The Talk Show

256: ‘A Bit Too Thin’ With Ben Thompson


00:00:00   How did you hear about it? Here's the funny thing for me is I heard about it. My dad called me

00:00:04   So it was like I guess around five o'clock Eastern Time. I think the news dropped around

00:00:11   430 Eastern Time and

00:00:14   my dad

00:00:17   82 year old Bob Gruber

00:00:19   Great health plays golf every day doing great. Very lucky

00:00:24   That he's in such great health glad to have him around

00:00:27   Not not really doesn't really understand much of what I do doesn't is not a computer person

00:00:33   You know as and and so therefore doesn't really follow closely what I write about

00:00:41   Has long not really understood how I make a living but as you know seems to understand that I'm doing well that I'm well

00:00:50   well known, you know, he watched my my my

00:00:54   Live episode of the talk show on YouTube said he didn't understand and almost any of it, but he thought it was a very nice show

00:01:01   Very classic bad. Yes. Yeah

00:01:06   Calls me up

00:01:08   Hey, you know we talk on the phone almost every day

00:01:11   Every time my phone rings it is either my dad or it is a it's a robo call

00:01:17   It's pretty much the only phone calls. I get I very much enjoy my daily phone calls with my dad. I

00:01:23   I really do.

00:01:25   I generally don't get breaking news that matters to me

00:01:29   from my dad.

00:01:31   But my dad calls me up and he's like, John, it's dad here.

00:01:35   And of course he always says that, you know.

00:01:37   - Right, which surprise, surprise, you had no idea.

00:01:40   - Right, let me know who it is.

00:01:42   And he says, I'm watching TV and they're saying

00:01:45   that this fellow at Apple, Joanie Ive,

00:01:49   is leaving the company.

00:01:51   And I'm like, what?

00:01:52   and he's like, Jimmy, Jimmy, I've John, John,

00:01:56   you're like Jimmy, I've been.

00:01:57   So he like, called him, Joni, called him, Johnny,

00:02:01   called him, Jimmy.

00:02:03   And, and he's like, he's that he's leaving the company.

00:02:06   That's what they're saying.

00:02:07   And, and I, you know, I, I, I'm surprised.

00:02:12   I did not expect it per se, but it wasn't totally shocking.

00:02:18   But I effectively had to say, well, then I,

00:02:21   I gotta go, right?

00:02:22   And he's like, I understand.

00:02:24   He's like, I just wanted you to know.

00:02:25   And I'm like, well, thanks.

00:02:27   And then, you know, I went and hit the internet

00:02:29   and of course, you know, he was out.

00:02:32   I have a very strange way for me to hear about it though.

00:02:36   I, you know, from, from your dad,

00:02:40   from my 82 year old dad

00:02:41   who doesn't really understand the company,

00:02:43   who really wasn't sure how to pronounce his first name.

00:02:49   Well, I found out as with most things via Twitter,

00:02:53   I'm looking at my feed.

00:02:55   It was around 5.12 PM.

00:02:58   I was not surprised because I feel like this has been

00:03:01   sort of a long, slow exit out the door.

00:03:05   And this is sort of formalized

00:03:07   and it's been the case for a while.

00:03:08   So, I mean, it's one of those things, you know,

00:03:11   you don't want to do the, I told you so, but I had to do.

00:03:16   - Yes you do.

00:03:17   That is exactly this entire the entire reason I thought well I have to a I have to write about it right away

00:03:23   And then I thought the next thing I got to do is I got to record an episode on my show tomorrow

00:03:27   Who do I have on and I was like I gotta have Ben Thompson because he can do two hours if I told you so

00:03:32   Well, no, it's more the case that when a few years ago

00:03:36   This was four years ago when he became chief design officer

00:03:39   And he was a chief design officer with no one actually sort of reporting to him or we in sort of a managerial context

00:03:45   Right. That to me, that was, you know, a big red flag that he's kind of definitely

00:03:49   stepping back from what he was doing. And I wrote this at the time. And it's more like

00:03:53   I'm OK to pass something I told you. So I figure like they'll accumulate and people can do that.

00:03:58   This one, I got so much grief about it. Like people were coming at me from left and right.

00:04:02   Apple fans in particular, because this was a day it was a day that David, I had made it free

00:04:06   because I thought it was sort of a really big deal. And so this is more of a still sort of

00:04:11   licking my wounds from four years ago that I felt compelled to sort of point this out.

00:04:16   I will say this, that from what I have heard so far from friends, sources, little birdies at Apple,

00:04:26   at least at Apple, it is a bit of a surprise. One even said shocking, you know, even though

00:04:36   Not in terms of the fact that like nobody thought it might not happen.

00:04:41   Like I think people have been thinking, you know, even inside Apple that this,

00:04:46   you know, he might be easing his way out the door,

00:04:50   but they still found it shocking.

00:04:52   You know, it's not like, oh, everybody at Apple kind of knew this was coming.

00:04:56   You know, I think everybody I think everybody shocked, but not surprised.

00:05:00   Yeah, I think that it was definitely shocking.

00:05:03   Like he's such an institution that that you would think, you know, it is a shock.

00:05:08   So I guess I'm wrong to say that it isn't.

00:05:10   But it's more like it's it's when you think about it for two seconds,

00:05:13   like, yeah, I guess that I guess that kind of makes sense. Right.

00:05:15   I mean, one of the things is, you know, he's he's not that old.

00:05:20   I think he's 51.

00:05:23   Yeah, it's certainly not retiring

00:05:25   or, you know, according to, you know, what they're saying.

00:05:31   you know, he's not done designing, he's not done working.

00:05:34   There's a lot of quite a few, I would guess I haven't gone through the entire list of Apple's

00:05:43   executive bio page to figure out their ages, but he's not even close to the oldest, right?

00:05:50   He's younger than Tim Cook. He's younger than Phil Schiller. He's, you know, there's quite a few

00:05:55   people on the executive team who are older than him. I don't know. But the whole thing

00:06:06   is a bit weird, right?

00:06:08   I mean, I don't know. Because I mean, well, first off, just put it in the bigger context.

00:06:13   Like like I said, there's things to suggest that this was coming. But I think if you back

00:06:17   up and think about it. What did Johnny Ive do? What was he about? And I wrote about it

00:06:26   this morning, my daily updates, that if you go back, to me, the biggest, most important

00:06:32   Johnny Ive product is the iMac. But a couple of years on after the iMac, you had the iMac

00:06:39   running OS X with iTunes on it. And if you squint, that's basically the same product

00:06:44   that Apple shipped for the next 20 years.

00:06:46   It just sort of changed the name to being iPhone, iOS,

00:06:49   and App Store.

00:06:50   But it was like that idea, that triumph for it,

00:06:52   is what Apple was about.

00:06:56   And we haven't had a chance to talk on the podcast

00:06:59   since WWDC, but one thing that was really compelling to me

00:07:03   about WWDC and I thought was so interesting

00:07:05   was it really felt like that chapter of Apple

00:07:07   was sort of drawing to a close.

00:07:09   And I thought it was actually a fairly significant momentous

00:07:12   that you had iTunes being shut down.

00:07:14   And you had Swift UI coming along,

00:07:15   which in many respects kind of closed that door

00:07:17   on that era of operating systems also.

00:07:20   And if you think about it, like Johnny Ive,

00:07:23   that was the Johnny Ive era.

00:07:24   And that aspect of Apple,

00:07:27   in everything from the products that drive the growth

00:07:30   to sort of the structure of Apple

00:07:33   being a sort of top-down dictatorship,

00:07:36   very streamlined, very functional organization,

00:07:38   things that, you know,

00:07:39   getting into the nitty-gritty of organizational structure

00:07:41   and those sorts of things.

00:07:42   Like that's also sort of falling apart

00:07:44   and going by the wayside as well,

00:07:46   which is what happens when companies get to the size

00:07:48   that Apple is.

00:07:49   So I think if you zoom out, there is a lot about this,

00:07:52   about the timing and everything about it

00:07:54   that actually makes quite a bit of sense.

00:07:56   - I guess I agree with that.

00:08:00   Our mutual friend Brent Simmons described WWDC

00:08:06   with Swift UI as the end of the next era at Apple.

00:08:11   at Apple, you know, in terms of the software. And, you know, that is the one thing, you

00:08:15   know, Johnny was already at Apple, when when the, as I call it, the next reunification

00:08:21   happened. And, you know, Steve Jobs has had said several times that, you know, one of

00:08:27   the very pleasant surprises when he came back to Apple, after the next acquisition slash

00:08:34   anti acquisition, whatever, reverse acquisition, right? That's why I call it the reunification.

00:08:39   like when you look at what Next did, and it was wasn't that long.

00:08:44   That's the thing is that next, I think, only started in like 1988.

00:08:48   And by 1997, they'd been acquired, you know, at the end of very end of 1996.

00:08:54   They were acquired by Apple.

00:08:56   So it is pretty wild, right?

00:08:58   Like the the current era of Apple, the dominant era of Apple is like twice

00:09:02   as long as as like the non Steve Jobs era. Right.

00:09:06   It's exactly it is kind of wild when you think about it.

00:09:09   But because I was young and the computer industry was young and there were new platforms coming every few years

00:09:16   You know, you had the BOS and you know

00:09:19   You had the silicon graphics and you had Sun and and all these other companies and there were a bunch of you know

00:09:25   Much more competition just be and I think that's typical, you know

00:09:29   We we don't have to go off in the weeds on this but it's typical for an industry in the early years to have

00:09:35   more competition and more new upstarts and then things settle in and there's a

00:09:41   one or two dominant players

00:09:43   You know the software side wasn't Johnny and you know and then the software side of modern Apple all came from the next acquisition

00:09:52   But I think you're right that that

00:09:55   Swift UI is the first thing that they've done since then that is

00:10:03   new, you know, it's it's it's not based on the

00:10:07   Next

00:10:10   Application frameworks, right? Right because Swift is like a programming language, right? That's a fairly sort of generic thing like Swift UI

00:10:15   Oh, there it goes

00:10:16   I think they're finished

00:10:17   Swift UI is like that's getting it like the framework of how the operating system actually works and how it actually like show stuff on

00:10:23   The screen and all like it's much more embedded into the OS itself as opposed to something like, you know

00:10:29   Like a programming language like you're getting deeper into what is OS 10 itself

00:10:34   Yeah, and it's now something different than it was previously or yeah OS I guess I should say

00:10:38   But you know and but it's an interesting

00:10:41   you know

00:10:44   Inflection point because

00:10:46   back then in the late 90s when Apple was

00:10:51   furiously working to deliver OS 10

00:10:57   You know, it was a you know, I think that it was a late night did like seriously like after after Christmas

00:11:03   1996 like very very late December when they acquired next I think it was after Christmas if it was definitely late December

00:11:11   So effectively it was 1997 and you know, there was that whole period where?

00:11:17   It wasn't like they acquired them and said okay now Steve Jobs is back and he's in charge. There was that whole

00:11:25   Yeah, I you know, he's just gonna be an advisor and you know

00:11:30   You know, I wasn't sure what he wanted to do and then they you know

00:11:34   Ran Gil amelio out of the company and and he became they literally called him the I CEO right interim CEO

00:11:42   It was like the I like the first I right. Yeah the first I wasn't the iMac it was Steve Jobs

00:11:48   He was the I CEO because he was interim CEO and he was like, well, I'll take over a CEO until we find the real CEO

00:11:55   And it was quite a while before they made the announcement that, you know what, this

00:12:01   is good, this is going to work, I'm sticking around, I'll be the CEO.

00:12:06   But in that era, and they had a ton of work to do to turn what they had software-wise

00:12:16   into what they needed to be Mac OS X, it was years.

00:12:22   It was 1997 when they started and next was an interesting, very interesting and very

00:12:28   impressive technical operating system at the time.

00:12:32   But to become what it needed to be Apple's new Macintosh operating system, it really

00:12:37   needed a lot more.

00:12:39   And it didn't ship until I think 2001.

00:12:43   Yep.

00:12:44   No, 2001, like looking backwards, is this unbelievably momentous year in Apple.

00:12:50   Because in January 2001, you had the keynote where Jobs announced the future was, they

00:12:56   had the hub, the digital hub idea, and that the thing they were going to focus on as far

00:13:01   as the spokes on the hub was going to be music.

00:13:03   And they had iTunes.

00:13:04   And this was a huge switch, because only like seven months previously they said they were

00:13:08   going to focus on movies.

00:13:10   And then there's that intervening period where they're like, "Oh crap, this thing's happening

00:13:13   with MP3s and we're totally missing it."

00:13:15   And they bought SoundJam and Pivot and did all that.

00:13:17   So that's January.

00:13:18   February

00:13:20   Rubenstein John Rubenstein goes to goes to Japan goes to visit Toshiba

00:13:24   They show him this little hard drive saying we don't know what to do with this, right?

00:13:28   At the time most hard drives with the small hard drives that you would put in a laptop. I think we're 2.5 inches

00:13:34   and

00:13:35   He went there for like a regular visit to like hey check on the state-of-the-art and they were like, hey

00:13:41   We've we've made these 1.8 inch heart

00:13:44   We have no idea what to do with them right because it was like the laptop people were like well

00:13:49   We don't need you know 2.5 is fine. You know like like the difference low. It's too small

00:13:54   Yeah a slower hard drive

00:13:56   But that's only this much smaller doesn't make a difference to us if we've already putting it into a laptop form factor and

00:14:04   But Rubenstein yeah as you're pointing out. It was like hey, maybe there's something else we could make where this

00:14:12   decrease in size would actually make a difference. And this is actually a really important point

00:14:16   that I think we'll, I want to reference further in the podcast, so sort of put a stake here.

00:14:20   That was February 2001. They shipped the iPod in September of 2001.

00:14:25   No, so I think it was actually October. They were going to announce it in September, I think,

00:14:31   or something around. Was it because of 9/11? Yeah, it was because of 9/11. They were, I think

00:14:35   they were going to ship it, announce it in September, and then 9/11 happened and they

00:14:40   postponed it and then made in my opinion I've never heard this I've never

00:14:45   confirmed this but I think that they then made the original iPod announcement

00:14:51   a bit lower key than they would have it was it was I was not it was before it

00:14:57   was that 2001 is before I was even writing during fireball so I wasn't it

00:15:00   wasn't even close to when I would have been invited to a Apple media event but

00:15:05   But I do remember it was held at their very small town hall at the old infinite loop campus.

00:15:14   And it's an interesting thing to watch again, you know, I think you do the same thing I

00:15:18   do is you rewatch some of these old Apple announcements.

00:15:21   And in hindsight, you you can kind of gain some insights.

00:15:26   The original iPod announcement was very low key.

00:15:29   And I think I think it's just because everyone the whole world was just low key after 911.

00:15:34   I don't think it was a mistake.

00:15:37   Maybe they would have played it that way anyway,

00:15:39   but it's hard to think that it wasn't colored in some way

00:15:43   by the general mood of the entire civilization post 9/11.

00:15:48   - No, you're right, it was October.

00:15:51   But just to make the broader point,

00:15:53   that's eight months from idea,

00:15:56   like not even like drawings from idea to product.

00:15:59   And the other thing,

00:16:00   I think that's useful to remember back to this point

00:16:02   is Apple was still so much more of a hardware company.

00:16:07   In this case, they outsourced the operating system, right?

00:16:10   Like it was built by, what is it?

00:16:12   PIXO?

00:16:13   - P-I-X-O, right?

00:16:15   PIXO.

00:16:16   - Yeah, I don't know how to say it.

00:16:17   Apple supervised it and dealt with it.

00:16:19   But I mean, it was kind of like the iMac,

00:16:21   like the original iMac.

00:16:22   I mean, I know I'm gonna get some of your listeners mad,

00:16:25   probably including you, but I mean, OS X was,

00:16:27   I called it my day, I'll do it today,

00:16:29   a decrepit operating system, right?

00:16:31   it still had a great sort of user experience.

00:16:33   - Wait, OS X or the classic Mac?

00:16:35   - OS IX, yeah, classic Mac, I should say.

00:16:38   And the components were terrible, it was slow.

00:16:42   - It wasn't slow.

00:16:45   No, slow is the wrong term.

00:16:46   - No, no, no, I meant Macs relative to Intel PCs

00:16:50   at that time were slow.

00:16:51   Not saying the operating system itself was slow.

00:16:54   Actually, the operating system was very snappy

00:16:56   because of the way it was built.

00:16:57   - It was so close to the metal, right?

00:16:59   The operating system was fast.

00:17:01   The hardware was problematic.

00:17:04   And in that era, I've been a nonstop Mac person,

00:17:09   Apple person, even going back to the '80s.

00:17:13   Yeah, that's fair, but I think you have to say

00:17:17   that if there was any argument of slowness,

00:17:19   it was the Motorola CPUs, not the operating system.

00:17:24   - Exactly, no, I meant to refer to the operating system

00:17:26   to the CPU.

00:17:28   But the point is, is that what's interesting

00:17:30   that era of Apple was, and this is why I think it's the most, it's the place where I've made

00:17:35   the biggest difference and mattered the most, is like I've carried Apple through that period.

00:17:40   The iMac sold because it was this gorgeous all-in-one computer that people just wanted.

00:17:46   It didn't sell because of its other features. It didn't sell because of the operating system.

00:17:50   It didn't sell because it had a speedy processor. It sold because it was attractive. It was

00:17:55   desirable. It was a thing that you wanted to have and you wanted to have in your house. And that was

00:17:59   the first time ever for a computer. Same thing with an iPod. I mean, yes, a huge part of

00:18:04   the iPod was iTunes and the fact that you could all the complexity was offloaded onto

00:18:08   the Mac. You know, certainly a theme for Apple, you know, in the way they've designed their

00:18:12   products. But at the same time, like Apple spent its resources and its time on getting

00:18:17   the hardware right. And they were willing to outsource or the software side of it. And,

00:18:22   You know, I think it's, when you think about the arc of Ive's tenure at Apple, to me, you

00:18:29   have to go back to this era because it's where he, like, second only to Steve Jobs, he saved

00:18:35   the company because he's getting those products out, making products that people wanted, despite

00:18:40   the fact they're missing so many important pieces.

00:18:43   That's what gave Apple the money, gave them the resources, gave them the motivation, not

00:18:48   motivation, the momentum for sort of everything that followed and to take nothing away from his

00:18:54   designs around the iPhone or the iPad or any of those sorts of things. But all those like

00:19:00   that was a train that was sort of going down the tracks at that point. And Johnny Ive was very much

00:19:05   the person that sort of got that train moving in the first place. You know, and it's an interesting,

00:19:09   you know, it's in the statement Apple put forth yesterday to announce this. They, you know,

00:19:16   Tim Cook's quote, you know, praising Johnny, I've

00:19:20   specifically called out the original iMac.

00:19:25   And, you know, I think for good reason and I think you're right.

00:19:29   And part of it timing wise, like I said, was that on the software side,

00:19:34   Jobs and his team from Next had

00:19:39   at least four or five years of work to get Mac OS X out.

00:19:44   And you know, it officially shipped in 2001.

00:19:50   But did you ever, did you use it back then?

00:19:53   I don't know.

00:19:53   Did you even try it in, you know, like the original 10.0?

00:19:56   It, you know, Mac--

00:19:58   >> It was pretty rough.

00:19:59   >> It was extremely rough.

00:20:01   I mean, really, really rough.

00:20:04   And serious Mac users who had work to do didn't use it.

00:20:10   I mean, it was years.

00:20:11   And, you know, somebody-- was it another podcast?

00:20:14   I forget where somebody was talking recently.

00:20:19   Oh, it was on my podcast.

00:20:22   It was Jaws' story about the funeral

00:20:27   that they held on stage for classic Mac OS 9.

00:20:34   The great story he told at the beginning of my live show.

00:20:41   and John Moltz's crazy Apple rumors story

00:20:45   that after it had been, had a funeral,

00:20:48   that it had been resuscitated and brought back to life

00:20:51   and how everybody, including Steve Jobs at Apple,

00:20:55   had greatly enjoyed the story.

00:20:58   But that was like 2004 when they were,

00:21:01   it was like three years after it shipped

00:21:03   and they're still holding Macworld Expos

00:21:05   where Steve Jobs is holding a, you know,

00:21:09   tongue-in-cheek funeral for Mac OS 9, which was a very funny way of effectively saying,

00:21:18   "Hey, this new one, we know that a lot of you have been holding out, but this new one

00:21:23   is actually, it is the future.

00:21:27   The old OS has no future, and it's good now.

00:21:30   It's good enough."

00:21:31   So that was seven years after the acquisition before they held the event where they were

00:21:37   like, "Hey, classic Mac OS is dead."

00:21:38   It was a very long time to get Mac OS X to where it needed to be, to be fast enough and

00:21:44   snappy enough and robust enough to say this is the Apple Mac operating system.

00:21:52   In the meantime, like you said, 1998 was only a year after Jobs came back and they shipped

00:21:57   the iMac and it was a sensation.

00:22:04   There's no other way to describe it.

00:22:06   It was an absolute sensation.

00:22:08   And it was purely based on design, right?

00:22:13   Like you said, it wasn't like a world beating processor.

00:22:17   It wasn't the G3, whatever.

00:22:20   It was the G3.

00:22:21   166 megahertz or something like that, 100 and something.

00:22:28   Wasn't that great compared to the state

00:22:30   of the art for the industry?

00:22:33   It was a CRT that was just, you know, just a sort of standard CRT display.

00:22:41   The operating system was, in my opinion, you know, we can argue, we shouldn't argue about

00:22:47   it here on the show, but because it'll take up all of our time, but the Mac operating

00:22:53   system still had a great design.

00:22:55   Yeah, no, we're on the same page.

00:22:58   It's more from a technical underpinning perspective, like it did protective memory.

00:23:02   - Exactly, didn't have protective memory.

00:23:03   And by the late 90s, you kind of needed protected memory.

00:23:07   You did need it.

00:23:08   It was outdated.

00:23:09   It should have been,

00:23:11   Apple should have made that transition

00:23:13   five to six years earlier,

00:23:15   and they didn't through mismanagement.

00:23:17   And it was, you could say, well, in hindsight,

00:23:20   five, six years isn't that long,

00:23:21   but you've missed something like that,

00:23:23   and all of a sudden you're behind the curve.

00:23:26   It wasn't a world beating operating system,

00:23:29   and it wasn't anything different.

00:23:30   It wasn't like the iMac shipped with a different looking version of macOS than you could get

00:23:34   on any other Mac that you could have bought in '95, '96, '97, right?

00:23:41   So it wasn't the software.

00:23:42   It wasn't the processor.

00:23:44   It just had a regular hard drive.

00:23:46   There was nothing else really.

00:23:49   The only other technical thing I can even vaguely think of that you could say it was

00:23:52   kind of remarkable about it was that it switched all of the I/O to USB.

00:23:59   And that was interesting.

00:24:00   And it was ahead of the curve, even though USB is an industry standard that eventually,

00:24:05   you know, became the standard port on all PCs.

00:24:10   The iMac was the first one in the industry that that went to USB, but you know,

00:24:15   and no no describe built in either.

00:24:18   Nobody was happy to strive.

00:24:19   Yeah, no floppy.

00:24:20   That was the other.

00:24:21   Yeah.

00:24:22   So that was the other thing is it was the only the only describe was a CD ROM, which

00:24:28   So at the time we thought it was amazing.

00:24:30   Isn't this forward thinking that it doesn't have a floppy,

00:24:33   but in hindsight it's like,

00:24:35   but it was a big deal that it had a CD-R drive.

00:24:39   - No, not even a CD-R.

00:24:41   - Oh, you're right, you're right.

00:24:42   - It could only read.

00:24:43   - You're right, because when they did the music thing,

00:24:46   that was part of the mea culpa, we missed this,

00:24:48   was that people wanna burn CDs, so we're gonna,

00:24:51   yeah, that's when, it was only like 2001 or 2002

00:24:54   when they were like, we gotta put CD-Rs into everything.

00:24:56   But anyway, it was just what it looked like.

00:24:59   It was, hey, it's all in one.

00:25:01   It is this sort of interesting--

00:25:05   - Has a handle.

00:25:06   - Fascinating to me, 'cause within two years

00:25:10   of the iMac shipping, the whole world of industrial design

00:25:15   became obsessed with translucent plastics

00:25:20   and largely translucent plastics that were in that same,

00:25:26   was it but when he pronounced it Bondi Bondi blue Bondi blue you know you could

00:25:31   buy like ironing I irons you know they iron your clothes with they were the

00:25:37   same thing you could buy like just like a desk side alarm clock and and they all

00:25:45   look like the iMac or tried to look like the iMac as much as they could it was

00:25:51   you know it well not just that but you mentioned how long it took to get sort

00:25:55   OS X out the door. And so it wasn't just the original iMac, then also the iPod. And then

00:26:04   the next iMac actually came out too, the one, the lampshade iMac. And this was in 2002. So basically,

00:26:11   Ive and the industrial design team was, again, you can't underestimate the degree to which they

00:26:19   They were carrying Apple and carrying water for Apple for a good five, six, seven years.

00:26:25   And really, you know, before then the iPod started.

00:26:29   When did the when did the iPod go to Windows, right?

00:26:31   And go to Windows 2004, I think.

00:26:32   Yeah. So 2004 is kind of like a switch over point.

00:26:35   2003, 2004, somewhere where the the importance of the software

00:26:40   kind of came back up to the level of the importance of the hardware.

00:26:45   And but before that, like it was like it was pretty rough.

00:26:48   Like it was a hardware driven company

00:26:50   to a far greater extent than they are,

00:26:53   you know, have any time since then.

00:26:54   And again, the other thing with the iMac is,

00:26:59   I mean, it's hard to appreciate

00:27:01   for maybe young people out there.

00:27:03   Like it was really out of left field.

00:27:05   Like no one saw anything like that coming.

00:27:08   Like I remember I used to always read the comics

00:27:11   and it was like in comics,

00:27:13   like the Sunday comics and stuff like that.

00:27:14   I remember there being like,

00:27:16   Like it was, it was a cultural event.

00:27:18   Like it was so unlike anything that came before.

00:27:21   And it's fascinating because it's something that, that.

00:27:25   It's, it's still completely recognizable.

00:27:28   And at the same time, it's so obviously the way that a computer, sort of a consumer

00:27:33   computer sort of ought to have been made.

00:27:35   I mean, and then, oh, the other thing is in that same time period, they also did the

00:27:39   power book, the power book was in 19 was in 2001, I believe, uh, which again, a

00:27:45   brilliant industrial design that that, you know, basically set the design language for

00:27:49   Apple's laptops all the way through today. In many respects, are you talking specifically about the

00:27:54   titanium G4? Yeah, that's right. That's right. So they had quote unquote power books before that

00:28:00   they were power books in the late 90s. But the one that that set the mold for the to this day,

00:28:08   the modern laptop design was the titanium G4 power book. That's right. And then the

00:28:14   And then the iBook was in the early 2000s. Plastic, but again, just a very striking

00:28:22   sort of design. It also got the colors going on. And I don't like when it comes to consumer

00:28:28   electronics, like basically the most valuable sort of segment there is on earth like that.

00:28:34   It was an unbelievable sort of seven to eight year stretch that really like set forth the

00:28:39   design language for basically everyone that we're still using today. Yeah, absolutely.

00:28:43   And it's funny too because you would tend to think hardware

00:28:47   Has a longer time frame than software and in at that time though

00:28:53   You know and and part of what made it possible for them to do it so fast

00:28:57   Was that it wasn't like they invented a new CPU or switch to a new CPU or or when right things were much more modular

00:29:04   Then yeah much more modular and they just used a standard, you know, I guess Sony CRT

00:29:13   It technically, you know, and I think it drove some people who you know, I don't want to say Apple haters

00:29:21   But you know what? I mean Apple haters, you know, it drove them nuts that there was nothing technically innovative about it

00:29:28   It it made some people all the rave reviews that the that the iMac got

00:29:34   Drove some people nuts because they were like wait

00:29:36   This is still the same piece of crap Mac that they sold before it just has a clear

00:29:42   - The blue case. - Yep.

00:29:44   No, but that's why it's so important though.

00:29:46   To me, that's why it is,

00:29:47   I still think it's the most important product

00:29:50   that I've created.

00:29:51   Because what was happening in that period

00:29:55   from a sort of big picture meta level was,

00:29:58   the reason why Apple struggled in the 80s and the 90s

00:30:00   is that the computer market was an enterprise market.

00:30:03   And Apple was fundamentally a consumer company.

00:30:06   And if you wanna back up the reason why Apple succeeded

00:30:08   in the 2000s and the 2010s,

00:30:11   and Microsoft struggled is because the PC market

00:30:14   became a consumer market and the enterprise market

00:30:16   became much less important.

00:30:18   And if you think about it, the fundamental nature

00:30:20   of the two companies actually didn't change,

00:30:21   it's just that the market around them changed.

00:30:24   But a key sort of like pivot point in there

00:30:26   was this product, which again,

00:30:28   it was the first computer you wanted,

00:30:30   it wasn't just a technical putting,

00:30:35   a spreadsheet feeds and speeds sort of calculation.

00:30:38   Like there was, it aroused something else in you

00:30:41   that yes, it's hard to articulate,

00:30:43   it's hard to put on a spreadsheet

00:30:45   that drives sort of nerds up the wall

00:30:47   because they look at the numbers

00:30:49   and say it doesn't make any sense,

00:30:50   but just because there isn't a number for that feeling

00:30:54   or that desire doesn't mean it's not real.

00:30:56   And that feeling, that desire,

00:30:57   like that is the intersection of, you know,

00:31:00   liberal arts and technology that Steve Jobs talks about.

00:31:02   That's exactly what he's referring to.

00:31:04   - Yeah.

00:31:06   - You know, and there's so many examples.

00:31:08   The computer industry,

00:31:10   Apple had always sort of been on that spectrum.

00:31:13   It's not like,

00:31:14   it's not like the iMac

00:31:18   was un-Appley,

00:31:23   or I'm not quite sure how to put it.

00:31:26   - I'm with you, no, that is my point.

00:31:27   Apple was a consumer company all the way through,

00:31:29   but this sort of took it to 100.

00:31:32   - Yeah, and it was sort of like,

00:31:34   it was like instead of feeling like,

00:31:36   this is a total shift and a new direction for the company. It was like, this is what Apple should

00:31:41   have been doing for the last 10 years. Right. Exactly. And the original Mac from 1984 had that

00:31:47   sort of effect. You know, that was, I was just thinking about that. Like, like that's, it's true

00:31:51   for bear, right? Like the, the Mac started out being this, this sort of thing you want to put

00:31:57   on a desk and you feel, you see it and feel happy. And then it sort of devolved into, well, there's,

00:32:02   you know, it took time, but by the mid 90s, it's just a bunch of base boxes like everybody else.

00:32:07   And this was a return to what the Mac was supposed to be all along. Yeah,

00:32:10   yeah, exactly. And I feel like everybody who got it, I had that same feeling, you know, and it's,

00:32:17   you know, you and you can't measure it, you can't put a number on it. It's not about specs.

00:32:22   It really is the antithesis of that. And there's so many things in the quote unquote, liberal arts

00:32:28   that are like that, like what makes a movie a great movie as opposed to a shitty movie.

00:32:35   And you know, you can't measure it. You can't like run run the movie through a B test a movie,

00:32:43   or put it through an algorithm and figure out, you know, have a piece of software say, well,

00:32:48   this is absolutely a classic piece of art, or this one is a complete turd. You can't measure a novel

00:32:56   algorithmically, right? You can't, you know, it could be just as well printed with the same

00:33:03   quality of paper, it could come right out of the same printing press as a great novel and a piece

00:33:12   of crap, you know, the turd novel, like you, you just have to know it, it's something that you need

00:33:20   to be a human being and you just feel it, you know, and the iMac definitely had that and and

00:33:25   And it was absolutely-- and everybody credits

00:33:31   Johnny Ive for that.

00:33:33   I think it's one of the things that's interesting,

00:33:35   and it stems right from that 1998 era,

00:33:37   is that one of the things about Steve Jobs--

00:33:42   and it's hard to separate this, as we

00:33:44   do a retrospective on Johnny Ive's time at Apple.

00:33:47   You can't really separate his collaboration with Steve Jobs.

00:33:51   But one of the things about Steve Jobs

00:33:53   that goes all the way back to the very earliest days,

00:33:57   literally like when it was just him and Wozniak

00:34:00   and he like shortchanged him on a check from Atari

00:34:04   for a video game, was that Steve Jobs,

00:34:09   love him or hate him, whatever you think about him,

00:34:11   he tended to want to take a lot of the credit himself.

00:34:15   I mean, it was just his nature.

00:34:17   And I think it's very telling, you know,

00:34:20   And it was Steve Jobs who in his return to Apple

00:34:25   instituted a policy that in hindsight,

00:34:28   like if you only have been following Apple

00:34:31   since sometime in the 2000s, this will seem crazy.

00:34:35   But prior to that, Apple gave an entire,

00:34:39   a very large amount of credit to the engineers

00:34:43   and designers who worked on things.

00:34:44   The about boxes for the operating system

00:34:47   and for individual apps from Apple

00:34:50   would list the people who worked on them

00:34:52   and created them by name.

00:34:53   And as a nerd who followed this stuff,

00:34:56   you saw these names and you were like, wow,

00:35:01   this guy is great, look at this guy,

00:35:04   he's worked on the Finder for five years.

00:35:07   Or it's the only guy who's made the entire file system

00:35:11   for the Macintosh.

00:35:13   It was Jobs who came back and instituted this policy of,

00:35:19   we're not going to put anybody's names in these about boxes and ostensibly for the reason that

00:35:24   He thought that they were getting you know

00:35:26   Anti poaching which I think is it's I've argued this like in public talks over the years publicly is seems like nonsense

00:35:34   like it's it's not like

00:35:37   Because they they stopped putting engineer and designer names in about boxes that

00:35:44   Recruiters in Silicon Valley didn't know how to get in contact with talented people at Apple to see if they would leave for another company

00:35:51   You know, right job does that's backroom deals to deals nonsense

00:35:54   Right job jobs cut backroom deals to deal with poaching, right?

00:36:00   Exactly. That's that was the anti poaching thing

00:36:03   Like he was he was concerned with poaching

00:36:05   But I don't think the about box that he took a much more direct approach to dealing with it. That was also highly illegal

00:36:11   Yeah, exactly

00:36:13   But I

00:36:16   Like from from the iMac onward there was never any lack of credit for Johnny I've you know

00:36:22   It is you know

00:36:23   The esteem that Steve Jobs held him in is clearly of the absolute highest regard that this is somebody

00:36:30   Who deserves full named credit?

00:36:33   as as

00:36:36   an essential

00:36:38   Apple employee who made this thing or spearheaded this thing spearheaded the team that made this thing

00:36:44   Yeah, it no it's it's an excellent point and it deserves

00:36:49   I mean if there's one guy that sort of deserves that sort of credit it is it is I've and you know the other thing

00:36:55   That's interesting. I'm curious your thoughts about this

00:36:57   It's it's striking to go back and look at those IMAX and that you know that translucent plastic

00:37:02   And they're also colorful and you had the eye books that were multicolored

00:37:05   sort of following the same sort of aesthetic.

00:37:08   And think about where Apple's hardware

00:37:11   has sort of evolved to, where it's a very,

00:37:13   yes, there's the sort of like the secondary iPhone models

00:37:15   that have colors, but the, you know,

00:37:17   the flagship models for a long time

00:37:19   have been very sort of austere and cold almost.

00:37:22   And it's interesting to like, why,

00:37:26   how is it that Apple, and it took time,

00:37:28   like Apple sort of devolved in that direction

00:37:30   over a while, but you know,

00:37:32   maybe that's just the way that,

00:37:35   I think there's something, I think there was something too,

00:37:39   like the hardware just diminished in importance over time.

00:37:42   It's not that having great computers didn't matter,

00:37:44   but you think about something like the iPhone and the iPad,

00:37:47   where the screen and what you were doing

00:37:49   and directly touching mattered so much more.

00:37:51   It was sort of appropriate that the hardware

00:37:54   sort of fade away into the background.

00:37:56   And I think that it's interesting to think about

00:37:59   Ive's career sort of in that context,

00:38:01   starting with the iMac, which was hardware first,

00:38:04   carrying the company because of the hardware,

00:38:06   bright, colorful, what caught your eye,

00:38:09   and then to see that sort of fade

00:38:11   as everything else that took time

00:38:13   sort of came to the surface.

00:38:15   - Yeah, that is an absolute great topic.

00:38:19   I'm gonna put a fork in it and come back to it

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00:41:29   on select mattresses, terms and conditions do apply. Ben, you're

00:41:36   back. I'm back. Yeah, I do think that if what you brought before

00:41:44   the break, there is an interesting point where the

00:41:47   early

00:41:48   Johnny I've era, you know and and and it's so

00:41:51   Funny and curious and interesting that I've and his industrial design team were already there at Apple

00:41:59   when Steve Jobs

00:42:02   Got there and and it's like what the you know, what the hell was the previous management?

00:42:08   Doing with this team. No, they they somehow had the sense. I have no idea how he lasted for what I think

00:42:15   It was there for five years. Yeah jobs out there. It's it's wild

00:42:19   So talented so ambitious and

00:42:23   He had two products the company was shipping had no, you know

00:42:29   No, no real interest. I mean, I guess the Newton stuff made I don't know if he even worked on the Newton stuff

00:42:36   the Newton stuff was at least original but the

00:42:39   Macintosh hardware of the time was just it was just the best-looking beige box

00:42:44   It wasn't yep. It wasn't that interesting then the iMac ushers in this era of

00:42:50   For lack of a better word trendiness

00:42:54   you know and and stuff changed very quickly and you know in hindsight that that

00:43:00   translucent plastic

00:43:03   Whether it was the Bondi blue or you went remember when they first

00:43:06   Expanded from that and they switched to like five colors. Yeah, remember the advertising I think they called him by fruit, right?

00:43:14   It was like strawberry lime grape

00:43:16   Which is so where is the thing come out in retrospect

00:43:22   Strawberry lime grape. What else was there? Was there a lemon blueberry?

00:43:28   You know, they they had like a new blue like a different shade of blue

00:43:32   all of it looks very trendy and and it's like looking at old episodes of like

00:43:39   Seinfeld or friends or whatever shows were on in the late 90s and you see you know the way that

00:43:44   Hairstyles were different and clothing styles were different and for whatever reason in the 90s

00:43:51   We we all just bought clothes that were way too big

00:43:55   everybody brought like

00:43:57   sweaters that you

00:43:58   Just buy clothes that were like two sizes too big for you and you look at the TV shows and you see people dressed like that

00:44:04   And you're like, what?

00:44:05   Why is everybody wearing?

00:44:07   Sweaters that are too big and the same way you look back at those, you know things and you think why?

00:44:13   Why would you make a computer out of clear plastic? It seems very trendy at the time. It was in sensation

00:44:19   but then they did move to

00:44:23   Design languages for various products that sort of have a timelessness, right?

00:44:28   And I think that that titanium g4 power book

00:44:33   Really was the start of that, you know

00:44:36   You know, the titanium, there was problems with the titanium was a good idea, but the

00:44:43   the the the language and the color sort of were exactly what you still you still see

00:44:49   today, right?

00:44:50   Titanium was a problem it it it it didn't do well with some people's like that the sweat

00:44:57   and oil on your hands, you know, it would it corroded on the palm rests for some people.

00:45:05   But the basic look of it, though, is a lot like a modern MacBook.

00:45:10   And the idea of, hey, let's use a different material than plastic was a fundamentally

00:45:17   great idea.

00:45:18   Right.

00:45:19   And now everybody, the whole the whole world's moved to making stuff out of aluminum.

00:45:22   Yeah, no, everything was plastic.

00:45:24   All laptops were plastic back then.

00:45:25   I can't remember the last time I've seen a plastic notebook.

00:45:29   Right.

00:45:30   It's because everything's made out of aluminum now.

00:45:32   You know, carbon fibers.

00:45:34   Yeah.

00:45:35   It's all very interesting and and it a part of what made and

00:45:41   Makes you know and probably will make you know for years to come depending on you know, seeing what he works on

00:45:47   Johnny I've so interesting is

00:45:49   is truly truly deeply deeply interested and knowledgeable in materials and

00:45:57   What they look like how you can make them how they're formed what they're they're

00:46:04   rigidity is. And that just wasn't part of the PC industry at the time. Everything was just a piece

00:46:12   of crap made out of plastic. The other thing that's interesting too is sort of the speed of

00:46:18   iteration then, because the iPod was in 2001. And they were entering on that quite quickly.

00:46:26   And then, I mean, at the time when we were experiencing it, it didn't feel like that fast.

00:46:30   But if you go back, like the iPod era was only like six years, right?

00:46:34   Yeah.

00:46:35   And they'd come up with new iPods every year, and then the mini came out and it seemed like

00:46:39   a huge deal.

00:46:40   That was, what, 2005?

00:46:41   Like it's the same thing you talked about with the Jobs era Apple, where it actually

00:46:46   wasn't that long that he was gone, but at the time it felt like it was forever.

00:46:50   And it was the same thing in the whole iPod era.

00:46:54   It was actually quite short and like half as long as the iPhone era has been.

00:46:58   Yeah, that's very true that the the iPod era was very short, but it seemed long at the

00:47:05   time. I very specifically remembered that it it it it coincided with Apple's foray

00:47:16   into opening its own retail stores, which is one of the great claim chowder stories

00:47:22   of all time because of how many people when they first said, hey, we're going to make

00:47:26   our own stores. We're like, hey, if gateway can't pull it off, there's no way Apple can.

00:47:33   It's amazing because I forgot about that. That was 2001 too. So 2001 Apple launched

00:47:38   iTunes, watched the titanium power book, watched the Apple retail store, watched the iPod and

00:47:46   launched OS 10, like the consumer version of OS 10. It is the most unbelievable year

00:47:52   that a computer company will ever have. Again, not just the amount of quality of the products,

00:47:58   but sort of the long run impact of all those products is just astronomical.

00:48:02   It was like, but Apple's like foray into retail was treated by the business press as like Apple

00:48:12   has decided to, totally lost their minds. Yeah, but they've decided to put their corporate

00:48:17   bank balance on on red on a roulette table.

00:48:20   You know what I mean? It was like this.

00:48:23   Oh, no, they didn't give that.

00:48:24   They didn't give them that many chances.

00:48:25   No, it's like they picked one of the number 37.

00:48:28   Right. They put it all on 32.

00:48:32   Exactly. But, you know, and you know, that

00:48:36   Johnny Ive has been instrumental in that, too, right?

00:48:40   I mean, like the the tables at the Apple stores are all,

00:48:44   you know, custom designed by Johnny's design team.

00:48:47   And, you know, Steve Jobs famously took an enormous interest

00:48:53   in every single aspect of those stores, you know,

00:48:56   importing certain stone for the floors

00:49:00   from a quarry in one town in Italy.

00:49:03   All sorts of stuff like that, details like that.

00:49:08   But it's, you know, part of this.

00:49:12   just sort of design centric mentality that really took hold at Apple, you know, and again,

00:49:18   while jobs was gone, it's not like design didn't matter at Apple, but it didn't. It didn't. It

00:49:27   didn't surface in every single thing they did in the way that it did after he got there.

00:49:31   Yep, absolutely. And the I mean, so go back to the iPods then. So they're coming out with iPods

00:49:38   every year. And then the sort of the iPhone comes along. And the, you know, it's interesting,

00:49:45   it's in retro, like you're seeing this dramatic increase in complexity. I think that's probably

00:49:51   a big reason why the iPhone sort of iteration speed was slower as far as industrial design,

00:49:56   because they did the iPhone 1 and the iPhone 3G, and then the 3GS was the same case. And they

00:50:01   They followed the S sort of versioning ever since.

00:50:05   And again, I'm just very struck.

00:50:08   I've been thinking about this all morning.

00:50:09   I had to wake up at three to write my daily update.

00:50:11   You were ready last night.

00:50:13   Like to me, this arc of Johnny Ive

00:50:15   in conjunction with what was happening at Apple

00:50:18   is so fascinating.

00:50:19   And this is another one where the,

00:50:21   you talked a few minutes ago,

00:50:23   they could churn out sort of the iMac quickly

00:50:25   'cause it's using all sort of standard parts.

00:50:27   And you think about it, it's a relatively large case

00:50:29   and it can fit a lot of stuff in there very easily.

00:50:31   over time, the complexity and sort of miniaturization

00:50:35   of Apple's products is also sort of going

00:50:37   in this same direction,

00:50:39   where you're going from the iMac to the iPod.

00:50:41   And the iPod, looking back,

00:50:43   was a very sort of simple device,

00:50:45   but it was more challenging from a sort of manufacturing

00:50:48   and production standpoint than an iMac would have been.

00:50:50   And then you go from the iPod to the iPod mini

00:50:54   or the iPod nano.

00:50:55   And again, the challenges are sort of increasing

00:50:57   in that regard.

00:50:58   The iPhone takes that to a whole nother level,

00:51:00   does not have to deal with antennas,

00:51:02   you have to deal with your cell reception,

00:51:03   all those sorts of things that go into that.

00:51:06   And this is sort of gonna weed, I think, big picture

00:51:10   to the questions about what comes after Johnny Ive.

00:51:12   But the challenges, you're not gonna turn out an iPhone,

00:51:17   it's not gonna go from idea to out the door

00:51:20   in eight months anymore.

00:51:21   It's just not possible anymore

00:51:23   because the level of complexity has increased so much,

00:51:27   just as the importance of software and services

00:51:30   has increased so much.

00:51:31   And again, I think this is where Johnny Ive,

00:51:34   like he was of outsized importance early on

00:51:38   and became more important as a sort of collaborative part

00:51:43   of something much more complex later on.

00:51:45   And it's sort of a natural transition that happened

00:51:48   as technology advanced.

00:51:50   - The miniaturization thing is an interesting angle.

00:51:57   And just compare, like you brought up,

00:52:01   just how quickly the iPod changed

00:52:06   from the original white thick sort of deck of cards size one

00:52:11   in 2001 with a black and white screen to the mini

00:52:18   which was a sensation to the nano

00:52:23   which was a true sensation.

00:52:26   And that's where it switched from a small, tiny spinning hard drive to SSD storage,

00:52:32   which allowed them to make it way smaller, even though it was already by far and away

00:52:37   the best-selling MP3 player on the planet.

00:52:40   And they just threw it away and said, we're going to switch to something much thinner

00:52:46   and using more expensive storage just because we think this is the future.

00:52:51   Of course, in hindsight, selling these things with spinning hard disks seems archaic.

00:52:58   It was crazy, but it's just not the sort of thing typical companies do.

00:53:03   But it all happened in five or six years.

00:53:05   And now, just compare and contrast with Apple Watch, which has gotten, at a technical level,

00:53:13   very much better since it debuted.

00:53:16   It is way faster.

00:53:18   If you buy a, what's the current one series for,

00:53:21   if you buy the current Apple watch,

00:53:22   it is way faster than the original Apple watch.

00:53:26   It has much, much longer battery life,

00:53:30   easily gets you entirely through a day,

00:53:32   no matter what you're doing with it,

00:53:35   how much you're using it,

00:53:36   how much fitness monitoring you're doing,

00:53:38   you can easily get through a day,

00:53:40   whereas the original Apple watch really struggled

00:53:42   to get through a day on a single charge, so much faster.

00:53:47   But fundamentally, if you just saw somebody walking by you on the sidewalk,

00:53:51   would you have any idea which Apple Watch they're wearing?

00:53:55   The five-year-old one, the two-year-old one, the three-year-old one,

00:54:00   one that they just bought yesterday, you wouldn't be able to tell.

00:54:03   It hasn't really changed much from a...

00:54:07   - Industrial design perspective.

00:54:10   - Industrial design perspective.

00:54:12   Just because it started, it started at such a, it's already as small as it could possibly be state.

00:54:20   Yeah, and I think I really started to feel this and notice this when it came to the iPad. And

00:54:26   there is a in 2013, I wrote about I was concerned about the iPad that Apple sort of lost

00:54:31   vision of what the iPad was supposed to be. It remains, in my opinion, where Apple misses Steve

00:54:37   jobs the most or the product that misses Steve Jobs the most in many respects, but we don't need

00:54:42   to get into that here. But I went back to watch the original iPad introduction then. And I actually

00:54:48   quoted this in my article today because what was so interesting about the introduction was you had

00:54:53   a Jonny Ive product video, but Jonny Ive actually barely talked in the video. The vast majority of

00:54:59   the video was Scott Forstall speaking. And if you go back to sort of the actual words that Jonny

00:55:06   I've said it's funny because Johnny I've actually explained why he wasn't talking

00:55:10   so I'm gonna actually quote what he says he says um

00:55:13   he said the face of the product is pretty much defined by a single piece of multi-touch glass

00:55:23   and that's it there's no pointing device there isn't even a single orientation there's no up

00:55:27   there's no down there's no right way of holding it I don't have to change myself to change the

00:55:30   product. It fits me. And it kind of struck me when I went back to read that, like that was in

00:55:37   some respects the end of the like the Johnny Ive driving force era, right? Like the yes, he

00:55:45   designed the iPad and it came out but there was something fundamentally different about that

00:55:49   device where yes being thin, being light, being something that felt good in your hands was

00:55:53   important. And the current iPads right now I think is the best industrial design that Apple's

00:55:57   ever done. They're just absolutely incredible. But it ceased to be the absolute driving force

00:56:03   for why this product mattered, why it was important to you, why it was something you

00:56:06   wanted to use. In a very sort of stark difference from the go back to the iMac, for example,

00:56:12   like it switched to this world where the importance of the software started to overtake the importance

00:56:17   of the hardware. And you would have discussions, would you rather have a ThinkPad with OS X

00:56:21   10, or would you rather have, you know, a MacBook pro with windows and, and like,

00:56:25   that the importance of which matters sort of flipped over time.

00:56:30   And I think that, uh, you know, it's interesting because in retrospect, that

00:56:34   that was about the time that Steve, whatever happened to Scott for stall

00:56:37   happened, uh, there was a striking anecdote in the information.

00:56:40   I'm not sure if you read it yet where they, they, they had this sort of chilling

00:56:44   anecdote of Scott for cells team meeting and Johnny I'm attending and they're like,

00:56:48   where's Scott and Johnny's like, he's not attending or Scott.

00:56:51   won't be here anymore. But it was interesting for him to matter as a designer to Apple,

00:56:58   in some respects, necessitated taking over software as he did when Forrestal left, just

00:57:03   because software was becoming so much more important than the hardware.

00:57:07   That should be the topic for the second half of the show, is the sort of post-Steve Jobs,

00:57:19   the I've era. Yeah, I think, yeah, post post post jobs. I do

00:57:24   think you're right. I think you're making a very keen point

00:57:26   that I don't think that I think whatever problems personality

00:57:31   wise I've had with forestall and and again, Apple is so insular.

00:57:38   And people even when they leave the company tend not to talk

00:57:43   about it. We don't know that much, you know, and and I have

00:57:47   sources and I'm a little bit juiced into some of the behind the scenes stuff.

00:57:54   Uh, but we just don't know much, but I don't think, uh, in fact, I would

00:58:00   wager on it that it wasn't a situation where simplistically Johnny Ive saw.

00:58:10   That software was the defining feature of these products.

00:58:15   now that their most important products were just pieces of glass with an interface on them,

00:58:23   you know, the iPhone and the iPad, and therefore thought, I need to take control of this because

00:58:28   if I don't have control of the software, what am I controlling? Right? I'm just controlling what

00:58:32   the volume buttons look like on the side of an iPad. I don't think it was that. I really think

00:58:38   that they did have a serious conflict. I think that, you know, there were stories that he

00:58:43   he wouldn't take meetings with, he wouldn't go to,

00:58:46   Johnny wouldn't go to meetings.

00:58:47   I think, and Bob Mansfield, I think, had the same policy

00:58:51   that he just wouldn't go to a meeting with Scott Forstall,

00:58:55   which is not a good situation to have.

00:58:58   - Seems unhealthy.

00:59:00   - It does not seem healthy.

00:59:01   - No, I agree with you.

00:59:02   I'm not saying it was intentional,

00:59:04   but the effect was that Ives' realm of influence

00:59:09   had diminished by virtue of the way the products evolved,

00:59:13   And then him taking over software sort of,

00:59:16   it was very much a new era.

00:59:18   It was a new era for him personally,

00:59:20   and it dramatically increased sort of his influence

00:59:23   on Apple for that period.

00:59:25   - Yeah, totally.

00:59:29   I also think, and I wanna say this while it's still

00:59:32   on my mind, I know we're skipping around years now

00:59:37   quite a bit, but it wouldn't be the talk show

00:59:39   if we weren't skipping around randomly.

00:59:42   I made the point a couple of minutes ago that if you just look at the Apple Watch hardware,

00:59:47   you really can't tell the series zero from the series one to the series two. I mean,

00:59:52   a series four has a slightly different profile. It's almost not even a different form factor.

00:59:59   It's just sort of a closer to your wrist profile. It is to me a nicer looking round rectangle.

01:00:09   It's still like so if it's still a black rectangle on your wrist and you really have to you still can't spot the difference

01:00:16   Just walking by somebody the one thing though that you can definitely

01:00:21   Spot just at a glance when you see else

01:00:25   she's wearing an Apple watch the one thing that you definitely can notice are the the watch bands and

01:00:33   you know and they Apple, you know, and part of it is, you know, they they make money selling these bands and

01:00:39   So they do it just just for the purely financial reason of hey, let's you know every six months

01:00:46   We're gonna come out with a new, you know, every fall and every spring we're gonna refresh the Apple watch bands that you can buy

01:00:53   You know and it's like any kind of fashion type thing, you know any kind of clothing and

01:01:00   Apple definitely recruited a lot of people from the fashion industry when they got into the watch

01:01:05   Business and they definitely work that way, you know

01:01:10   They work the way that the same way that new clothing lines come out every fall and spring

01:01:15   but I think that I

01:01:18   Know I I know for a fact that one of the things that Johnny I've

01:01:24   Was most interested in with the watch was designing the bands and straps

01:01:30   Which sounds a little

01:01:32   Not petty but it gets back to that argument with the original iMac where the appeal had nothing to do with the technical specs

01:01:42   right like the idea that

01:01:45   Apple's chief design officer was spent spent an inordinate amount of time

01:01:50   obsessing over an array of

01:01:53   Watch bands for what is ostensibly a tech product

01:01:59   Doesn't sound like the way a tech a computer company should work

01:02:03   but it's absolutely part of a huge part to me of the appeal of Apple watch as a product line and I

01:02:11   Absolutely think it's a huge part of what?

01:02:14   What drove Johnny Ives interest in Apple watch as a product

01:02:21   Yeah, and there's there's something there's a there's a fundamental trade-off that comes from working for a company like Apple which is

01:02:29   the designs that you make and the decisions that you,

01:02:32   in all those things, you get unlimited resources

01:02:34   and like the work that you do lands in the hands

01:02:38   of hundreds of millions of people.

01:02:39   So like the resources and the impact are absolutely massive.

01:02:44   But there are just a massive number of constraints

01:02:48   that come with that.

01:02:49   You're constrained by the technology,

01:02:51   you're constrained by having to meet a price point,

01:02:53   you're constrained by all these working in a big bureaucracy

01:02:57   and having to deal with the Scott Forestalls of the world.

01:02:58   Like there's all these constraints that come with it.

01:03:01   And it always sort of surprised me in some respect

01:03:05   that I've lasted as long as he did.

01:03:07   Because if you're sort of like a designer

01:03:09   and you just have the need to create

01:03:11   and the desire to do lots of things,

01:03:13   there's no surprise he would be designing Christmas trees

01:03:15   or designing chairs or whatever sort of side products

01:03:17   he would do because how can you design so few things

01:03:22   for such a long time when it's kind of

01:03:26   a very stifling place to be.

01:03:28   and you do it because of the impact,

01:03:30   and you do it because of the resources,

01:03:31   and you do it because you love your team,

01:03:33   and you care about the people you work with,

01:03:35   and you do it because of Steve Jobs,

01:03:36   and all those sorts of things.

01:03:37   But at the end of the day,

01:03:38   like, you know, honestly,

01:03:40   if you look at it from that perspective,

01:03:42   it's almost surprising he lasted as long as he did,

01:03:45   and hell yeah, make some watch bands.

01:03:46   Like, you know, it's fun.

01:03:49   It's fun in a way that designing

01:03:51   the actual case of the watch,

01:03:53   or designing the next version of the iPhone,

01:03:55   just could never be.

01:03:58   - Yeah.

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01:06:30   So when the original Apple watch was announced

01:06:34   I think it was a September event. I don't know if that was or was it October?

01:06:39   I guess they wouldn't have announced it at the same event as the iPhone. Yeah, it was a separate event

01:06:43   No, no, it was the same event as the iPhone. Oh was it was interesting because it was the the same event

01:06:48   They announced the iPhone 6 which ended up being this massively important product and Apple paid barely any attention to it, right?

01:06:54   it was

01:06:56   Yeah, I guess it was the same event it was at the San Jose

01:07:02   The theater there in San or not the Convention Center

01:07:06   No, it was it wasn't the convention it was some sort of it was they don't only had one event

01:07:13   there ever before previously and they put up that huge tent that was to try out all

01:07:17   the Apple watches and all that sort of thing and they had all these celebrities coming

01:07:20   in.

01:07:21   Yeah, it was at De Anza College or something.

01:07:24   That's what it was.

01:07:25   Right.

01:07:26   It wasn't the event that was at the California theater in San Jose.

01:07:29   That was that was a different one.

01:07:31   That because that's where I have my live show now at WWDC.

01:07:34   No, it was at De Anza College, which I think is closing or something or the at least the

01:07:39   Flint Center.

01:07:40   I think it's called.

01:07:41   That's right.

01:07:42   That's right.

01:07:43   made a giant, they literally created an entire building,

01:07:48   temporary pop-up building to have all of the,

01:07:54   you know, and they had celebrities there.

01:07:56   I remember I was across the table

01:07:59   looking at these watches from Gwen Stefani

01:08:02   and I was like, how is this possible?

01:08:05   Why am I here?

01:08:06   Why am I here across a table of Apple watches

01:08:10   from Gwen Stefani?

01:08:11   This does-- - Speaking of the late 90s.

01:08:13   It just doesn't seem, this didn't seem like a place

01:08:15   where I would end up being.

01:08:17   But after that event, I had a briefing

01:08:23   and they didn't say, you know, Apple's very,

01:08:25   even when you're, you know, you have like a press briefing,

01:08:29   they don't tell you, they still don't,

01:08:31   they don't tell me at least who the briefings are with.

01:08:34   They'll just say, "Hey, we have a briefing

01:08:38   scheduled for you at 1.15, is that working?"

01:08:41   you know, what am I doing?

01:08:43   I keep my whole day available after these events.

01:08:46   So I'm like, yeah, no matter what time they tell me,

01:08:48   I'm like, yeah, but they always ask.

01:08:50   So they're very, very polite and, you know,

01:08:52   say like, would 115 work for you?

01:08:54   Does 130 work?

01:08:56   But they don't tell you who it's with or what it's about.

01:08:58   But the day that they announced the Apple Watch,

01:09:02   I had a one-on-one half hour briefing with Johnny Ive.

01:09:09   And I don't think it was the first time

01:09:11   I had spoken with him.

01:09:13   I had a few others.

01:09:14   Some of them I think I still shouldn't talk about

01:09:18   'cause they were off the record.

01:09:19   But the one with the watch was great.

01:09:24   It was so interesting.

01:09:25   I had a full half hour, just me and Johnny Ive in a room

01:09:30   with all of the prototype Apple watches

01:09:34   that were still not going to ship for six or seven months.

01:09:38   But we spent the whole half hour talking about watch bands.

01:09:43   And the other thing we talked about,

01:09:45   the only other thing we talked about

01:09:47   was the packaging for the edition model.

01:09:51   You know, the $20,000 gold one.

01:09:55   Which every, you know,

01:09:59   I think we have to talk about that watch

01:10:01   because I do think that the $20,000 gold Apple Watch edition

01:10:06   is

01:10:08   It's not important to Apple's history

01:10:12   But I think it's essential to understanding Johnny I've and his role at the company

01:10:16   But we didn't even talk about the watches. We didn't talk about the gold

01:10:19   I mean they were there and we you know, he's sort of like, you know, it was like look at this

01:10:23   This is nice

01:10:23   And but for the most part we just talked about the bands and we talked about the box that the addition one came in

01:10:29   Actually, we talked about all the boxes, but the addition one in particular

01:10:32   Really did have an extraordinary box and package. It was really nice

01:10:36   But then we just spent half an hour talking about the way watch bands

01:10:40   clasp and clothes and the different, you know different ways that you can do things and

01:10:45   You know, I had met him before is definitely wasn't the first time I met him and he knows that he knew that I was a

01:10:53   You know like a watch fan

01:10:56   and I knew that he was I'd seen that he had like

01:11:00   You know like a Audemars Piguet. I forget how you pronounce that brand

01:11:05   Before Apple watch came out. He always had like a very nice some very nice watches

01:11:09   but we talked about like the ways that the clasps on like roll classic like stainless steel Rolexes and

01:11:16   You know

01:11:19   $30,000

01:11:20   Swiss watches had sort of antiquated janky closures and it's like look at how nice this is and the

01:11:29   They really did and I remember talking to

01:11:31   Ben climber who is the founder of hodinky? I know you know who dinky the hodin k-e-e

01:11:40   Hodin key is a for those of you who don't know is a

01:11:45   It's a great website devoted to watches

01:11:49   And it's all pretty much all they write about is just what the watches and the watch industry and high-end watches. I

01:11:57   I remember talking to Ben Clymer about it.

01:11:59   And Ben Clymer, because he was a total-- he's a true watch guy,

01:12:04   and he's coming from the world of mechanical and automatic

01:12:06   watches.

01:12:09   His initial take, the day that they announced all this stuff,

01:12:13   and we had the hands-- after the hands-on area,

01:12:17   he was just blown away by the quality of Apple's watch straps

01:12:20   and bands.

01:12:21   He was like, they've raised the stakes here,

01:12:24   and sort of lobbed like a grenade over to Switzerland

01:12:29   and told the entire watch industry,

01:12:31   get your shit together.

01:12:32   You guys have been sitting on your laurels

01:12:34   for decades on watch straps.

01:12:37   That's what Johnny Ive and I talked to.

01:12:39   We didn't talk about health stuff.

01:12:41   We didn't talk about this interface.

01:12:42   We talked about nothing but watch straps.

01:12:46   And I think that was-- it's what I wanted to talk about.

01:12:51   because I just let him go on what he's interested in.

01:12:55   But in hindsight, the key thing I take away from that and I

01:12:59   and I think it goes to whatever it is he's going to do going forward,

01:13:05   is that a good watch strap is a good watch strap 20 years from now.

01:13:11   And it would have been a good watch strap 20 or 30 years ago.

01:13:15   Whereas the actual Apple Watch itself technically is

01:13:20   You know the one you're wearing today is gonna be a relic in ten years

01:13:25   Yeah, and I really feel like at the heart of it that is

01:13:29   Why he's leaving Apple

01:13:33   Is I think he's tired of developing designing things that are only gonna be relevant for three years

01:13:43   at best at best and wants to be designing things that will be

01:13:50   relevant forever.

01:13:52   - Yeah, I think it's the same thing

01:13:57   as wanting to just do different stuff,

01:13:58   like what drives someone to be creative.

01:14:02   And again, there's so many constraints within.

01:14:06   You know, the other thing I wonder is,

01:14:08   I'm curious with the, you know, this whole idea,

01:14:12   my point that I started at the very, very beginning,

01:14:14   that I feel like this kind of started four years ago,

01:14:18   where right after the watch had launched

01:14:22   that they came out, he's gonna be, again,

01:14:23   chief design officer and not manage anyone.

01:14:25   And if you're not managing anyone,

01:14:27   you're not leading the organization.

01:14:29   Like, yes, they can come and talk to you

01:14:31   and consult with you, but it's intense.

01:14:34   Being an executive for Apple is extremely intense.

01:14:37   And if you are not in the middle of it,

01:14:39   in the thick of it every day, you are not a part of it.

01:14:42   It's just like, it's not a malicious thing.

01:14:45   It's just impossible to be that.

01:14:47   And that's why I thought as soon as that announcement came out that he's on his way out.

01:14:53   But at the same time, particularly then, Apple couldn't really afford to lose him.

01:14:58   So one, he got to work on Apple Park, which fits in your point about something that's

01:15:02   going to last a long time, that is going to be meaningful, is something completely new,

01:15:08   try out creative juices and all those sorts of things.

01:15:11   But also it was good for Apple because Apple couldn't afford the PR of losing him at that

01:15:18   time.

01:15:19   That was when the questions, you know, can Tim Cook lead Apple?

01:15:22   Can Apple survive without Steve Jobs?

01:15:24   Like Johnny Ive was the sort of the guy that people who never understood how Apple worked

01:15:31   and presumed once Steve Jobs went away that Apple would be over, they pinned their hopes

01:15:36   on Johnny Ive.

01:15:37   He was a totem.

01:15:38   that this idea that Apple could systematically produce great products was still hadn't completely

01:15:44   taken hold, particularly once Jobs had left. And so Apple needed him to be there, even

01:15:49   if, as I would contend, he was not there day to day. And I think that all this sort of

01:15:57   fits together.

01:15:58   Yeah, I think it does. I totally do.

01:16:02   Um, well, I wonder if Apple would have lost him sooner too, if they hadn't given him the software,

01:16:09   because to, to the point I was making before, what's the hardware, like just the, what you can

01:16:13   actually do with sort of diminishing like software gave him something new to do and which kept him

01:16:18   around. And then Apple park gave him something new to do, which, which kept him around. And now

01:16:23   there's not anything sort of new to do. And, and, but it's okay because they've spent the last four

01:16:28   years sort of easing away from where he was in the organization. And frankly, I don't think

01:16:33   anything's gonna really change for Apple. I think that to the extent that I actually think it could

01:16:40   potentially be a positive. I mean, I think you look at something like the MacBook or some of the

01:16:43   other or even iOS's design. I think there was a maybe went too far, too much in being beautiful

01:16:52   and too little in sort of how it works and which happens.

01:16:56   Well, I think that's a great point. Here's an alternate question is, would I would would

01:17:06   johnny I've have left sooner, or stayed longer? If Steve Jobs hadn't died, if Steve Jobs were

01:17:15   still around, still CEO, or maybe, you know, if he had, you know, changed to chairman or

01:17:22   but if jobs if jobs were still around would Johnny I've have left sooner or would he still be there because the

01:17:28   That collaboration would would fulfill him in a way that without without jobs. It's his collaborator. He's he's no longer

01:17:36   satisfied I

01:17:39   Fascinating. I think you would still be there just because you got the sense that there was such a bond and a and a

01:17:47   Connection there that that would trump everything but but yeah, it's it's a fascinating question to consider

01:17:53   well, and the other factor the x-factor is that

01:17:56   Clearly one of Steve Jobs's numerous

01:18:03   genius talents was a sort of

01:18:07   Pied Piper

01:18:10   Ability to convince people to do what he wanted them to do

01:18:14   So like Johnny might have thought, you know three four years ago in the world where Steve Jobs is still around like I think I'm done

01:18:20   I think I'm after Apple Park

01:18:22   I'm going to you know, I'm gonna leave the company and he's gonna go tell Steve Jobs this and

01:18:27   Steve Jobs would that what he'd walk out of Steve Jobs's office after signing like an agreement. They'll stay for 20 years

01:18:35   It's you know, like that could have happened so who knows but it's an interesting question

01:18:41   I do think you're right that without getting software under his his his domain

01:18:46   He he probably would have left sooner because I think that I think I think you make it's a very key observation that there's just

01:18:53   There was it without software

01:18:56   Under his umbrella and direct control. There was just so much less to do

01:19:01   Right. I mean it's you know

01:19:04   It it's

01:19:07   Fascinating to look at you look at all these products

01:19:11   Well what one of the you know you how do you look at the products?

01:19:15   I have I've got that I took out that you know, the coffee table book that they put out a few years ago

01:19:20   And it was probably goes in some sort of category with the addition watches we want to discuss well, but I

01:19:29   Do think I like I really want to give you full credit for

01:19:35   Going back five years or was it 2015 when they announced this chief design officer and that you you put forward

01:19:41   I think I think this is the beginning of the end. He's gonna he's gonna leave

01:19:45   And I think that the time frame that has happened since qualifies as being you being right, you know that he's out

01:19:53   But I don't think it was as clear of a plan

01:19:55   I think that if he really knew exactly what he how long he was going to stay I

01:20:01   Think that that coffee table book wouldn't have come out until now like it it it it in hindsight

01:20:07   It came out a couple of years too early because now there's a few products that are clearly of the Johnny I've era that

01:20:13   Didn't come out

01:20:15   Before the book was printed

01:20:17   You know what I mean like that the book is such an interesting

01:20:21   It's

01:20:25   It's such an interesting

01:20:27   Product and again, I think you're right that it's it is sort of along the lines of the gold edition watches

01:20:33   You know that it is it wasn't meant to sell in large quantities, it's super expensive

01:20:39   Well, it exists because Johnny wants it to exist. Yeah, I think is what I was driving it, but ever, you know

01:20:45   I don't know and it's like I doubt they're gonna make another version of it

01:20:49   But I kind of wish that they would make a new one and just put you know

01:20:53   just for completeness sake, put the last two or three years of products in there.

01:20:59   Well, I mean, honestly, though, I'm not sure how much how involved he really was. I mean,

01:21:05   the Apple Watch is in the book. Yeah.

01:21:10   But I really question how much Johnny did after the Apple Watch, to be totally honest.

01:21:19   My view, I mean, I don't, again, this is total speculation and conjecture, no short information,

01:21:24   but my sense is he shipped the Apple Watch. It was extremely draining. I remember, you know,

01:21:30   you discussed the time how tired he seemed that New Yorker profile came out. And, and I think he

01:21:36   was done. Like, I think he switched to Apple Park and honestly, I don't, you know, you mentioned in

01:21:41   your post this week, which I think was the one was a great post. I think it's the one point I

01:21:44   disagreed with that we're going to see Johnny Ives impact for the next five years. I don't think

01:21:49   think so. I think that we've seen it and I think it's over. And that's okay. If you think

01:21:55   about it, the watch was such a natural sort of end point for him. He's expressed this

01:22:01   interest in wearables, this idea of things that are on your body. A lot of his discussion

01:22:06   outside of Apple has been on this sort of topic. He's talked about healthcare things

01:22:11   and his dad was in the hospital and talk about how poorly designed those sorts of things

01:22:17   And it makes sense that like that was sort of that was it that was that was that was what he went out on and

01:22:22   You know if you think about something, you know, it's right time to go out because what's next

01:22:28   Let's say the AR glasses are probably next like if you want to ship they are glasses

01:22:33   You have to it's gonna be a huge slog

01:22:35   You have to be there through shipping and then you have to start the process of the unwinding process

01:22:40   That he spent the last four years doing so if he if he commits to the next product

01:22:44   He's committing for like the next 10 years. And whereas, you know, someone of I've stature and

01:22:49   the importance that he has in the mythology of Apple and what goes into what making Apple,

01:22:54   Apple and the stock price and all that. And, you know, can Apple survive without Steve Jobs?

01:22:57   Like he's not someone that could walk out the door when he's done. He had to have this wind down

01:23:02   process. That's just the price of being who he is and the importance he is to Apple. And I think

01:23:08   it makes much more sense to think that, you know what? He shipped the watch, he stepped back to

01:23:12   day responsibilities. He spent all his time at Apple Park. Apple Park is now done. And

01:23:18   the industrial design team has been able to get used to working without him for several years now.

01:23:23   And it's just like, again, it was shocking. But if you actually walk through step by step,

01:23:28   everything happened. It makes sense. He had nothing more to do. He had done what he wanted to do.

01:23:32   All the jobs were done. The team was handed off. And it's almost like it'd be a surprise if he

01:23:37   stayed? I think it's a little less binary and a little bit more gray what his role has been. I

01:23:47   don't think it's as much as well he checked out a few years ago and what but before that he was

01:23:54   super checked in and doing it. I to make a very maybe it's not that rough of an analogy.

01:24:03   I think back to the fact that George Lucas didn't direct

01:24:10   Empire Strikes Back or Return of the Jedi, but specifically Empire,

01:24:16   which is to me the best of the Star Wars movies,

01:24:19   because he had he almost had like by all accounts had almost had like

01:24:24   a nervous breakdown directing Star Wars to get Star Wars out

01:24:27   just because it was so much work and it just exhausting

01:24:32   and being the director was so much.

01:24:35   But it wasn't like, well, he's not gonna direct

01:24:39   the next movie, but it's not like he wasn't involved, right?

01:24:42   It was like, you know, he still wrote the screenplay

01:24:44   and it is very George Lucas-y.

01:24:47   If you know anything about George Lucas's work,

01:24:52   you can't watch "The Empire Strikes Back"

01:24:55   and not see how George Lucas-y it is,

01:24:58   but he wasn't the director.

01:25:00   And I think that over the last five years or so and putting putting the flag at Apple Watch is possibly a good marker.

01:25:09   You know that he moved.

01:25:11   It's not like he checked out and hasn't been involved, but he's more of an executive producer than the director of of things.

01:25:20   Absolutely. I know I completely agree with that.

01:25:22   Yeah. So, you know, he walked off into the sunset and was gone.

01:25:25   Like but it was like instead of driving the car.

01:25:28   Yeah, he was like the the crew chief. Right.

01:25:31   That makes sense.

01:25:32   And maybe, you know, I really do think, you know,

01:25:35   maybe was more of like what Steve Jobs had always been. Right.

01:25:41   Where Jobs wasn't the designer who was carving

01:25:45   you know, physically carving a model of what this piece of hardware

01:25:52   might look like so that you could hold it in your hand and feel the size and feel the corners or

01:25:57   directly driving the 3D printing machine that would generate these, you know, like a prototype

01:26:03   or something like that. But he was obviously the person who was like this or this first one,

01:26:11   A, not B, A, and give me 10 more versions of A that are slightly different and get them to me

01:26:18   by next week. I think Johnny Ive had has been in that sort of role for a while.

01:26:23   Yeah, no, I think I think I think that's right. I think it's a great analogy to Jobs. Like,

01:26:28   Jobs was not a he was not actually designing the products. He was the editor

01:26:33   that was making those decisions. And and, you know, is to go back to sort of the addition

01:26:40   and things like that, it was probably it was probably a good thing. You know, like,

01:26:46   if you're the designer and the editor, you tend to not edit yourself very well.

01:26:50   I'm glad the edition exists because it's kind of funny that it existed at one point.

01:26:57   All the speculation about what it cost and figuring out how much gold was in them.

01:27:03   It's a funny sort of footnote in Apple history that ultimately doesn't matter that much.

01:27:07   But it is an example of why everyone needs an editor.

01:27:11   It didn't hurt them because they weren't counting on it.

01:27:14   It wasn't like their their, you know, Tim Cook's spreadsheet with how are we going

01:27:20   to make money selling digital watches involved selling a large quantity of the

01:27:25   twenty thousand dollar gold ones, right?

01:27:27   Like, I think that whatever they're even most

01:27:30   optimistic take on how many of those we're going to sell was very small.

01:27:36   It was a statement, though, right?

01:27:39   It wasn't about making a gazillion dollars.

01:27:44   That's what the aluminum ones are for.

01:27:47   The ones that they knew everybody was going to buy

01:27:50   and are sort of the, have always been

01:27:53   and should be considered the default Apple watches.

01:27:56   But doing the ones in gold and then in subsequent years,

01:28:00   the ones in ceramic were statements.

01:28:03   But the gold, to start with the gold ones,

01:28:05   like the ceramic ones to me,

01:28:06   'cause they were a lot cheaper.

01:28:09   I think they were like what $2,000 I mean no thousand thousand thousand they were they were great by the way. Oh fantastic

01:28:15   I did not own I think they were the best version of the Apple watch were those white ceramic ones. I absolutely agree

01:28:21   I

01:28:23   and

01:28:24   It's funny because I think I was just about to say I kind of wish I had bought one and then I think won't wait

01:28:29   No, it would actually be old enough now that I wouldn't be wearing it

01:28:32   Anyway, but I and they as my wife find out they break when you drop them

01:28:38   That's the problem with ceramic but you know, it was an experiment with materials

01:28:42   They did brag, you know when they had the gold one they talked about how they like, you know

01:28:47   Engineered their own gold alloy

01:28:49   Like yeah, but part of that too. Is that Johnny I've

01:28:54   And I think it's essential to understand this

01:28:57   It's like I don't want this discussion to make it sound like he was concerned only with

01:29:02   fashion and surface matters

01:29:07   Quite the opposite. He's absolutely one of the world's leading

01:29:13   Minds on like material science like he's absolutely so

01:29:21   incredibly knowledgeable about

01:29:24   A lot of the actual technical factors that go into products. Here's a story I heard a couple months ago

01:29:28   this is this came to light when the

01:29:34   Samsung Galaxy Fold was shipped to reviewers.

01:29:39   And within 24 hours, like half of them broke, right?

01:29:43   - Yeah, like peeling off or something.

01:29:45   - It was like six weeks ago, I don't know,

01:29:46   six or seven weeks ago, something like that.

01:29:49   But back when Samsung announced it

01:29:52   at some kind of press conference in like early February,

01:29:56   you know, three months, two, three months

01:29:58   before they shipped these things to reviewers.

01:30:00   And somebody who works at Apple on software

01:30:04   had a meeting with Johnny to discuss.

01:30:07   I don't actually even know what they were actually discussing.

01:30:11   But it came up.

01:30:12   And he said-- and this story was relayed to me

01:30:16   after the Galaxy Fold shipped to reviewers

01:30:19   and turned out to be a complete debacle--

01:30:22   but said the day that they announced it in February,

01:30:25   he had a meeting.

01:30:27   His team had met with Johnny Ive.

01:30:28   and Johnny Ive explained in technical detail exactly why it was going to fail.

01:30:33   And said, I don't know why they announced that, we've looked into that,

01:30:37   that's, you know, and just went into great technical detail why folding an OLED screen

01:30:44   like that was going to be fragile and wouldn't work.

01:30:47   It just, it really, really, I thought it was such a great example of, you know,

01:30:57   that the motto design is how it works, right?

01:31:00   Not just what it looks like.

01:31:02   - Yeah, no, it's just like the accumulated knowledge

01:31:06   and experience that you get from living and breathing

01:31:09   and experimenting over decades.

01:31:13   Like you can look at something like that

01:31:15   and immediately know what the issues are

01:31:16   and what will matter and what will not work.

01:31:20   - All right, let me take one last break here

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01:33:59   Alright, where do we where do we talk about in the remainder of

01:34:04   the show?

01:34:05   What I think the design aspect where so first off, designs

01:34:10   being split, like there is a UX guy and there is a hardware

01:34:14   guy and they are both reporting up to up to Jeff Williams who and and it's important to note at

01:34:21   the same time there was also a new head of operations named yeah I think I missed that

01:34:26   yesterday yeah it's super important to consider because as long so I think it's wrong to say that

01:34:32   design is now under operations what is right to say is that Jeff Williams is the CEO of waiting

01:34:39   And I think that's actually a better way to to frame what happened as opposed to to

01:34:47   like he's not the he's not the operations guy anymore. He is the COO. And just as Tim Cook was

01:34:51   the CEO and Jeff Williams replaced Tim Cook to be the head of operations like now operations is one

01:34:57   of many things that Jeff Williams manages as opposed to the thing that he manages.

01:35:02   Yeah. And he's been in charge of Apple Watch from the beginning.

01:35:07   Like in charge in charge like like he was like Johnny I've reported to him even though Johnny I've like he wasn't

01:35:13   He wasn't putting power enough from what I've heard Williams was not a huge addition fan

01:35:18   He wasn't maybe in the place to to shoot it down, but he like owned the entire project not just the operations part of it

01:35:25   Yeah, absolutely. And you know now these guys report to him and I do think that the

01:35:33   What is this is he on the SVP page now this the new senior vice? Yeah, so Ben Khan, I believe yeah, Sabi Khan

01:35:40   S-a-b-i-h

01:35:42   Khan is now the senior vice president of operations

01:35:46   Senior vice president is the level where you get a picture on the executive profile page

01:35:51   yep

01:35:54   And

01:35:57   You don't name a guy senior vice president of operations while there still is a CEO without

01:36:04   It's CEO is just sort of it's like exactly what you said it's like what Tim Cook was under Steve Jobs, it's

01:36:12   Sure operations, I guess is technically still reporting to him, but it's it's

01:36:18   Right. It's called chief operations officer. But what it actually means in the case of Apple is second in command in the company

01:36:24   Yeah, and like of the entire company like so they like all of Apple now reports to Jeff Williams

01:36:29   Not just the operation side right and so if we want to start speculating

01:36:34   There's there's a part of me like I I didn't pick up on on that when I wrote yesterday

01:36:41   and I was

01:36:44   So if anything I don't regret it, but it you know, it was a hot take, you know

01:36:49   I wrote I wrote my piece within an hour of finding out you know the news

01:36:54   And my take was highly critical of having the hardware and software design people report

01:37:02   to Jeff Williams.

01:37:06   And I'm not going to say I regret it, but I think the alternate take is exactly what

01:37:10   you said, which is that it's not so much about putting those things under operations, but

01:37:15   establishing Jeff Williams as the CEO and waiting.

01:37:20   Which in turn is interesting because I don't know that Jeff Williams is even younger than

01:37:28   Tim Cook.

01:37:29   They're both, I think, roughly the same age.

01:37:33   But for all the speculation we in the commentariat have done over the last few years about, "Hey,

01:37:41   is Johnny Ive on the way out?"

01:37:42   I think now the question is, "Is Tim Cook on the way out?"

01:37:49   a time frame is two years older than Jeff Williams by the way Tim is 58 Jeff Williams is 56, right?

01:37:55   You know, and is it just you know, so not even a question of age, but maybe you know of

01:38:04   Just being tired of it. I don't know, you know that, you know moving on and maybe having a next

01:38:11   doing something else with the remainder of his life, who knows, but it's certainly

01:38:18   There's no other way to look at it.

01:38:20   Even if Tim Cook is going to be CEO for the next 20 years,

01:38:24   there's no other way to look at yesterday's announcement.

01:38:27   I mean, it's certainly, obviously,

01:38:29   mostly about Johnny Ive.

01:38:30   But it's clearly a promotion of Jeff Williams.

01:38:34   Yeah.

01:38:35   I think that's exactly right.

01:38:37   And it's easier than ever before, I think,

01:38:42   to see Tim Cook doing something else.

01:38:44   I think his passion around this privacy issue, I could definitely see him sort of becoming

01:38:54   chairman of the board or something and becoming like a full time advocate for privacy in technology

01:39:00   companies, you know, being against Google and Facebook and that sort of thing.

01:39:05   He's constrained and limited in what he can do as Apple CEO.

01:39:09   despite the fact he pushes the line as far as he absolutely can. And again, this is not a judgment

01:39:16   call on either side saying it's good or bad, but it's clearly going on and something that clearly

01:39:19   drives him and animates him. And I could see, again, this is pure speculation, knowing nothing,

01:39:26   but you're right. Jeff Williams is quite clearly without question number two in the company. And

01:39:32   nothing says that like putting design, to your point, putting design under him, because if Apple

01:39:37   is to remain Apple and design is to remain what it must for Apple, then the only way

01:39:42   that this, like to your point, your hot take would be totally on point if, this is the

01:39:48   only explanation in which there's a good reason to your objection, is if it's basically he's

01:39:56   the CEO and in everything but name.

01:39:59   You know, people, critics of Tim Cook, people who think, and some of them sincerely, I mean

01:40:06   It's a reasonable debate to be had.

01:40:08   I mean, Tim Cook is not Steve Jobs.

01:40:11   I think to his credit, as I wrote yesterday,

01:40:13   he's never tried to be.

01:40:15   And he has never tried to be a product person.

01:40:20   He is who he is.

01:40:21   He's seemingly extremely comfortable with who he is

01:40:26   and what he's good at and hasn't tried

01:40:29   to take over product design.

01:40:32   And I really think, as a direct comparison,

01:40:34   I really think that was the downfall of Apple

01:40:36   in the Scully era is that John Scully also was a CEO who was not a product person, you

01:40:43   know, famously came from the soda industry. And, you know, after pushing Steve Jobs out

01:40:50   of the country, out of the company, not the country, but seemingly, I think convinced

01:40:55   himself that he was that he was a product person. And the Newton was a fascinating product.

01:41:01   It was definitely Scully's baby.

01:41:04   And I think it's, I think it gets a bad rap in history.

01:41:09   But it he they obviously shipped it way too soon.

01:41:12   It was right.

01:41:13   He didn't he didn't know how to edit.

01:41:15   Right.

01:41:16   It's one thing to have a product idea.

01:41:18   It's another thing to actually understand what it means to ship a product out the door.

01:41:22   Right and, and how it's a fascinating example of how the first impression can really sync

01:41:29   Product whereas it you know if the Newton had shipped two years later and had been a little smaller

01:41:34   Had handwriting recognition that worked as it did within two or three years. They had excellent handwriting recognition

01:41:40   It it wouldn't have had the the stink of failure around it that it it never shook from when it originally debuted in

01:41:48   Doonesbury, you know

01:41:50   Dunes everything from Doonesbury to the Simpsons

01:41:54   mocked it mercilessly for for its inability to recognize handwriting which was the whole point of the device the

01:42:01   Whole point of the device was that it would recognize your handwriting

01:42:04   Yeah

01:42:05   And it didn't it couldn't do the one thing it could it was

01:42:08   Supposed to do it would be like if the iPhone shipped and couldn't make a phone call, you know, like

01:42:13   It just it just couldn't it it just wasn't ready to ship Tim Cook's never been that you know

01:42:20   I think that's to his credit

01:42:23   But I do I and my optimistic take on this and I wrote this yesterday that that Johnny Ives departure

01:42:30   I don't think you know, I'm a huge fan. I think he's a genius. I

01:42:33   Just you know, we could go on and on for hours and hours about more of his product designs, right?

01:42:40   I could do a podcast where we just page through that book the the big

01:42:44   60 pound coffee table book and spend minutes on each page talking about these wonderful products and how nicely designed they are and all these

01:42:52   details. But I do think that without Steve Jobs as his collaborator that

01:42:59   something significant was lost. Like you said, like he's not a good self-editor.

01:43:05   You can't help but think to name just two products. You can't help but think

01:43:10   that this MacBook keyboard fiasco, which we're in the midst of and has been

01:43:16   ongoing for years is attributable to Johnny Ives obsession with device thinness that they

01:43:24   made the keyboard with so little travel and with these keys that aren't durable because

01:43:32   they needed to do something radical with the keyboard to make the whole device as thin

01:43:37   as he wanted the device to be.

01:43:38   Yep. Remember it was jobs that said design is how it works. It wasn't Johnny Ive that

01:43:42   said that.

01:43:43   And, you know, there's, I don't know if it's apocryphal or not,

01:43:49   but it's often attributable to Albert Einstein that everything

01:43:54   should be as simple as possible, but not more so.

01:43:57   Something along those lines.

01:43:58   I think it's because it's an apocryphal quote.

01:44:01   There's no one definition.

01:44:03   But it's a great sentiment.

01:44:04   Everything should be as simple as possible, but not more so.

01:44:08   You know, that there's a point where you can make things

01:44:11   too simple, right?

01:44:12   Yeah, everything should be as thin as possible, but no more.

01:44:15   Yeah, exactly as thin as possible, but no more. And I think it's that the current entire generation of MacBooks is a bit too thin, and therefore has keyboards that are that are there that are aren't aren't thick enough. And I think the other product that comes to mind is the trash can Mac Pro, which isn't as important, right? The MacBook is super important to Apple. It's the, you know, it's really the only

01:44:42   Macs that really matter, right?

01:44:44   Like Apple could still be a fantastically successful PC maker

01:44:49   making nothing but Mac books.

01:44:51   Like the IMAX and the Mac, the new Mac pro that they're all rounding errors.

01:44:56   And it's great.

01:44:57   It would be a whole separate podcast.

01:44:59   It's important that they make them.

01:45:00   I'm glad they make them.

01:45:01   And for a certain segment of the market, it really is important, but at a

01:45:05   financial level, almost every Mac sold as a Mac book and to have a.

01:45:11   a flaky keyboard and to have it be, you know, have this reputation and all these stories

01:45:17   being written about it is not good for the company. The Mac Pro isn't as important, but

01:45:21   I think that the trashcan Mac Pro is almost more telling because to me, the new Mac Pro,

01:45:26   the one they just announced three weeks ago, is a Mac Pro designed for true high-end workstation

01:45:33   users. The 2013 trashcan Mac Pro seems to me, and in hindsight, this sounds glib, but

01:45:41   And it seems like Johnny Ive's idea of a Mac Pro.

01:45:44   That's exactly it. It's a shockingly poorly designed device. If you actually think about

01:45:49   what the point of it is. It was limited to one use case, which is like high end video

01:45:55   production.

01:45:56   Right.

01:45:57   And it wasn't actually even good at that because of the thermal, the thermal. It's in retrospect,

01:46:01   it's kind of amazing that Apple shipped this product because it's, it's, it's, but it's

01:46:07   beautiful. It was small and it fit on the desk and all those sorts of things. And yeah,

01:46:12   it's like, I put a line in my day up to date, the idea like, like revolutions always go

01:46:17   too far and sort of veer towards tyranny. And like, if you again, to take the whole

01:46:21   picture to start with those, those IMAX and to make something desirable that was previously

01:46:27   never desirable was such a tremendous breakthrough, but it went too far and you ended up with

01:46:32   this Mac Pro that was gorgeous and beautiful and desirable and a terrible computer.

01:46:37   terrible computer for it or a particularly terrible computer for the market it was intended for

01:46:43   no exactly it is back with growth is exact same sort of thing like yes thinner's good yes

01:46:47   beautiful good yes that form factor you know you had that titanium you know power book but it was

01:46:53   huge it was it was big it was heavy and again to bring it down and to bring it down and and

01:46:57   you know to culminate like those 20 was it 2015 2013 uh you know that were that were perfect

01:47:02   but then you had to go too far and and the port the getting rid of the ports and the keyboard

01:47:07   a situation, it's like, that's what happens. You go too far, and particularly if you're by yourself.

01:47:12   And I think the point you're driving at is you asked what would happen if Jobs was still there.

01:47:18   Well, you would have someone pulling back, right? You have someone saying,

01:47:22   "No, we can't shift the hat." Design is how it works. And that how it works aspect of design,

01:47:32   If I've had a weak spot, it was undervaluing that.

01:47:35   Same thing with the iOS 7.

01:47:37   Like iOS 7 was so much more beautiful than iOS 6,

01:47:40   and it was much harder to use.

01:47:42   Like you didn't know which button to push.

01:47:44   You don't know what was a button, what was a label.

01:47:46   You couldn't tell if it was capital letters

01:47:47   or not capital letters.

01:47:49   Like at the end of the day,

01:47:50   that is a, design is how it works.

01:47:54   And design is also how it looks.

01:47:57   - Yeah, and remember how thin and wispy the fonts were?

01:48:01   I mean, Helvetica, Helvetica Nuea at the time,

01:48:04   not because it predated the existence of San Francisco,

01:48:07   but the fonts that were so thin,

01:48:11   and if you took a screenshot, it was beautiful.

01:48:14   It really did look good, and those thin fonts,

01:48:18   there's all sorts of areas of print

01:48:21   where a thin font is perfect and what you need,

01:48:25   but as a user interface font, it was not good.

01:48:29   It was not usable.

01:48:32   You know, it went too far.

01:48:35   No better way to put it than what you just

01:48:37   said a minute or two ago, that every revolution goes too far.

01:48:40   And iOS interface needed a revolution.

01:48:45   It was great, but it went too far.

01:48:47   And it seemingly, in the years since,

01:48:50   still was all very Johnny Ive.

01:48:54   And I kind of feel like with him out,

01:48:57   there's a good chance that we might,

01:48:59   it might move in a good direction.

01:49:01   - Yeah, well, the thing about the Mac Pro,

01:49:04   I think the most interesting thing

01:49:06   from a sort of organizational perspective

01:49:07   is this Mac Pro professional users group

01:49:10   or whatever the thing that they set up.

01:49:11   I mean, you would know where about it

01:49:12   'cause you went to that briefing,

01:49:14   but this idea that Apple is overtly saying,

01:49:16   we're gonna go out and listen to customers

01:49:19   instead of build a jewel and drop it from heaven.

01:49:21   Like that is a, that's a,

01:49:25   Backlash is a little term like for it's a rebound.

01:49:28   I don't know, I can't think of the right word,

01:49:29   but it's an appropriate retreat from sort of,

01:49:34   from that revolution.

01:49:35   Like at some point you do need to understand customers.

01:49:38   You do need to listen to them.

01:49:39   And do you want to go all the way in the opposite direction

01:49:42   where you're, you know, Microsoft and you're,

01:49:44   you can't actually move things forward

01:49:46   'cause you're so bound to backwards compatibility

01:49:48   and giving customers what they want

01:49:50   and those sorts of things?

01:49:51   No, you can go too much in the other direction,

01:49:52   But where can you find that sort of happy middle

01:49:55   where you're actually understanding

01:49:57   and giving customers what they need,

01:49:59   where the design is what works best,

01:50:01   not just what looks best.

01:50:03   And yeah, I think there's a reason to be optimistic here

01:50:06   because that's a organizational adjustment.

01:50:11   You're not gonna get that internal individual

01:50:13   sort of adjustment.

01:50:14   And that's fine.

01:50:16   Johnny Ive was amazing.

01:50:17   He was incredible.

01:50:18   He did what he was setting this earth to do.

01:50:20   And I wish him the best in everything that he does.

01:50:24   And I think there's a reason to be optimistic about Apple

01:50:28   by the fact that he's leaving.

01:50:29   And that is not a criticism of it all.

01:50:31   It's just the way things work.

01:50:33   - Yeah, and the time had come.

01:50:35   I also think it could be, and again,

01:50:38   the proof will be in the pudding

01:50:39   and you just need good people in charge.

01:50:41   But I think that it could be a very good thing for Apple

01:50:44   in general to have software and hardware design separated

01:50:48   again as different people.

01:50:50   And I really think, because I think fundamentally,

01:50:53   and I know we're running short on time,

01:50:54   but fundamentally, Johnny Ive is a hardware guy.

01:50:57   He is a hardware person.

01:50:58   And I feel like under his direction, the software,

01:51:03   the problems that a lot of us have with the software design

01:51:06   from the iOS 7 era forward,

01:51:08   we're all about subserviating the software to the hardware.

01:51:13   And having someone who's purely the software advocate,

01:51:19   and completely isolated from the hardware

01:51:23   in terms of day-to-day responsibilities

01:51:25   could really help bolster the overall design quality

01:51:30   and just plain old-fashioned usability of the software.

01:51:35   - Yep, I completely agree.

01:51:37   - Anyway, any other points you wanna make?

01:51:39   I know that this is great.

01:51:41   We don't do emergency podcasts.

01:51:43   Bill Simmons loves to call them an emergency pod,

01:51:46   and I don't know how he does it

01:51:48   because Bill Simmons, whose show you've been on

01:51:50   and were fantastic on,

01:51:52   but when there's a major NBA trade or something like that,

01:51:55   he gets a podcast out like 70 minutes later.

01:51:58   I don't know how that's possible.

01:51:59   I don't know if he just lives in the podcast studio.

01:52:01   - No, he has a studio built in like a,

01:52:03   yeah, I think he has a guest house

01:52:04   and he has a studio built there.

01:52:06   So he literally goes out to the backyard and records.

01:52:08   - I don't know how he does it so quick,

01:52:09   but on the other hand, I guess he's just,

01:52:12   he's just the most natural born podcaster on the planet.

01:52:15   - Oh, it's incredible.

01:52:17   He's a great writer and I bet it doesn't actually matter what he says

01:52:20   like like there will be things you disagree with but the the the the way he

01:52:26   Manages and runs a podcast and interviews people is it's incredible

01:52:30   It's easy the best there is I can agree, you know, and maybe other people can look at me and say well

01:52:34   How does John Gruber get his column out on Johnny Ives departure 60 minutes after the news dropped?

01:52:41   I maybe you know, cuz that's the thing I'm good at I could have never done this podcast last night

01:52:46   I just couldn't have I needed I needed hours and hours overnight to

01:52:50   Digest it more to be able to talk about it

01:52:53   But so for me one day later, this is an emergency podcast

01:52:58   And I know you're on vacation

01:53:01   And I just really knew that I wanted to do it with you and I'm so glad that we were able to make this happen

01:53:06   Ben yeah, I'm just I I find the thing that again just the

01:53:13   We talked about it with the end of the next era, like the end of the Johnny

01:53:17   Ive era. And to me, it's always tempting to look backwards and overfit things and

01:53:24   see how all things fit together. But again, just tying it in with the end of the iTunes

01:53:28   era, the end of the iPhone being the everything and everything, Apple branching out. And we

01:53:34   talked about the iPod going from conception to launching in eight months. And Apple sells

01:53:40   as many iPhones in like five hours that they sold total iPods in like the first quarter that was

01:53:46   for sale. And it's a different company. Like this idea of having this titular figure at the top

01:53:52   that drives everything, it just, it really starts to fall apart when you're shipping

01:53:57   hundreds of millions of phones a year. And you're doing all these services. And I've pushed a long

01:54:02   time for Apple to change like their organizational structure, which I think they have. Like that guy

01:54:06   in charge of Siri who came from Google, he now reports to Tim Cook. It's a separate division.

01:54:11   He's not under Craig Federighi like it was previously, which is exactly what they need

01:54:15   to do. It's such a bigger company doing so many more things. You can't be the same forever.

01:54:21   And I think Apple for a few years was kind of like San Francisco. People are trying to

01:54:25   say, no, we need to hold on to the character of San Francisco. And what actually ends up

01:54:28   happening is you build no new houses and you lose all the people that created that character.

01:54:32   and just get a bunch of rich people. I think Apple fell in that trap from an organizational

01:54:37   structure standpoint, wanting to say, "We're going to be the way Steve Jobs designed us.

01:54:41   We're going to be very functional. We're going to be very focused." And actually, it was bad

01:54:45   for the company. It produced, it ossified the company. And I feel like over the last,

01:54:51   particularly the last six months, I mentioned this on Search Equity, I think that earnings warning

01:54:56   was the best thing that could have happened to Apple because it kind of shook them loose from

01:55:00   from this sort of coma they were almost in.

01:55:02   And I think this fits in it.

01:55:03   You know, Johnny Ive deserves all their credit in the world

01:55:06   and I actually think is probably good news for Apple

01:55:08   that is moving on.

01:55:09   Like Apple, this is a new Apple for better or worse

01:55:12   and they don't have a choice.

01:55:14   And it's good to see them embracing the fact

01:55:16   that they need to be something new

01:55:18   'cause they can never go back to being what they were.

01:55:21   - That's a great way to put it.

01:55:22   Ben Thompson, thank you.

01:55:24   Everybody can read your work every day

01:55:26   Stratechery.com or Strate-te-cury. How is it pronounced?

01:55:31   Stratechery. Stratechery. And on Twitter you are @BenThompson and also @NoTechBen.

01:55:41   Yeah, which I shouldn't promote because I swear I lose customers.

01:55:46   Hey, we just did this whole emergency podcast and never once mentioned basketball or baseball.

01:55:52   Even though I'm going I'm going to two baseball games this weekend. So yeah, I thought I'll bring it up

01:55:57   But we were limited on time

01:55:58   We can't mention it. But I think you know, we're looking at a

01:56:01   Fairly high likelihood that my favorite team the Yankees and yours the Brewers might be might be colliding in the World Series

01:56:08   They're they're both, you know, bruise about a rough stretch though

01:56:11   We have major pitching issues

01:56:14   We'll see anyway Ben. Thank you very much. I will talk to you soon. All right, sounds good. Bye. Bye