I'm off to Infocomm today and I'm looking forward to seeing what's happened while I've been out of the game. I'll write up my thoughts next week on the state of the enterprise communication space.
Late spring is rich for some great keynotes that set the tone for the wisdom of crowds according to Silicon Valley. I've watched the Google I/O keynote. I watched several of the presentations from Code Conference including Mary Meeker's annual gift.
Apple's WWDC is next week. I'm looking forward to seeing what Apple has to say ... and how they say it.
My favorite WWDC talk was in 1997. Steve Jobs was at his best. It was completely unscripted. This talk, above all others IMO, gave glimpses into the roadmap of products and services delivered over the next decade. A few takeaways for are listed below.
Looking back, the influence that Apple had on my formative years was broad.
A comment on style. Presentation style. Having watched several keynotes over the last couple weeks, I think that the Apple style keynote is long overdue for a complete overhaul. Most have gotten pretty good at copying the script. Even I used it in my presentations to an ad nauseum level. The last several (dozens) of Apple keynotes follow it. It is predictable to the point of getting boring. I hope that next week is different, but doubt it. Watching the unscripted 1997 Jobs Q&A session was refreshing.
A few highlights (with some editorial comments in brackets:
- Focusing is about saying no. (and that pisses off people)
- You're always changing, but people continue to treat you like the person you were 18 months ago. It's very frustrating. Same with a company. [I have an upcoming post called Don't Put Baby in a Corner.]
- Turn out great products. Communicate directly with customers as best you can.
- Apple's had it's head in the sand for many years ...
- ... which led to his thoughts on simple network computing, modern open standards, knowing what the 10% - 30% that really makes you better, windows into communication tasks, cloud computing, vertical integration, 18 developers -> 5 world class apps, apps, tools, marketing and journalism influence,
- There's a lot of smart people that don't work at Apple too.
- It has to be a whole lot better (than others)
- We were too stupid to know we didn't have a chance ... and that served us well!
- Every good product that I've ever seen is because a group of people cared deeply about making something wonderful that they and their friends wanted.
- It is dumb to think that for you (Apple) to win, your competitor (Microsoft) has to lose
- Productivity increases by eliminating the lines of code a programmer needs to write
- I don't buy that at all. I don't think that's true. [Brutal honesty.]
- Ouch ... at 50:20 into the chat, it got contentious when the questioner asks Steve, "... and when you're finished with that, can you tell us what you've personally been doing for the last 7 years." [HIs answer was measured, tolerant and compelling. A window into his maturing public persona. Props. If you only have 5 minutes to watch, then watch these 5 minutes (every year!). For additional analysis of this segment, check this out.]
- Get to a point where you can sell $10B of product per year. [Funny when you look back at how this all turned out.]
- You've got to start with the customer experience and work backwards to the technology. You can't start with the technology and figure out where you're gonna try and sell it. Instead, what incredible benefits can we give to the customer ... NOT let's sit down with the engineers and figure out what awesome technology we can use.
- He hedged on intelligent computing saying there was such a big opportunity on connected network devices. [He was 20 years right. Only recently have the big guns turned toward AI and ML. It's fair to ask if yet another messaging platform (no matter it's intelligence) is really what a customer is asking for.]
- He didn't believe that a company could manage three different product + software stacks simultaneously (MacOS, OSX, Newton). I don't want a little scribble thing. High order bit is connectivity [which means that Newton died (or was murdered).]