Jobs’ videos demonstrate how to run a 21st century organization

[Crossposted at SpreadingScience]

He sets up what was wrong with Apple before 1997.

“The total is less than the sum of the parts.” Things had to be restructured. The customer was being led to the altar of tech instead of the other way around. Great engineering, bad management. Focused on the tactics, not on the strategy. Technology did not sell things; what technology could do to help the user is what sold things.

Then he lays out what focussing really is – not saying yes but saying no. And you have to know how to deal with pissed off people.

What happens next is exceptional and simply amazing to see. We are used to almost sociopathic behavior from CEOs. Here we see what a true leader can accomplish, one who can engender the fanatical enthusiasm that Jobs can.

Jobs has a reputation for anger and for being a jerk. But all of us who have spoken in front of a large crowd have had worries about dealing with an angry questioner. Here we have the worst possible one: someone who seems to attack the speaker personally.

But Jobs demonstrates the straightforward approach that makes the Reality Distortion Field such a potent force.

He takes some time – a good 30 seconds before he had figured out his answer – collects his thoughts and pulls back from the exact question to give a much deeper and more important answer to the question.

He speaks extemporaneously for the next 4 minutes, doing many amazing things – putting people at ease, providing background and actually giving away the farm for what Apple will do over the next 15 years.

How many CEOs could have done what Steve demonstrates here? He accomplishes so much in those 4 minutes, all without any real missteps.

It is like a primer for 21st century leaders.

He recognizes the anger out there, recognizes that it is legitimate and wants the audience to recognize that he has not ignored this anger.

“People like this gentlemen are right.” Wow. Admitting that critics are right is one of the hardest things for anyone to acknowledge, much less admit in front of hundreds.

His approach not only defuses a lot of tension – you can almost hear the gasps from the audience when the question is asked – but he provides a huge amount of insight.

He is not ‘putting a bullet’ in these technologies for a whim or because they are bad. They simply do not fit into the strategy he brought to Apple.

They may be great tactics but not for the strategy that Apple will  use.

He shows humility, acknowledging that he has made mistakes in the past. But he does have a purpose, a strategy that guides his decisions.

And then the amazing thing, he tells the world what Apple will now do – something we recognize Apple actually did. He gives away Apple’s great strategic secret. Instead of hiding it like every other 20th century company, he gives it away for free! (at about 2:25).

You’ve got to start with the customer experience and work backwards to the technology. You can’t start with the technology and try to figure out where you are going to sell it.

What incredible benefits can we give to the customer? Where can we take the customer? Not starting with ‘Let’s sit down with the engineers and figure out what awesome technology we have and how are we going to market that’.

He knew then what the strategy would be. And he knew that no other company could execute this strategy, even if they knew what it was.

His strategy is what all 21st century companies have and why the copy cats can not win. They maintain focus on the customer’s needs, not the corporation’s.

Every thing Apple has done since 1997 has been a demonstration of this. Tech specs are not as important as keeping the customer delighted. 20th century organizations focus on tech first. Apple focused on the user.

Thus we had the iMac, the iPod, the Macbook Air, the iPhone, the iPad – each using technology to fulfill what the customer needed.

21st century organizations focus on making the customer’s life better, easier and more useful.

That is why most tablet makers are falling by the wayside. Or smart phone makers. Or laptop makers.



Steve Jobs answered the question of philanthropy back in 1985

Steve Jobs’ 1985 response to Andrew Ross Sorkin’s crass questioning of charity
[Via MacDailyNews]

“I’ve appreciated receiving a number of emails from readers who agreed with my post yesterday rebutting Andrew Ross Sorkin’s “post” on Steve Jobs’ supposed lack of given,” Eric Jackson writes for Forbes. “One reader pointed out that Jobs had really directly responded to these points in a 1985 Playboy Interview.”

[More]

Here is how he responded to a question about what he did regarding charity:

That’s a part of my life that I like to keep private. When I have some time, I’m going to start a public foundation. I do some things privately now.

Why creating a public spectacle is a question people need to answer for themselves. Jobs said he does those things privately. Just as stated in Matthew 6:2.

He states pretty much what any normal person would. Charity should be a private affair and there is something a little seemly to me seeing billionaires donate money so their name can be on a university building.

I’d expect Jobs to have done his giving privately. Such as the speculation that the private donation of $150 million to a cancer center came from him. But since it was given anonymously, no one knows for sure.

Perhaps now that he has the time, he will start that public foundation.

Is HP selling some more TouchPads to mend fences with suppliers?

carwreckby Joost J. Bakker IJmuiden

Why would HP make more TouchPads to sell at a loss?
[Via Brainstorm Tech: Technology blogs, news and analysis from Fortune Magazine » Apple 2.0]

No, they don’t plan to produce “one last run” in order to make it up in volume

TouchPads quickly sold out at $99. Source: HP

Can you spot the dissemblance in the announcement posted Monday on Hewlett-Packard’s (HPQ) The Next Bench blog?

Despite announcing an end to manufacturing webOS hardware, we have decided to produce one last run of TouchPads to meet unfulfilled demand. We don’t know exactly when these units will be available or how many we’ll get, and we can’t promise we’ll have enough for everyone. We do know that it will be at least a few weeks before you can purchase.

That’s right. It’s there in the first sentence. HP management has made some monumental blunders lately, but it knows better than to sell product at a loss just to “meet unfulfilled demand.”

There may be a lot of reasons — although as an Apple (AAPL) iPad owner I can’t think of any good ones — to buy a $499 orphaned device when its price suddenly drops to $99.

[More]

Digitimes reported that the reason was that HP had contracts with its suppliers who had already stockpiled enough parts for 100,000 tablets. I would expect that those contracts are designed so that the suppliers do not have to eat the entire cost.

So, to recoup what HP may owe its suppliers for creating the inventory that HP pulled the pug on, HP will have them make one more run of perhaps 100,000 tablets.

Quite an expensive decision to make so precipitously. HP must have run the numbers and seen a huge cliff ahead if it did not put on the brakes.

Of course, it essentially totaled the car, as HP now moves out of the PC business.

I’m not sure this tablet could give the iPad a cold, much less kill it

elephantby digitalART2

Android 3.1 tablet, $700 HTC Jetstream, comes to AT&T next week

[Via Ars Technica]

The first HTC tablet to market running Android 3.1 will be the HTC Jetstream, HTC and AT&T announced today. Landing in stores next week, the 10-inch tablet will be able to use AT&T’s 4G LTE network at launch, and while its specs are impressive, the form factor and price are less so.

The Jetstream has a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, 10-inch 1280×768 resolution screen, an 8-megapixel camera on the back, and a 1.3-megapixel camera on the front. The 32GB onboard storage can be supplemented by 32GB more via microSD, and the Android 3.1 Honeycomb operating system will be skinned with HTC’s Sense.

However, the body of the Jetstream is unimpressive-sounding: it measures over half an inch thick (0.51 inches, to be exact), and weighs 1.56 pounds, just an ounce less than the HP TouchPad and a few more than the iPad 2. No WiFi version of the tablet has been announced, so there’s only the 4G LTE version, which is priced at $699.99 with a two-year contract.

[More]

Yep, $700 with a two year contract costing up to $35 a month. $850 without one. And nothing about battery life.

The Android tablets continue to have a problem with WiFi-only models. as in there is no WiFi-only model of this tablet. It seems that this is part of Google’s licensing of Android.

Apple lets you buy a WiFi-only iPad for $500 that never ties you to any phone company and its data plan. $200 cheaper. Yes, less memory but as we will be spending a lot of time in the cloud shortly, having access to 64Gb of memory – as the HTC tablet does – may simply be adding an unneeded expense..

And if you want a 32 Gb iPad with the ability to connect to a cell carrier, it only costs $730 without a contract, $120 cheaper than the equivalent HTC! And the iPad allows you to get data on a month to month plan without committing to a 2 year plan.

So, for $700, you are committed to a 2 year data plan at a carrier. For $20 more you can get a similar iPad – WiFi and cell – without the 2 year commitment.

Just what are they thinking? 4G LTE is not worth it right now. They are attacking the elephant by copying its ear. That simply will not be very effective.


When was the last time the government tried to stop a mega-merger like ATT/T-Mobile?

US government files antitrust suit to block AT&T purchase of T-Mobile
[Via AppleInsider]

AT&T’s planned purchase of carrier T-Mobile hit a snag on Wednesday when the U.S. government filed an antitrust lawsuit to block the proposed deal, saying it would hurt competition in the American wireless industry.

[More]

Usually these sorts of mergers are just rubber stamped. There must be a lot of distrust about ATT claims for this merger.

The fact that ATT claimed that the merger would help competition might have been part of that. I wonder how many jobs ATT is planning on terminating if the deal goes through?

I’m sure this will all be negotiated out. T-Moble wants to be bought so I expect this to work its way out to ATT’s benefit.

They are treating mental illness with nicotine, not cigarettes

Treating mental illness with cigarettes
[Via Boing Boing]

While nationally, only about 20% of Americans smoke, 80% of schizophrenic Americans smoke. That’s interesting, but it’s not the most interesting part. Apparently, there’s some evidence that those people with schizophrenia are using tobacco as a form of self medication.

At the Risk Science Blog, Mark Stewart looks at the weird dilemma people with schizophrenia are faced with when it comes to smoking:

Schizophrenics often have auditory hallucinations, paranoia, delusions, and disorganized thinking. These symptoms are predominantly caused by the inability of the brains of schizophrenics to differentiate, sort, and focus on the multitude of stimuli that go on around us. Think of being in a busy restaurant. Imagine that instead of being able to block out all the noises, conversations, and movements around you, every single piece of sensory information is as important as the interesting things said by the attractive person sitting across from you. The effects of cigarette smoking and nicotine help schizophrenics through increased selective attention.

“They should use other forms of medication,” I hear you say. Great idea, except for the fact that anti-psychotic drugs are very expensive, do not work very well for most people, and have extreme side effects. Tardive dyskinesia is the most common side effect. This makes it very hard for the body to move in normal ways at normal speeds. Also, there are common metabolic side effects that are quite similar to an individual having diabetes. (Just what someone with a severe mental illness needs!) Thus, the cheapness, effectiveness, and availability of cigarettes offer most schizophrenics some succor. Smoking leads to schizophrenics having a 30-60% increased risk of respiratory disorders and heart disease, but is this a risk that is worth taking?

[More]

Nicotine is actually a pretty wonderful drug, making one more capable at any tasks. So I am not surprised that it is being used to self-medicate for a variety of mental illnesses.

But cigarettes are not the treatment.

It is the delivery system than causes the problem. So, does putting someone on nicotine patches reduce their mental illnesses? If so, then they should all be prescribed nicotine as a first treatment.

Of course,nicotine is one of the most addictive chemicals around but for a very good reason. It appears to help neural function. I am not sure if there are any proven long term problems with properly dosed nicotine, at least not compared with schizophrenia.

Giving away the ending actually makes people like it better

NCBI ROFL: Spoiler alert! Spoilers actually increase enjoyment of stories.
[Via Discoblog]

Story Spoilers Don’t Spoil Stories.

“The enjoyment of fiction through books, television, and movies may depend, in part, on the psychological experience of suspense. Spoilers give away endings before stories begin, and may thereby diminish suspense and impair enjoyment; indeed, as the term suggests, readers go to considerable lengths to avoid prematurely discovering endings … However, people’s ability to reread stories with undiminished pleasure, and to read stories in which the genre strongly implies the ending, suggests that suspense regarding the outcome may not be critical to enjoyment and may even impair pleasure by distracting attention from a story’s relevant details and aesthetic qualities … We conducted three experiments, each with stories from a different, distinct genre, to test the effects of spoilers on enjoyment.

…Writers use their artistry to make stories interesting, to engage readers, and to surprise them, but we found that giving away these surprises makes readers like stories better. This was true whether the spoiler revealed a twist at the end (e.g., that the condemned man’s daring escape is just a fantasy as the rope snaps taut around his neck) or solved the crime (e.g., Poirot discovers that …

[More]

This is certainly non-intuituve. And I would imagine that many writers would hate the fact that their carefully crafted twists were better received if people knew about them before hand.

I’m glad NCBI ROFL read this for me. They wanted $35 for me to rad it myself. see, here is a case where spoilers were not only satisfying but also saved me money.

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