Did you hear that Apple announced a laptop? Of course it happened in a parallel universe, but all the pundits loved it. See what I mean here.
These are pictures taken at the January 2009 Macworld Expo in San Francisco, California. I did not attend the unkeynote because I was at home watching Sponge Bob with my son, so there are no pictures from it. But there weren’t any big hardware announcements anyway.
How’s this for irony? Steve Jobs didn’t give the keynote, and I was in the the Microsoft booth signing my new book, Reality Check.
This is the first guy to get a book.
And this is the first gal.
Sheridan Jones of the Macintosh Business Unit of Microsoft. She put the whole deal together. And she’s so tall…
that she took her shoes off for the picture so as not to tower over me.
Jennifer, my BFF at Booq. This is a video of her explaining Booq products from last year’s Macworld.
My old Tumi on the left. My new Booq Python Pack on the right. The reason that I’m switching is that the Python has a great system for carrying a digital SLR.
PeachPit Press was nice enough to also sell Reality Check.
And it ran a promotion involving wearing rabbit ears to win prizes.
This is the Apple booth.
The prize for biggest face at Macworld goes to Lynda.com, an online training company.
Ricardo Ettore, the creator Typeit4me. He told me some exciting news: He’s working on an iPhone app to provide text-expansion capabilities!
Russell Brown, Jedi master of Photoshop.
Booths are getting more and more beautiful and “Japonesque.”
Kerio is the provider of the Exchange server that I use.
My buddies from iStockphoto were there too.
This company gives a whole new meaning to tripods.
Eye-Fi makes a SD card for your camera that wirelessly transfers your pictures to your computer.
And you can also be Steve Jobs for a minute.
iPhone app for flirting.
Serving drinks in the True Flirt booth.
Computer carts and mobile furniture from Anthro.
Interesting name for a company.
Never expected to see the New York Times there.
This is the Solio solar-charger.
Drobo makes a kick-ass network storage device.
Acura had quite a presence.
I forgot to look if this Acura had an iPod cable.
At one booth there were sheets of leather.
And a sewing machine to produce custom covers.
The MacHEADS premiere was on Wednesday night.
A scene from the 1984 commercial in the movie.
On Thursday night another Mac movie premiered. This one is called “Welcome to Macintosh.”
This is the panel of some of the people in the movie. That’s Woz and Andy Hertzfeld on the right.
Woz with the two creators of the movie. (Photo by Nik Fletcher.)
On the day that Apple announced the iPhone, my eleven-year-old son decided that he wanted one. Since then he’s done chores above-and-beyond the call of duty in order to earn $500 to buy one. Fast forward to last week when this news appeared in the business press:
NEW YORK (MarketWatch) — Morgan Stanley analyst Kathryn Huberty reiterated her buy rating on Apple Inc. shares (AAPL :87.06, +2.45, +2.9% ), saying she believed the market is underestimating the likely success of the iPhone. She raised her 2007 iPhone sales forecast by 33% to 8 million units from 6 million, following a survey of 2,500 U.S. consumers. Huberty also believes Apple’s ability to leverage strong iPhone demand is being underestimated. “While we see positive leverage drivers across Apple’s product segment, the iPhone alone increases scale (better pricing from suppliers), strengthens retail store leverage (increased velocity on fixed-cost base) and takes advantage of lower NAND [memory] pricing in the market,” Huberty said in a research note.
(She is forecasting eight million units in six months. As a data point, Motorola shipped fifty million RAZRs in the first twenty-four months. You can currently buy a RAZR for $30 after rebate with a two-year contract.)
Of all people, I support unabashed exuberance for Apple products, and our family will evidently buy at least one iPhone, but I don’t understand this kind of coverage three months before the product ships. Clearly it’s a cool phone, and as with many Apple products, you have to ask, “Why didn’t any other company do something like this before?” Still, just off the top of my head, I have a few questions about the iPhone:
What’s battery life with Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and iTunes running on a big color screen? The battery life of my Motorola Q sucks, and I don’t have Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, or music running. Based on Apple’s record when it comes to battery life of laptops, this is at the very least an “open issue.”
Will people tolerate Cingular’s Edge network? I switched from Cingular to Verizon to get EVDO. Edge is supposed to be three to fours times slower than EVDO. The knock on EVDO is that it has much less coverage, but I’ve seldom had coverage problems. Maybe only people like me who have used EVDO will ever realize that Edge is so much slower...
Will a phone without a hardware keypad work in the real world? I mean a world where you’re driving while trying to dial numbers as well as access and delete voicemail (unless you’re a SpinVox user). Can a person dial an eleven-digit number without looking at the touchscreen at sixty mph?
Is there voice navigation? This will help the keypad issue, but I haven’t seen anything that says that there will be. If you can do this on a Windows Mobile smartphone, I’d be astounded if you can’t on an iPhone. But I’ve been astounded before.
What’s Trixie and Tiffany going to do when they send 1,500 text messages a month without a keypad? Which is to say, will forefingers be the new thumbs? Or, will teenagers sprout much longer thumbnails?
Will people pay $500-600 for the convergence of phone, Internet device, and music player? And this doesn’t even count the $100 or so contract-termination fee since carriers treat current customers worse than new ones. Perhaps we should look at the iPhone as an Internet tablet or a PSP for old people—if you didn’t have to buy a service contract. (Will an iPhone run without a SIM card in it?) Maybe Apple could remove the phone from iPhone and make it a high-end iPod.
How will the sealed battery work? With most phones, you can replace a battery if it goes bad. What happens when this happens with the iPhone? (With my Motorola Q, I was able to buy a larger battery so that battery life went from horrible to merely dismal.) iPods have sealed batteries too, but it’s one thing to be unable to listen to music; it’s quite another to be unable to make or take an important call.
What’s the impact of a closed system where developers cannot create software for a phone? Imagine, for example, if you could only use iLife and iWork on your Macintosh. Is that what using the iPhone will be like? What about VPN? What about synching with an Exchange server? This is a consumer phone, but consumers do have corporate jobs.
There may be great answers for all of these questions. (Meanwhile, my son has amassed $400 of the $500 that he needs.) If not answers, there will be great reality distortion. If not great reality distortion, Apple will fix shortcomings in future iterations. However, it’s a tad bit early to declare this the greatest phone in the history of mankind—though many of us are hoping it is. We should at least wait until the phone reaches huberty.
For the last post of 2006, here is a funny comment from The Secret Diary of Steve Jobs blog:
The Days Before PodPhone
Twas a few days past Christmas and all through the house,
Vista was waiting to hear from your mouse.
Jim Allchin retired and bought a nice Mac.
He transferred his data and didn’t look back.
Steve Ballmer had nightmares of market-share loss
and wondered if next year he’d still be the boss.
The tired Vista team were asleep in their beds
while Russians with botnets built bugs in their heads.
When over at Apple there arose such a clatter
the bloggers all rushed in to see what’s the matter.
The minutes of meetings of dubious truth
had pushed Apple stock prices off of the roof!
The SEC lawyers, so lively and quick
looked into the options that CEO’s nicked.
Steve Jobs used a strange phone to make many calls;
He fired some frigtards and showed his big balls!
Out anyone lacking!
You’re fired! Clear your desks out!
I’m sending you packing!
And then, in a twinkling, the RDF came.
The SEC lawyers cleared Steven Jobs name.
He showed up at Macworld in mock turtleneck
and demoed cool things to keep Vista in check.
But lastly he paused, and said, “One more thing:
I’m waiting for Shiller to give me a ring.”
His jeans played some Dylan
I think “Times a-changing”
He answered an iChat with greetings exchanging!
He slid closed the Podphone on ending the call
and said “Happy Macworld,
Happy Macworld to all!”
All I want in 2007 is a Macintosh laptop whose battery lasts more than 2.5 hours. Happy New Year to all!
Steve O’Hear traveled to America in 2004 with two friends in order to document life in Silicon Valley. The end result is a DVD that he’s selling called In Search of the Valley.
It contains interviews of people like John Warnock (Adobe), Andy Hertzfeld (Macintosh programming whiz), Woz, Craig Newmark (Craig’s List) Tim O’Reilly (O’Reilly Media), and me. Steve provided me with outtakes of his interview with Woz that are not on the DVD. In this footage he discusses growing up in Silicon Valley, the Homebrew Computer Club, and starting Apple. Click here to see this special footage.
If you’re interested in buying the DVD, you can save $2 by using the following promotional code: S5QQVYBV.
Saw this at Presentation Zen: Steve Jobs testifying at the Cupertino City Council. There is much to observe in this short clip:
What other Fortune 500 CEO could testify at a government hearing without a phalanx of lawyers?
If you want to see classic Steve Jobs, watch the introduction of Macintosh in 1984.
Here is a much better explanation of why this appearance was so effective by Jay Zipursky.
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To build a case that you should give a shiitake about this blog, let me explain my background. I was born in Honolulu, Hawaii in 1954. My family lived in a tough part of Honolulu called Kalihi Valley. We weren’t rich, but I never felt poor-because my mother and father made many sacrifices for my sister and me. My mother was a housewife, and my father was a fireman, real estate broker, state senator, and government official during his long, distinguished career.
I attended Iolani School where I graduated in 1972. Iolani is not as well known as its rival, Punahou because no presidents of the U. S. went there, but I got a fantastic and formative education there. (Punahou is “USC,” and Iolani is “Stanford”—but I digress.) I pay special tribute to Harold Keables, my AP English teacher.He taught me that the key to writing is editing. No one in the universe would be more shocked that I have written eight books (or one book eight times) than Harold Keables.
After Iolani, I matriculated to Stanford; I graduated in 1976 with a major in psychology—which was the easiest major I could find. I loved Stanford. I sometimes wish I could go back in time to my undergraduate days “on the farm.”
After Stanford, I attended the law school at U.C. Davis because, like all Asian-American parents, my folks wanted me to be a “doctor, lawyer, or dentist.” I only lasted one week because I couldn’t deal with the law school teachers telling me that I was crap and that they were going to remake me.
The following year I entered the MBA program at UCLA. I liked this curriculum much better. While there, I worked for a fine-jewelry manufacturer called Nova Stylings; hence, my first real job was literally counting diamonds. From Nova, its CEO Marty Gruber, and my Jewish colleagues in the jewelry business, I learned how to sell, and this skill was vital to my entire career.
I remained at Nova for a few years until the the Apple II removed the scales from my eyes. Then I went to work for an educational software company called EduWare Services. However, Peachtree Software acquired the company and wanted me to move to Atlanta. “I don’t think so.” I can’t live in a city where people call sushi “bait.”
Luckily, my Stanford roommate, Mike Boich, got me a job at Apple; for giving me my chance at Apple, I owe Mike a great debt. When I saw what a Macintosh could do, the clouds parted and the angels started singing. For four years I evangelized Macintosh to software and hardware developers and led the charge against world-wide domination by IBM. I also met my wife Beth at Apple during this timeframe—Apple has been very good to me.
Around 1987, my job at Apple was done. Macintosh had plenty of software by then, so I left to start a Macintosh database company called ACIUS. It published a product called 4th Dimension. To this day, 4th Dimension remains a great database.
I ran ACIUS for two years and then left to pursue my bliss of writing, speaking, and consulting. I’ve written for Macuser, Macworld, and Forbes. I call these the “Wonder Years” as in “I wonder how I came to deserve such a good life.”
In 1989, I started another software company called Fog City Software with three of the best co-founders in the world: Will Mayall, Kathryn Henkens, and Jud Spencer. We created an email product called Emailer which we sold to Claris and then a list server product called LetterRip.
In 1995 I returned to Apple as an Apple fellow. At the time, according to the pundits, Apple was supposed to die. (Apple should have died about ten times in the past twenty years according to the pundits.) My job on this tour of duty was to maintain and rejuvenate the Macintosh cult.
A couple years later, I left Apple to start an angel investor matchmaking service called Garage.com with Craig Johnson of Venture Law Group and Rich Karlgaard of Forbes. Version 2.0 of Garage.com was an investment bank for helping entrepreneurs raise money from venture capitalists. Today, version 3.0 of Garage.com is called Garage Technology Ventures; it is a venture capital firm and makes direct investments in early-stage technology companies.
Currently, I’m a founding partner at Garage and co-founder of Alltop as well as a husband, father, author, speaker, and hockey addict. Alltop is an online magazine rack that I hope you’ll check out—you’ll probably enjoy Innovation.alltop, for example. I’ve also written ten books. My latest is Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions. You can read about my other nine books here.