free html hit counter Steve Jobs at D: A Master... | John Battelle's Search Blog

Steve Jobs at D: A Master…

By - June 01, 2010

…and I mean that. Watching Jobs work his way through nearly 90 minutes of interview and audience questions, I really felt, for the first time, a sense of how strongly the guy feels for his work and his products. Then again, I found myself angry, several times. Angry when he championed the press as crucial to democracy, and implied the iPad would save our country from “descending into a nation of bloggers” (my view: we started as a nation of bloggers – pamphleteers like Thomas Paine). Angry when he defended Apple’s data practices – to an investor in Flurry, no less – as protecting users’ privacy, when in fact it’s clearly about controlling data to Apple’s benefit to win advertisers, developers, and market share (you can certainly protect privacy AND share data. That’s the basis of the web, and, by the way, the basis of culture. But that’s another post). Angry when he claimed that Apple was the only company doing mobile ads that didn’t suck, when in fact they’ve been done the way iAds is doing it for nearly a year by third parties.

But I was also inspired. Inspired by a guy who decided to tear up the playbook of how computing works, and rethink it all so as to shift the interface from stylus or mouse to the human finger – and doubly inspired by a guy who reinvented the personal computer, then declared it essentially dead on stage tonight. Inspired by a guy who answers emails at 2 am and passionately defends his own way of doing things, and claims the market will decide, one purchase at a time. Inspired by the fact that the company I loved and defended back in the late 80s and 90s, which nearly died at the feet of Microsoft, eclipsed that giant in market cap last week, yet he genuinely seemed to believe that “market cap doesn’t matter.”

Read my Twitter stream for real time thoughts, but two things aren’t in there that are worth noting: one: Jobs said he was not going to do search, and two, Jobs said TV was too complicated to get into. Mark my words: He’ll be in both, big time, in the next few years. Why? Because he’s been on the record, in the past, saying he had no designs on tablet computing and phones. With Jobs, history has a way of repeating itself.

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  • http://andrewmayne.com Andrew Mayne

    While other companies may be doing what iAd is doing to some degree, they’re below the radar (at least mine). I think what Jobs is really getting at is building an ecosystem where you can monetize apps in the same way AdWords made it easier to monetize web content.

    AdWords-like systems existed before Google, but they didn’t become a self-sustaining ecosystem until Google sold the concept to the masses.

    As far as his comments on blogging: I think Jobs was speaking more to the value of having different kinds of content and that the future shouldn’t only be 200 word posts.

    Paine’s Common Sense wasn’t a hastily put together reaction to something that happened that day (I think the personal correspondence of our founding fathers was more in line with blogging than their pamphlets).

  • http://startups.com/ Lester Puppo

    I understand you might feel angry or mad at Apple not only due to their working and company policies and philosophies but also because of the way in which they describe themselves, as if they had won the race already. And in my opinion, it is all about strategy. They have the right to do what they are doing and to work in the way they are working. However, what you say is also true and I agree with you when you say: “to win advertisers, developers, and market share (you can certainly protect privacy AND share data. That’s the basis of the web, and, by the way, the basis of culture.”

  • http://my2cents4theday.blogspot.com Don

    I must agree, that when ever Steve says that he won’t, he invariably really means that he will! I’ve seen it too many times to think that he will change, so Google has better watch its steps, because as we all know, Apple has a way of completely upsetting the course of whole industries and that over night.

  • http://my2cents4theday.blogspot.com Don

    I must agree, that when ever Steve says that he won’t, he invariably really means that he will! I’ve seen it too many times to think that he will change, so Google has better watch its steps, because as we all know, Apple has a way of completely upsetting the course of whole industries and that over night.

  • Perry

    Yes, well what makes Jobs such a master is that not only does he / Apple create insanely great products, but also insanely powerful and lucrative markets. What company does this continuously and as successfully as Apple? MSFT did so onece with the launch of its OS way back when, but has been following markets ever since.

    Which btw is why I don’t think Apple will go into search – it would be incredibly expensive, they’d be followers not leaders and what product would it serve? On second thought… unless it was television?

  • jorgen

    I would rather say that Jobs is an expert at creating exitement about Apple products. I am not impressed with Apple’s products myself as I find them too limited, but he can certainly sell them.

    Will he do search? Only if he can see money there in the short term.

  • Peter

    Another reason he is a master –

    Last nights session totally fired up Apple employees. So many people forget that these kinds of interviews not only move the broader market, investors, and partners but also reignite the many talented and devoted employees. Pitch perfect from that perspective.

    How do you keep employees engaged? Stock options that are worth something, a vision, and a reason to be “us” rather than “them.”

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  • Miss Fizzy

    well, I am surprised that you did not ping and “angry” for the news apps, which will help Apple gain revenue from hobbled news orgs. that solely bear the high cost of news production.
    This is a glaring inequity and must be solved.