple’s tech competitor’s have gotten any traction in the marketplace with the “next great thing” in tech. In fact, when it comes to products like wearables, tech companies clearly don’t have a clue what they should be offering. They keep throwing every conceivable sort of device at the consumer in the hope something sticks and the consumer, in their turn, keeps chucking everything right back at them.

Why The Double Standard?

Why does Apple and Apple alone have to release a new “franchise” every couple of years? Why are there no calls for semi-annual new “franchises” from other tech companies?

Some of the “rules of thumb” regarding success are nothing succeeds like success; success breeds success; past success is a predictor of future success. However, when it comes to Apple — and only Apple — pundits instead apply a “rule of dumb”: Apple succeeded through sheer dumb luck and the odds are bound to catch up with them sooner rather than later; Apple is a one-hit wonder with, admittedly, a string of hits, which only makes it all the more certain their next offering will be a flop; while everyone else is taking target practice, Apple is playing Russian Roulette — each and every time Apple successfully pulls the trigger on another category, it also adds another bullet to the chamber, another nail in the coffin that has been patiently waiting for them these many years.

Worldly wisdom teaches that it is better for reputation to fail conventionally than to succeed unconventionally. ~ John Maynard Keynes

Does Apple Want To Be Pixar?

Apple is not like a movie studio. Pixar is like a movie studio. Pixar had only one innovation but it was a beaut– a process for creating hit animated films. Since then, Pixar has only iterated and iterated and iterated. And not only is that good enough, it’s great. It’s turned Pixar into a movie making hit machine.

Why would Apple want to become Pixar? Think about it. Apple has done everything that Pixar has done, and more. It is Pixar, that might aspire to become Apple. And to do so, they would have to create a new process — a process that would not only revolutionize the way Pixar made movies, but a process that revolutionized the way everyone made movies.

Then they would have to do it again.

And again and again.

Every once in a while a revolutionary product comes along that changes everything. It’s very fortunate if you can work on just one of these in your career. Apple’s been very fortunate in that it’s introduced a few of these. ~ Steve Jobs

Will Apple Ever Be Disruptive Again?

Apple is a hit machine, like Pixar, but they’re also serial disruptors — like no one else I’ve ever seen. The hits come out year after year after year. The disruptions (Apple II, Macintosh, iPod, iPhone and iPad) arrive not so regularly and not so much.

Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened. ~ Dr. Seuss

I honestly don’t know if Apple will ever create another disruptive product. Truth be told, we should be amazed Apple has created as many game-changers as they have. When you look at the careers of geniuses, almost all of them had their breakthroughs before they were thirty. Steve Jobs had breakthroughs before the age of thirty but as the days of his life dwindled, the speed and size of his disruptive innovations grew. And despite his premature death, his biggest disruption may be still to come.

I discovered that the best innovation is sometimes the company, the way you organize a company. The whole notion of how you build a company is fascinating. ~ Steve Jobs

Pixar has created a process that routinely churns out mega-successful movie hits. Did Steve Jobs create a process that would allow Apple to remain a serial disruptor? Only time will tell…

…but time knows how to keep a secret and it probably won’t be telling us any time too soon.

This Is It. This Is Apple. This Is Their Design.

On June 10, 2013, during the Apple World Wide Developer Conference (WWDC) keynote, Apple unveiled two new videos: “Intention” and “Our Signature

Two videos, but only one message.

Author’s note: All of the quotes from Apple’s videos are: “in bold text”.

“This is it.”

In those videos, Apple revealed its mission, its purpose, its essence, its raison d’etre and – perhaps – a bit of its soul.

This is the post-Steve Jobs manifesto. This is Tim Cook’s Apple. This is Apple’s new brand. This is Apple.

Something happens to companies when they get to be a few million dollars — their souls go away. And that’s the biggest thing I’ll be measured on: Were we able to grow a $10 billion company that didn’t lose its soul? ~ Steve Jobs

“This is what matters.”

“Listen up,” Apple is virtually saying to its customers, its employees, its investors, the analysts, the media, the pundits, and even to its competitors. “Listen up,” Apple is saying, “we’re telling you who we are and how we roll. This is our plan. This is our design. This is our intention. You should be paying attention.”

The Questions One Asks Inform The Answers One Receives

“The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution.” ~ Bertrand Russell

“The first thing we ask is:

How it makes someone feel.

The experience of a product.

Who will this help?

Will it make life better?

Does this deserve to exist?”

Wow. Just wow.

Look at the types of extraordinary questions that Apple is asking itself. Talk about Thinking Different. It takes one’s breath away.

— Do you think that Microsoft asked such questions before it foisted Windows 8 on its customers?
— Do you think that Google asked such questions before it announced the Nexus Q?
— Do you think that Dell asked such questions — about anything, ever?
— Do you think that Apple asked such questions before they announced their mapping solution last year? ((Maps was a strategic move, a business move, perhaps even a mandatory move. But Apple has paid a terrible public relations price for prioritizing their needs over the needs of their customers.))
— Does your organization – or any organization you know – ask such piercing questions?

Judge a man by his questions rather than his answers.

Let’s pause and take a moment to parse these questions a bit further.

“How it makes someone feel. The experience of a product.”

Ultimately, of course, design defines so much of our experience. ~ Jony Ive

This is huge. Apple doesn’t start with the specs or the features. They don’t start with corporate budgets or corporate agendas. They don’t start with what it should look like or how it fits into their current product lineup.

You’ve got to start with the customer experience and work back toward the technology — not the other way around. ~ Steve Jobs

Apple starts with how the product or service makes someone FEEL. That person’s EXPERIENCE with the product.

It’s not just a people first approach, it’s an emotion first approach too.

Apple doesn’t define the “job to be done” in technological terms. They define the job to be done in emotional terms — by whether their devices make their customers feel:

“Delight, surprise, love, connection”

This is the ecosystem argument. That devices are superior when they are less centered around technology and features and more centered around cohesiveness and experience.

The fallacy most make when critiquing Apple’s services is to believe that Apple needs to out-innovate competing services. The truth is, all they need to do is out-integrate them. ~ Ben Bajarin

Bill Gates once said that Steve Jobs “never really understood much about technology.” But that’s because Bill Gates wanted to believe that superior technology alway wins. He actually had it backwards. It’s not about making technology that works. It’s about making technology that works the way we do.

“The main thing in our design is that we have to make things intuitively obvious.” ~ Steve Jobs

“(T)he opportunity is not in designing a better “user interface” but designing a better “user experience.” ~ Damir Perge

“… we think that our job is to take responsibility for the complete user experience. And if it’s not up to par, it’s our fault, plain and simple. ~ Steve Jobs

“Who will this help? Will it make life better?”

They say that Apple understands what makes people tick; that Apple is a human-focused technology company. If Apple starts their product design by asking great questions like these, is it any wonder that this is so?

Apple’s magic is in the way it evaluates a product in order to answer the question “How would average humans like to use this?”—without actually asking average humans. … (W)hen you rely on focus groups and checklists of features, you end up with a projector phone. Or, like HP, you end up with computers that look exactly like Apple’s but lack the ease of use and thoughtful design. ~ John Moltz

Much of the difference between Microsoft and Apple — or between Apple and just about everyone else — is not the technology, but the usability. The real killer appeal of the iPod or the iPhone or the iPad is how easy they are to use, and how integral that ease of use and design is to the product itself.

I’m sure when Bill Gates looks at the iPad or the iPhone, he thinks about all the features it doesn’t have, or all the things that it can’t do. But no one else thinks about those things — all they are interested in is what they can do, and how much fun it is doing them, and how appealing those devices are. And that is one of Steve Jobs’ biggest gifts to the world of technology and design. ~ Mathew Ingram, Gigaom

Customers can’t tell you what they want, but they can most certainly tell you what dissatisfies them. It’s in the customers’ unmet needs that the real opportunities for technology lie.

“Good design makes a product understandable. It clarifies the product’s structure. Better still, it can make the product talk. At best, it is self-explanatory.” ~ Dieter Rams ((“Jobs was a famous admirer of Dieter Rams, a designer for Braun who had a number of mottos and aphorisms about design — one of which was that “good design will make a product understandable.” That applies to a lot of Apple’s most famous products, which were so painstakingly designed to be usable, even when (like the original iPod shuffle) they didn’t even have a screen to tell you what was going on inside them.))

“Does this deserve to exist?”

Talk about bringing things into focus. What a brutal filter to use in order to curate what does and does not get made at Apple.

“(W)hy are we doing this in the first place?” ~ Steve Jobs

Most companies are so busy asking whether something “could” be done that they never stop to ask themselves whether something “should” be done. ((Take the Microsoft Kin, for example. (Please!) ))

“We figure out what we want. And I think we’re pretty good at having the right discipline to think through whether a lot of other people are going to want it, too.” ~ Steve Jobs

Remember the quote, above, the next time you think about the rumored low-cost iPhone (or a myriad of other rumored Apple products.) Apple doesn’t cripple their products just to achieve lower price points because Apple only makes products that they, themselves, want to use. And they don’t want to use the equivalent of a Kin, Google TV or Nook. ((To be perfectly fair, no one else wants to use a Kin, Google TV or Nook, either.))

He who wants to keep his garden tidy doesn’t reserve a plot for weeds. ~ Dag Hammarskjöld

This Is Our Design

Where does Apple start? Do they start where they are? Do they start with their current design?


“We start over”

“…Jobs was willing to completely start over with a product or service if it missed the mark. This requirement for perfection is highlighted numerous times in his biography and is rarely, if ever, followed by traditional companies when they are headed down the path of launching a new product, service or experience. ~ Eric V. Holtzclaw, Inc.

Starting over changes everything.

“When you start by imagining
What that might be like,
You step back.
You think.”

It allows one to see, not what can be added to what already exists, but what can be created from all of existence. It allows one to contemplate, not just the conceivable but what was once thought to be inconceivable too. It allows one to untether from what is, and to explore what might be.

It allows one to imagine. It allows one to dream.

“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” ~ Henry Miller

When you or I buy a sofa, we move around the contents of the room in order to make the new sofa fit in. If Apple buys a sofa – and they think that it is perfect – they are willing to re-design and re-build the entire house in order to make the house fit in with the sofa.

“Logic will get you from A to Z; imagination will get you everywhere.” ~ Albert Einstein

Starting over allows one to paint with a fresh palette.

“I dream my painting and paint my dream.” ~ Vincent van Gogh

White. A blank page or canvas. So many possibilities. ~ Stephen Sondheim

Starting over allows one to dream, and to dream big.

Always dream and shoot higher than you know you can reach. Don’t bother just to be better than your contemporaries and predecessors; try to be better than yourself.

“We’re gambling on our vision, and we would rather do that than make ‘me too’ products. Let some other companies do that. For us, it’s always the next dream.” ~ Steve Jobs

The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams. ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

“Designing something requires focus.”

“We tend to focus much more. People think focus means saying yes to the thing you’ve got to focus on. But that’s not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully. I’m actually as proud of many of the things we haven’t done as the things we have done.” ~ Steve Jobs

Divide the fire and you will soon put it out. ~ Greek Proverb

“There are a thousand ‘no’s’ for every ‘yes'”

Does Samsung ask the hard questions, make the hard decisions, or do they let their customers do the work? Do they ever say “no”, so their customers don’t have to? ((Samsung has 26 different screen sizes for its smartphones and tablets. Apple, by contrast, has four different screen sizes. Throw spaghetti against a wall model may be good for some, but it is not Apple’s model.

“Samsung has a history of confusing customers with an outpouring of phone models … (Samsung) revealed a bunch of new features for the phone like S Health, hovering over the phone, new security features, eye-tracking, two-way photography, and much more. Most, if not all, of these features were pointless.”

MOSSBERG: The Samsung Galaxy S4 Has ‘Especially Weak,’ ‘Gimmicky’ Software))

Does Microsoft say no? Or do they tell you that their tablet is really a notebook and their notebook is really a tablet. Does Windows 8 give you one operating system optimized for the form factor or do they give you two operating systems and let you sort it out? Or do they give you three separate operating systems in the Xbox One and actually brag about it?

Does Google say no with Android? Or do they give their users feature after feature after feature without thought to how each feature works with one another and whether the net benefit is outweighed by the cognitive cost?

Good design is honest. It does not make a product more innovative, powerful or valuable than it really is. It does not attempt to manipulate the consumer with promises that cannot be kept. ~ Dieter Rams

“We simplify”

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” ~ Leonardo DaVinci

When people talk about Apple’s design principles and philosophy, they often mention the unrelenting focus on simplicity (based in part on Rams’ motto: “Less, but better”). Jobs said that among the most important decisions in product design were what not to include and that this process involved “saying no to 1,000 things.” That’s a very difficult principle to adhere to at the best of times — but it’s especially hard if you are a technology geek and obsessed with all the ways in which your product is going to beat your competitors because of the cool features it has. That’s what causes the classic “feature creep” phenomenon, which often occurs when professional engineers get hold of a device. ~ Mathew Ingram, Gigaom

I think there is a profound and enduring beauty in simplicity, in clarity, in efficiency… True simplicity is derived from so much more than just the absence of clutter and ornamentation. It’s about bringing order to complexity. ~ Jony Ive

“Look at the design of a lot of consumer products — they’re really complicated surfaces. We tried to make something much more holistic and simple. When you first start off trying to solve a problem, the first solutions you come up with are very complex, and most people stop there. But if you keep going, and live with the problem and peel more layers of the onion off, you can often times arrive at some very elegant and simple solutions. Most people just don’t put in the time or energy to get there. We believe that customers are smart, and want objects which are well thought through.” ~ Steve Jobs

Any fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius—and a lot of courage—to move in the opposite direction. ~ Albert Einstein

“It’s been one of my mantras — focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.” ~ Steve Jobs

Good design is as little design as possible. ~ Dieter Rams

“We perfect”

“Good design is thorough down to the last detail. Nothing must be arbitrary or left to chance. Care and accuracy in the design process show respect towards the user.” ~ Dieter Rams

Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away. ~ Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

“For you to sleep well at night, the aesthetic, the quality, has to be carried all the way through.” ~ Steve Jobs

Trifles make perfections, but perfection is itself no trifle. ~ Shaker proverb

I don’t think it’s good that Apple’s perceived as different. I think it’s important that Apple’s perceived as much better. If being different is essential to doing that, then we have to do that, but if we can be much better without being different, that’d be fine with me. I want to be much better. ~ Steve Jobs

There is hardly anything in the world that some man can’t make a little worse and sell a little cheaper, and the people who consider price only are this man’s lawful prey. ~ John Ruskin

Design Is How It Works

“Then we begin to craft around our intention”

“We are stuck with technology when what we really want is just stuff that works.” ~ Douglas Adams

“Until every idea we touch Enhances each life it touches.”

“Good design makes a product useful. A product is bought to be used. It has to satisfy certain criteria, not only functional, but also psychological and aesthetic. Good design emphasizes the usefulness of a product whilst disregarding anything that could possibly detract from it.” ~ Dieter Rams

“We have always thought of design as being so much more than the way something looks. It’s the whole thing, the way something works on so many different levels.” ~ Jony Ive

“(Apple’s) ideology is design. It is a shared belief system that ‘No’ is more important than ‘Yes,’ that focus is essential to making great products, and that no one individual (not even Steve Jobs) is essential.” ~ Ben Thompson, Stratechery

Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works. ~ Steve Jobs

If the question is: “What job is this being asked to do?”, then Design is the guide and the pathway to the answer.

Design is the fundamental soul of a man-made creation… ~ Steve Jobs

What Makes Apple Different?

Do you want to know what makes Apple different? What sets them apart? How they attract the types of fans that Microsoft, Google and Samsung mock and denigrate but secretly envy and aspire to attain?

“What makes Apple come up with these great ideas while other computer makers stand around waiting for Jonathan Ive to tell them what to do next? ~ Don Reisinger

Is it Steve Jobs, Jony Ive, corporate culture, focus on quality, superior marketing, how they touch our emotions or some combination of all those things?

Is it because Apple is great at editing what’s possible, selecting options, saying no to things, and making something great by making it less, but better? ((These ideas were culled from Marco Arment, Accidental Tech Podcast, #14: Pouring Champagne onto Rap stars.))

If there was ever a product that catalyzed what’s Apple’s reason for being, it’s (the iPod). Because it combines Apple’s incredible technology base with Apple’s legendary ease of use with Apple’s awesome design… it’s like, this is what we do. So if anybody was ever wondering why is Apple on the earth, I would hold this up as a good example. ~ Steve Jobs

No. What makes Apple great is their passionate pursuit of perfection.

“Our goal is to make the best devices in the world, not to be the biggest.” ~ Steve Jobs

“For us, winning has never been about making the most. Arguably we make the best….” ~ Tim Cook

Does Apple always hit their target? Not hardly. They quite often miss their mark.

But as hard as it is to achieve perfection when one is trying, it’s virtually impossible to achieve perfection when that is not even one’s aim.

“The odds of hitting your target go up dramatically when you aim at it.” ~ Mal Pancoast

At least Apple is trying. And they are passionately trying.

Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence.” ~ Vince Lombardi

“I think back to Detroit in the seventies, when cars were so bad. Why? The people running the companies then didn’t love cars. One of the things wrong with the PC industry today is that most of the people running the companies don’t love PCs. Does Steve Ballmer love PCs? Does Craig Barrett love PCs? Does Michael Dell love PCs? If Michael Dell wasn’t selling PCs he’d be selling something else. These people don’t love what they create. And people here do.” ~ Steve Jobs

Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

We’re just enthusiastic about what we do. ~ Steve Jobs

Apple relishes the challenge. And they love the chase.

“You cannot kindle a fire in any other heart until it is burning in your own.”

Apple is the standard bearer of excellence. And that is why people love Apple – why they actively root for them – despite Apple’s many imperfections. People are not just rooting for Apple, they’re rooting for an ideal. They’re rooting, not just for what Apple is but, for what Apple aspires to become.

“Ideals are like stars: you will not succeed in touching them with your hands, but like the seafaring man on the ocean desert of waters, you choose them as your guides, and following them, you reach your destiny. ~ Carl Schurz




Apple Maps: Decision by Wall Street?

Just as we all start to get sick of reading and debating the Apple Maps debacle,  a new interesting thread, issue, or new piece of information comes up.  This time, it was, Apple’s CEO Tim Cook apologizing for the lousy experience Apple Maps delivers.  You should put to rest the debate on whether it’s a good experience or not as it is per Apple’s own admission.  I applaud Apple for its admission, but Apple should never shipped it.  From a company who has defined itself by delivering the best experiences, why was there a decision made to ship a sub optimal experience?
Apple redefined for the entire technology industry what the word "experience" means. While There may be some debate debate if Apple has redefined the personal computer, There’s no one who can legitimately argue that Apple did not do this for the smart phone and even the tablet.
This is why it is just so odd as to why Apple would allow this low-quality map application to be released in the first place.
There are really only two different and mutually exclusive ways this can be explained:
1) Apple forgot how to deliver and evaluate a good experience.  Essentially this scenario says that Apple, after delivering great mobile experiences for years, forgot how to do that and how to measure it.
2) Apple knew they were delivering a poor experience and decided to ship the iPhone 5 and iOS 6 anyways.  they would deal with the consequences afterwards.
Any reasonable person who follows technology closely must know that it’s the second option.
This then gets to the decision making process.  Anyone who has ever spent any time in product management knows that near the launch of a product, you have many launch readiness reviews. Apple may call their review something different, but they have something like it.   It involves cross functional teams, typically including product management, product marketing, program management, engineering, manufacturing and operations. Each group goes through their review, one after the other. These types of meetings essentially compare the minimum launch criteria with the current state of the product. The outcome of this meeting determines if the product is ready to ship or not and the critical actions to close the gap. The most senior executives rarely attend these meetings, but are sought afterwards for escalation If there are issues.
You can bet that Apple maps was reviewed and scrutinized over and over and over. You can assume some people said that the experience was good enough to ship and there were those who said Apple maps was not ready to be shipped.  The decision probably came down to Tim Cook himself, who opted to ship a sub-optimal Apple maps experience.
Tim Cook had a very difficult decision to make in that none of them resulted in anything optimal. He had to choose between:
1) Ship a sub optimal experience coincident with the launch of the iPhone 5, "hitting" commit dates made to Wall Street, press and retailers. With this decision Apple would potentially take the heat from consumers and the press.
2) Delay shipping the iPhone 5  until Apple Maps delivered a good experience. This would raise the ire of Wall Street and investors.  As we have seen over the last two weeks, Even though Apple shipped millions of the new iPhone five, it still wasn’t good enough for much of Wall Street. Imagine, if the iPhone five were delayed by a few months.  Imagine what that would’ve done to the stock price.
So how did it work out for Apple? Short-term, it worked out pretty well if you measure in terms of sales. They sold 5 million iPhone 5s the first weekend and 100M ungraded to iOS 6.  Apple’s stock hit a massive hit this week, but it’s unclear to say if Apple Maps were the culprit, if it was financial analyst expectation versus how many they sold, or fears of production issues.  It was a combination of all of these.   Apple’s reputation has surely taken a hit but it’s unknown if it will have any lasting impact. Apple’s prior issues with products stemming from things like iPhone antennas, MobileMe, and Ping barely made a brand scratch and was followed up by record selling products.  I do believe that people will start to question brand-new things that Apple gets into that are related to their core competencies.  These are could be markets like search and products like TVs.
So why was the decision made to ship a lousy Apple Maps experience? As we’ve seen Apple’s stock get hammered as of late, it was about the stock price.  Imagine if Apple had delayed shipping the Phone 5.  The stock would have been hammered even harder.  Therefore, Apple’s Tim Cook probably made the right short-term business and stock decision even if it wasn’t in the best interests of its customers.  You see, brands have half-lives, and while Apple cannot have a string of incidents like Apple Maps, it can afford this one in isolation.  Tim Cook, Wall Street thanks you.  Apple Maps users, not so much.

Steve Jobs in Carbonite

Photo of Steve Jobs with iPhonePart of Steve Jobs’s brilliance in life was his mercurial nature, sometimes fortified by duplicitousness. He thought an Apple phone was the stupidest idea on earth until the arrival of the iPhone. He made fun of Intel processors  until Apple abandoned PowerPC for x86. He was a man of firmly held opinions that could change as circumstances required.

Steve Jobs dead, however, is frozen in time. The opinions he expressed in the year or two before his passing last fall are his views forever. And anything Apple does counter to those views is treated in some quarters as a desecration of his memory. And that leads to silly pieces like Gizmodo’s 10 Changes That Must Have Steve Jobs Spinning in His Grave.

The sad truth is that we have no idea what Steve Jobs thinks, or will ever think, about anything. All we know is what he thought of certain things under the circumstances that prevailed at some point in the past.

For example, in October,  2010, Jobs said: “The reason we [won’t] make a 7-inch tablet isn’t because we don’t want to hit that price point, it’s because we think the screen is too small to express the software.” But improvements in screen technology have made it possible to do a 7″ iPad with the same 1024×768 resolution of the original iPad and the iPad 2 and a pixel density similar to the third-generation iPad. So if Apple does a 7″ iPad, will that be a repudiation of Jobs or a recognition that something important has changed?

One of Gizmodo’s 10 violations of the spirit of Jobs is that supply executives are now attending meetings once the exclusive province of engineers and designers. Maybe that reflects Tim Cook’s preferences as a supply chain guru. But it might also reflect the fact the Apple is nearly 60% bigger than it was when Jobs stepped away from active management a year or so ago and that it now a vast enterprise that necessarily has to be run in a considerably more bureaucratic way. This, by the way, is why I think Cook is actually the right CEO at the right time; some of use remember a  much smaller pre-Cook Apple that constantly struggled with supply chain and channel management issues.

Of course, it’s possible that Jesus Diz’s Gizmodo post was just Gawker link bait. In which case, I apologize for linking to it.


Apple After Steve

Everybody has heard the news by now: Steve Jobs resigned because he “could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple’s CEO.”

In his letter of resignation to the Apple Board of Directors and the Apple Community, Jobs wrote: “I strongly recommend that we execute our succession plan and name Tim Cook as CEO of Apple.

My first immediate reaction is sorrow that he’s stepping down. I presume that his decision is health related, and wish him and his family well.

My second reaction, to paraphrase Monty Python, is that he ain’t dead yet. His brief and eloquent resignation letter says he plans to hang around a while.

Will Steve Jobs die? Of course. Silly question, as he would be the first to say. (Actually, “stupid f&*$#$g question” is more likely how he’d say it.)

In his graduation speech to Stanford’s Class of 2005, Jobs said: “No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new.”

I suspect he might see stepping down as CEO in the same Schumpeterian way. He and Steve Wozniak started Apple in a garage and it’s now the most valuable company on the whole f&*$#$g planet. Apple sets the agenda for the global technology industry. Jobs himself is by consensus the most important business executive alive today. Earlier this year he effectively decreed that the Personal Computer era was over, and last week the world’s No. 1 PC company, Hewlett-Packard, effectively said, “You’re right again, Steve. We’re toast. You kicked our butt. We give up.”

It would be hard to conceive of a better time to say “Mission Accomplished” and hand the keys to the next generation.

I haven’t checked the after-hours ticker but I assume AAPL is getting cored. That’s silly, too, for anyone with a view that goes beyond a day or two.

There’s always lots of new stuff in the pipeline at Apple, stuff that takes months and years to develop, and Tim Cook already has been running things on a day-to-day basis for some time. Will Cook be as good a CEO as Jobs has been? No one knows. Can he be even better? Again, no one knows.

Could he be worse? Hey, it’s not like Tim Cook is the second coming of Gil Amelio. I remember sitting in the front row at a Macworld conference in the mid-1990s, as a Jobs-less Apple appeared to be in a death spiral, as then-CEO Amelio gave a rambling keynote address while absent-mindedly beginning to undress himself on stage. Apple PR folks were apoplectic. It’s hard to imagine Tim Cook melting down in a similar way.

One thing we do know is that Jobs’s DNA already inculcates the culture at Apple. That may change a few years out, but … that’s a few years out. The fact that Jobs is no longer CEO of Apple is not suddenly going to make HP or Microsoft or Dell any smarter. The fact that Tim Cook is now running things is not suddenly going to invigorate any of Apple’s competitors to execute their strategies any better.

Another thing we know is that Apple is probably going to introduce a fifth-generation iPhone that will run on all carriers, including new carriers in China, the world’s largest untapped market for smartphones. That fact that Steve Jobs is no longer at the helm will not cause millions of Chinese, or Americans for that matter, to slap their foreheads with an epiphany that Android, Windows Mobile, and WebOS are suddenly better choices for mobile platforms.

Notice also the not-so-subtle jab at the media in Jobs’s letter of resignation: “I strongly recommend that we execute our succession plan.” There is in fact a succession plan at Apple and the Board just approved it.

I suspect that Tim Cook didn’t open his first conversation with the Board of Directors by saying, “Okay, boys, now that I’m running the show we’re going to reinvent this company from top to bottom. I’ve been itching to go completely open and dump this whole ‘Apple ecosystem’ strategy.”

At the same time, I can’t think of any company that is as closely identified with its CEO as Apple was under Steve Jobs. Apple without Steve Jobs (or, to be accurate, Apple with Steve Jobs in the Sinatra-esque role of Chairman of the Board) will not be perceived as the same company with Jobs on the sideline. Jobs is a genius. The genius is (sort of) gone. Therefore, some of Apple’s genius is gone, too, until proven otherwise.

In that commencement address at Stanford six years ago, a healthier-looking Jobs gave a speech that was very much like the Apple products for which he is known: Elegantly crafted, attentive to detail, rich in content, but no unnecessary words or buttons. He was talking to a fresh crop of Stanford graduates, but his message almost certainly applies to Tim Cook, Phil Schiller and all the other top Apple executives who are now at the helm.

“Don’t be trapped by dogma,” Jobs said, “which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

Jobs also said this: “I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’ And whenever the answer has been ‘No’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.”

So, Steve woke up one morning recently and decided he needed to change something besides the world. Namaste, dude.


A version of this post appears in Fiscal Times.