Developing Perspective

#16 - Thank You Steve


00:00:00   Hello, and welcome to Developing Perspective.

00:00:02   Developing Perspective is a near-daily podcast discussing the news of note in iOS, Apple,

00:00:06   and the like.

00:00:07   I'm your host, David Smith.

00:00:08   I'm an independent iOS developer based in Herndon, Virginia.

00:00:11   This is show number 16, and today is Thursday, August 25, 2011.

00:00:16   The format of Developing Perspective is typically that I'll cover a handful of links and articles

00:00:20   and then have a general discussion.

00:00:22   But given the news of yesterday, specifically Steve Jobs' transition from being CEO to Chairman

00:00:27   of the board at Apple, it seemed only right that that really was all I was going to talk

00:00:31   about today.

00:00:32   So the only link in the show notes today will be to the press release stating that and then

00:00:37   the general discussion will take up most of the show.

00:00:39   So yeah, so yesterday evening, after essentially after the markets closed and so on, it was

00:00:44   announced that Steve Jobs has resigned as CEO and asked to be made chairman of the board,

00:00:50   which I imagine has happened at this point.

00:00:53   And Tim Cook has taken over as the day-to-day operational role of CEO of Apple.

00:01:02   As an Apple fan, you can call me a fan boy, you can call me whatever you want, but I make

00:01:06   my living in Apple.

00:01:07   This is where I live.

00:01:09   My desk is currently covered in Apple products.

00:01:12   IMAX, cinema displays, iPhones, iPads, the whole thing is just where I live and breathe

00:01:19   and spend my day.

00:01:21   And so it certainly was sort of startling news, not in the sense that it was unexpected,

00:01:26   but just it's one of those things that you know will happen, but you hope will never

00:01:29   happen all the same.

00:01:32   I guess is an interesting way to say it.

00:01:34   It's sort of it's like anything that you sort of aren't wanting or don't want, but you know

00:01:39   is going to happen eventually.

00:01:40   You know, maybe it's like, when I think about, oh, it's, I know one day my children will

00:01:44   move out, but I, and that day when that day comes, it'll still feel abrupt, even though

00:01:49   So I've been looking forward to it for years.

00:01:51   And so it was certainly a bit of a transition.

00:01:54   I remember last night when I first found the news.

00:01:56   At first, it was sort of the usual stages of grief,

00:01:58   I guess you could say, where I was in denial for a little bit

00:02:01   and thinking about, OK, is this actually happening?

00:02:04   Is this some kind of joke or something like that?

00:02:06   I was remembering the time when the Wall Street

00:02:10   Journal or the New York Times accidentally

00:02:12   posted an obituary for him and so on.

00:02:14   And so at first, I was like, oh, I'm not sure if I'll trust it.

00:02:17   And honestly, an interesting way to say it

00:02:19   is I don't think I trusted it until I read it

00:02:21   on the Daring Fireball.

00:02:22   And that was the-- at that point for me,

00:02:25   it's like, nope, this is legit.

00:02:26   And then I found the Apple PR statement

00:02:30   saying that this is what happened and so on.

00:02:32   And so that's the news.

00:02:33   That's the case.

00:02:34   And while this has been a long time coming in terms

00:02:37   of he's been stepping down and gradually transitioning out

00:02:41   of that role, it's certainly something

00:02:43   that I don't think you ever really

00:02:44   expected to have happen.

00:02:46   Now practically, it's interesting,

00:02:47   because I was thinking about, well, what does that really mean?

00:02:49   What does that change?

00:02:51   And I think the thing that's most remarkable

00:02:53   is that I don't think it'll actually change very much, at least

00:02:56   for the foreseeable future.

00:03:00   Apple is what it is because of what Steve has done,

00:03:04   I think you could fairly say.

00:03:06   He is the embodiment of all of the virtues and values that Apple has.

00:03:12   And that embodiment is a powerful thing.

00:03:15   And it's a focal point that allows

00:03:18   people talking about Apple, people working at Apple,

00:03:20   and so on, to have that singular point where they could sort

00:03:23   of point their direction to.

00:03:25   Say, is this something Steve would like, for example.

00:03:29   But I think so much of what he likes, his style, his flavor,

00:03:34   his tastes, are things that are fairly universal,

00:03:38   that at this point within Apple.

00:03:39   I'd have never worked at Apple myself.

00:03:42   But from what I can understand, his style

00:03:44   and his taste is now sort of indelibly pressed on almost everything that Apple does there.

00:03:50   And so I'd be very surprised if anything changed.

00:03:53   I mean, maybe if we sort of are looking back five, ten years from now, things will have changed.

00:03:58   But for the next few years, I don't expect anything to really be different.

00:04:03   I expect that really the same thing will continue happening.

00:04:06   Apple will continue to innovate, to continue to create excellent products that have quality

00:04:13   and design above affordability or those types of constraints.

00:04:19   And as a result, I think Apple will continue to succeed.

00:04:23   I think they will continue and, if anything,

00:04:25   just continue just destroying their competition in a way that

00:04:30   is just so good to see, to see that quality really can beat

00:04:36   price, that their market share in all industries

00:04:40   is continuing to grow, even though they're

00:04:42   in very few industries, they're the low cost.

00:04:46   They're the cheap thing.

00:04:48   Their volumes and their profits are

00:04:50   competitive with companies that are

00:04:52   selling products for fractions of what Apple sells

00:04:54   their products for.

00:04:56   And that's just encouraging as an entrepreneur,

00:04:58   as a developer, as someone who tries

00:05:01   to make things that are good, that are quality,

00:05:04   that are worth buying.

00:05:05   It's good to know that people are

00:05:07   willing to pay for that if you create the right marketing

00:05:10   and the right product.

00:05:13   I think also it's interesting and important to note about Tim

00:05:15   Cook taking over at Apple.

00:05:18   And I think his role there and his role

00:05:20   in the success of Apple to date is often

00:05:23   played down because of the focus placed on Steve

00:05:26   and the focus that is rightfully his for turning the company

00:05:30   around.

00:05:32   But Tim Cook, before he became CEO,

00:05:34   was the chief operations officer.

00:05:36   And as best I understand it, what his expertise and the reason that he has done what he's

00:05:43   done at Apple is his ability on the logistical front, his skill at executing a vision that

00:05:50   is coming out of product development.

00:05:52   And I think this is often something that's overlooked, but is nevertheless very significant

00:05:57   to the company.

00:05:58   I think if you think about the Apple's ability to produce with such incredible lead, in such

00:06:05   incredibly tight tolerances, very complicated high tech devices on a large scale, ship them

00:06:12   all over the world.

00:06:13   I mean, for example, the most amazing thing I've always thought is whenever they launch

00:06:18   a new product, the as best I can understand from conversations with Apple Store employees

00:06:23   and things like that, the product that they are shipping, so say, for example, when the

00:06:27   iPad 2 launched, or maybe even more strongly when the iPad launched in general, and no

00:06:31   one had ever seen one.

00:06:32   No one had even-- they've just seen it in that keynote

00:06:35   that they gave.

00:06:37   And then, as best I understand, it was the night before

00:06:40   or a day or two before the actual launch.

00:06:43   All of a sudden, iPads arrive at every Apple store

00:06:46   all over the world where it was going to launch.

00:06:48   And overnight, they take that store

00:06:52   and transition it from whatever they were selling before,

00:06:55   say it was the iPhone, all of a sudden now the iPad

00:06:57   is front and center.

00:06:58   And they're selling thousands or millions of them

00:07:00   in just a few days.

00:07:02   And the logistics of doing that, and it

00:07:04   seems to have been able to continually do

00:07:07   that with very minimal hiccups, is just

00:07:12   a truly remarkable thing.

00:07:13   And I think that is a big part of what has made Apple

00:07:16   successful.

00:07:17   Because I think Steve has been able to drive the product

00:07:20   and be able to create these amazing devices that truly

00:07:23   are revolutionary or magical or whatever you want to call them.

00:07:27   But what is, I think, the work of someone like Tim Cook

00:07:30   has done is created a company that is able to actually then deliver on that at scale.

00:07:37   And that is not to be downplayed. And I think it's important to talk and think about that

00:07:43   moving forward, because that's the way Tim Cook's background is. And that's where likely

00:07:49   he will be making perhaps the largest steps forward in the near future with his new authority

00:07:55   and role. Fair enough, he's been acting CEO for quite some time over the last few years.

00:08:01   But I think it's important to note that I think those things will continue to get better

00:08:05   and better and better. And those are, in many ways, the areas that allow for the greatest

00:08:11   immediate improvement in the user experience. They can continue to make the actual logistical

00:08:17   part of buying an Apple product, getting it serviced, Genius bars, all those kinds of

00:08:22   things that are more operational down pat.

00:08:25   I mean, I think iCloud is another good example.

00:08:27   That is very much an operational challenge

00:08:30   in a way that is not as much of a technological challenge.

00:08:33   It's not necessarily innovation that they're doing there.

00:08:36   They're not creating something totally new.

00:08:39   Cloud data storage and all these types of things

00:08:41   aren't necessarily new.

00:08:42   I'm not saying that they're not innovating in them.

00:08:44   But what's really significant for Apple

00:08:46   here is their ability to operationalize and execute

00:08:49   this amazing vision that I think Steve

00:08:52   has put out and I imagine will continue to put out and drive from the chairman role within

00:08:58   Apple.

00:08:59   And I think the last thing I was just going to say is sort of on a personal note, is just

00:09:04   how sort of sad that the situation makes me not necessarily being that he is resigned,

00:09:09   but the reason for his resignation and just sort of on the human level of seeing someone

00:09:14   who is so passionate about what he does, that the only thing that can keep him from it is

00:09:21   being physically unable to do the job that he knows he needs and wants to be able to

00:09:27   do in a way that he can execute at a level that he is comfortable with.

00:09:33   And I think that's part of the challenge of being someone like you him who you see is

00:09:36   such a perfectionist as someone with such talent and skill that the only thing that

00:09:42   can hold him back is when essentially his body is physically not allowing him to continue

00:09:47   to do the thing that he is passionate about doing.

00:09:50   I mean, that's a tragedy in all senses of the word.

00:09:53   And it's just sort of a sad thing.

00:09:55   And all you can say is sort of wish him the best, hope that he sort of gets well, and

00:10:02   that hopefully taking a step back will allow him the rest and time that he needs to get

00:10:08   better.

00:10:09   And you just sort of hope for the best in that situation.

00:10:10   I guess that's really all that you can do.

00:10:13   But otherwise, that's the story.

00:10:15   And that's, I think, an interesting day.

00:10:18   I'll certainly remember, in some ways, they always say for major events, you always have

00:10:24   remember where you were, how you found out.

00:10:26   And I remember, I think I'll remember quite strongly that I discovered this happened,

00:10:33   that Steve had resigned from a tweet by Sebastian DeWitt reading in tweet bot while sitting

00:10:39   in my living room after putting my son to bed.

00:10:42   And that's a very specific moment in time.

00:10:45   And I think that'll sort of stick with me for the foreseeable future.

00:10:49   All right.

00:10:50   Well, that's it for today's show.

00:10:51   Like I said, it's very different than your sort of a typical show with lots of links

00:10:55   and general discussion, but it just seemed appropriate given the news and the situation.

00:11:01   So tomorrow I'll be back to normal.

00:11:02   I think I'll be talking about recording your hours and hourly contracting, those types

00:11:07   of things a bit more an extension of yesterday's discussion.

00:11:10   But otherwise, I hope you have a good day.

00:11:13   Happy coding.

00:11:14   And if you like the show, make sure you tell a friend, tell two, tell three.

00:11:18   So the more people who know about the show, the more motivated and excited I am about

00:11:22   making it.

00:11:23   And if you have any questions, comments, concerns, hit me up on Twitter.

00:11:26   I'm @_davidsmith.

00:11:27   All right, thank you and have a great day.