"You're not buying an unnecessary electronic device, you're buying a family." David Letterman, The Late Show, CBS, April 1, 2010.Direct link to the video via YouTube here
"You're not buying an unnecessary electronic device, you're buying a family." David Letterman, The Late Show, CBS, April 1, 2010.Direct link to the video via YouTube here
This is the Apple.com' homepage as of today Monday 24th of August, 3:00PM CET. Just the confirmation of the official launch date of Apple's Mac OS X 10.6, which most of us already knew thanks to the rumor mill.
What's interesting to me is the name of the picture (which you get when you download it) : "Hero_OSX". Somebody' s going to save the Cheerleader here ?
[updated Oct.6, 2008 9:04PM CET]
Here are some screenshots of my iPhone 3G : the 6 pages of the Home Screen - as of today, since the actual number grows as fast as the Stock Market plummets -, plus several of my favorite apps.
You'll see : Obama'08 (which I use both for personal interests and professional ones), James Bond' "Quantum Of Solace" (I swear : for business purposes only, although I really love the James Bond' franchise since Pierce Brosnan took over the role), Air Sharing (great app for presenters, should there be a WiFi hotspot available), Twinkle (much better than Twitterrific, actually), GoogleReader (as long as Feedly won't run on the iPhone ;-), LiveRadio (by Orange), and WhereTo (I like the GUI, pretty close to what I'd like to implement on iPhone-based FTTH Testing instruments...).
Using a Mac since 24 years, living the all-Apple digital lifestyle at home, and the as-much-Apple-as-I-can at work, I consider myself as a pretty loyal customer to the Cupertino' s folks - to be honest, I'm a so-called "Mac-maniac", which is sometimes annoying for my co-workers and customers.
I'm also a very loyal admirer of Steve Jobs - some would say, I'm a "fan" of Master Steve. For instance, I moved to the NeXT Cube as soon as the black jewel was available here in France, just because it was "made by Steve".
I bought the iPhone the (second) day of its release in France, and I will get the iPhone 3G on Monday (thanks to Orange).
3 Macs at home, 3 iPods, and 2 iPhones soon : that's quite a nice package, I think.
Of course, I'm was a .Mac subscriber since Day One, and I moved to MobileMe (and iPhone 2.0) as millions of others last June.
That's the problem. Since the switch from the old .Mac services to the modern/state-of-the-art/Web2.0-style MobileMe, and the upgrade to the iPhone 2.0 platform that includes the AppStore, the whole setup sucks. My 6-months old MacBook often goes as slow as my 5-years old PowerBook, thanks to the Sync mechanism. Sending an email from the iPhone takes hours, due to a mismatch between the MobileMe stuff and the Orange network. Sending a photo from the iPhone to MobileMe ? forget it : the system don't find any shared album, although I've setup and used a couple of them on .Mac months ago. Since the very first app that I've downloaded on the iPhone, I get to reboot it at least three times a week.
Dear Apple, that is not fair. I never asked for all those troubles. I never wanted to think that you start doing wrong things.I don't want to think someday that you look like the guys in Redmond.
When I had to reboot my Duo once a day back in the mid 90's, that was no problem. It was even worst with a PC. When I had to reboot my iMac once a month in the late 90's, it was no problem neither : I was still a "paper" guy. Today, mid 2008, when I have to reboot my iPhone, it makes me crazy. Because I'm an All-Digital guy now, doing Web 2.0 and Cloud Computing all day long, thanks to the Googles and to... you.
So, Cupertino People : when are you going to make my life as simple as it was two months ago ?
I'm posting this short note from the kids' s 1999' iMac DV SE. A 400MHz PowerPC G3 chip, 512MB RAM and 20GB internal hard disk, this Mac has been my own machine from November 1999 until the early days of 2003. It's been running MacOS 8, MacOS 9, and MacOS X, from the Beta up to the current MacOS X 10.4.11.
For the basic tasks such as word processing and web surfing this 9-years old computer do the job just fine. Amazingly smooth interactions. No interface glitches. No significant degradation of the overall performances degradation compared to the actual settings - OS + apps - of its birth almost a decade ago. Which reminds me of the good old Agilent Mini-OTDR E6000 : a 8-yrs old test instrument that beats state-of-the-art way more recent machines on every single key feature, but that's another story ;-)
Back to the Mac. Whilst I'm typing this post, I'm listening to music. The local iTunes playing my own library, located on my MacBook (one floor above), through the home network. The iMac is connected on the net thanks to PLC power line communication, 85Mbps plugs.
In the meantime, my good old PowerBook G4 (which survived a 850°F fire in March 2005) is synching wirelessly on TimeMachine; its backup drive ? a 500GB external hard disk hooked up the MacBook.
Last, I control the iMac' s iTunes with my iPhone, thanks to Remote.
No hassles, no hurdles. Everything Apple is intuitive, smooth, and dead simple ***. That's why I love Apple.
post-scriptum : besides the internal disk and the memory which I upgraded back in 2002, the only thing I've changed on the iMac is the keyboard and the mouse. Simply because the new Apple keyboard is more convenient than the old one (tiny keys, sometimes clunky touch), and the Mighty Mouse is an amazing piece of Industrial Design per the (Apple) book.
*** of course, you can do all that stuff with Wintel PCs. But can you do it so easily ? Just try this one : remote control your non-iTunes music library with your non-iPhone smartphone. Count how many clicks you need to set up the whole thing, and call me back.
As I've both an iPhone and a PocketPC, I can do head-to-head comparison. I swear, it's not because I'm an Apple Fanboy, but the AppStore rocks and the WinMobApps sucks. A matter of product design, of course : the user experience per se, with the integration of the store into a global solution, the ease-of-use, etc.
For instance, the Microsoft store requires you to install Silverlight, to enable the caroussel type of product selection. Guess what : this feature is embedded into Mac OS X (ever heard of CoverFlow ?)...
That is a pretty stupid strategy from the guys in Redmond (another one ? ;-), proving that Microsoft is struggling like hell to stay... alive.
Funny MacDailyNews take on that one : "Any day now, we expect a post-liposuction Ballmer to show up at some trade show dressed in jeans and a black mock turtleneck saying "Boom!" a lot."
Now, once again Apple is showing the way to the Future : how we'll be able to control any *connected* device from our smartphone - er, iPhone.
Possibilities are endless, including for professional applications. ***
More details on Remote here.
*** Call for developers : you 're young, you're open-minded, you're french (yes, some of us combine those three criteria ;-) you're an iPhone/Mac developer : please drop me a line (Twitterers welcome).
[UPDATED 1:15PM CET, this time with links and tags]
Microsoft does it again. What ? Copying Apple ! See this demo of the forthcoming new OS from Redmond, so-called "Windows 7". Everything single thing you see there is already available on the iPhone and the Mac platforms, thanks to Mac OSX 10.5 aka "Leopard", should Apple release touch-screen based Macs in the next couple of weeks.
To get a multi-touch UI on a PC, you'll get to wait until, hum, 2010. Until then, you be sure I'll be playing with my MacTouch since a while ;-)
See here. The Flip is a brand new camcorder made by Pure Digital Technologies "for the rest of us".
Simple, easy to use, and just enough features for 80% of the population. On top, the Flip is pretty much affordable for most of us (at Agilent, I've learned not to say "cheap" ;-).
Definitely a gadget that could have been designed by Apple. Which, I suppose, has served as a model for the definition and creation of The Flip.
Wired Magazine has published an excellent article on Apple : "How Apple Got Everything Right By Doing Everything Wrong". A must read, including the Evil/Genius and Online Extras side articles.
For an Applemaniac, Jobsian Fanatic like myself, those type of readings just confirm what we already presume on the Product Marketing & Industrial Design way at Apple (at least since Jobs' s return in 1997).
It also raises three questions in my mind :
1. when even a pure self-made man like me can understand quite a bit of the underlying long term strategy and the tactics at Apple, why the heck no other company is applying the same methods ? Can you think of another name, in any other industry, with this level of perfection in Industrial Design and Marketing at large ? Maybe Trek ? Or maybe I'm too much Apple-branded that I'm too blind to see outside the Reality Distorsion Field !
2. why can't we French people enjoy the beauty of an AppleStore, whilst the Mac/iPod/iPhone/iLoveIt maker is to open a superstore in rainy Liverpool ? Is there something we Frenchies don't get about Apple and/or Steve Jobs ? Hey, we've bought into the iPhone hype - even restaurants' s maîtres d'hôtel have iPhone now.
3. the last yet most important : when will I get a job at Apple ? ;-)
Back at home after being on the road (and in the air, and on the Southern Alpes slopes), I took a couple of hours this morning to watch the recent introduction of the iPhone SDK by Steve Jobs and his fellow Apple execs.
You'll get a flavor of the impact of the iPhone Software Roadmap by reading those two articles, from David Pogue for The New York Times here, and Mike Elgan for ComputerWorld here.
Quote Master Pogue : " iPhone 2.0 will turn this phone into an engineering tool, a game console, a free-calls Skype phone, a business tool, a dating service, an e-book reader, a chat room, a database, an Etch-a-Sketch…and that’s on Day One."
To better understand why the iPhone 2.0 is THE Revolution many of us were waiting for, just watch Scott Forestall, VP iPhone Software, demonstrating one of the most exciting new features of the platform, based on the built-in 3D-accelerometer : undo a photo edition by... shaking the iPhone (demo starts at 39:30).
After seeing this, you'll get a better picture of Apple' s Hardware roadmap : the next gen iMac will be multi-touch based. Then, you'll agree with Elgan : the iPhone will change the PC world, forever.
Read on MacDailyNews :
"An Apple iPhone or iPod Touch will become a central part of Abilene Christian University's innovative learning experience this fall when all freshmen are provided one of these converged media devices, said Phil Schubert, ACU executive vice president.
At ACU - the first university in the nation to provide these cutting-edge media devices to its incoming class - freshmen will use the iPhones or iPod Touches to receive homework alerts, answer in-class surveys and quizzes, get directions to their professors' offices, and check their meal and account balances - among more than 15 other useful web applications already developed, said ACU Chief Information Officer Kevin Roberts."
As a presenter who like to travel light - I'm a bit tired of opening up my laptop at each and every security check in the airports (even if it's a MacBook), I'm currently testing a new way to rehearse and do presentations whilst on the road (or in the air).
Here's the 7-steps process :
1. with Apple' Keynote, create the simplest slides set possible, following Guy Kawasaki' s 10/20/30 rule and Garr Reynolds' s Zen approach,
2. export the Keynote file to both Powerpoint and Acrobat file formats,
3. upload the three files onto Zoho Projects,
4. import the PPT file into Zoho Show,
5. send the PDF file to myself on my .Mac account,
6. copy the three files on my favorite USB key,
7. check the availability and integrity of all those files (takes a few minutes only).
Then, I can :
a) access the slides from anywhere in the World, thanks to the Web 2.0.
b) download the PDF onto any PC or Mac once on site.
c) review the slides on my iPhone.
The latest proves to be the most interesting part of the experiment. For instance, I can rehearse my presentation in the airplane, without needing to grab my MacBook. Also, I don't fear intrusive eyes from the guy next seat, see what I mean ?
* " in the air ", not : " on the Air " ;-)
Just a side note : I've bought a MacBook this afternoon, as my good 5-years-old-400°C-fire-resistant PowerBook G4 just went off (seems the graphic card needs some repair). Not the Air (as the latest Apple marvel is a bit too expensive for me at the moment), but a nice white 2.2GHz CoreDuo.
My new companion was up and running in less than 3 minutes, including online registration at Apple.com. I created a partition for Windows, of course; it took a couple of clicks, and boom, the thing was okay - live, of course. I set up my printer : less than 30 seconds for MacOS to a) find it, b) find its driver, c) select it as default. Then I got all my files back, thanks to TimeMachine.
Now, you would like me to work with a PC again ?...
post-scriptum : today is a great Mac day, as I also got my iMac DV SE back - from a friend of mine who don't need it any longer. Guess what : this jewel is 10 years old, and it runs like just out of the box.
That's why I don't like PCs and Windows...
Since I bought the iPhone two weeks ago, people don't stop asking me questions about it. To make it short, they all go "wow, unbelievable !" first, then they ask me the question about the pricing : "how much is it ?". I then demonstrate the key features, i.e. the phone, the iPod, the web browser, the email, the camera, playing with the MultiTouch UI. Most of the time, this short demo is enough to convince the guy that 399€ is a fair price for such a jewel.
However, sometimes the guy goes "well, you may need it for business to spend so much money". I totally agree. The iPhone is THE perfect tool for new innovative businesses. Twice over the last week, I've been showing the iPhone to prospects - read : target customers for the consulting & training business I'm setting up. I simply explained which kind of new support and assistance services the iPhone could enable (for instance, how YouTube can be used for online training). Each time, I got the same reaction : "give it to our people, and you'll get the business with us".
Beyond that kind of new services based on existing/simple/standard features of the iPhone, you can create new ways of dealing with a problem, means you can create new/innovative solutions for your customers based on the iPhone. Watch this, and you'll get the picture.
The story : with the Ski season opening this week-end, I like to watch my favorite ski resorts's webcams at least twice a day, so I can better plan my journeys on their slopes. Problem : there are three domains in the Vosges, plus two in the Alpes : the one 'close' to my office in Lyon, plus the one where we're going to spend a week next March. That is : five different websites, with at least one webcam stream each. Let those streams open in your favorite web browser all day long, and you're going to face some memory issues after a while. As I want a quick & easy access to the webcams, launching a tab or a window each time I want to watch them is not an option.
Solution : Apple' s new Dashboard, which comes with MacOS X 10.5 'Leopard'. Open the resorts' s websites in Safari, go to their respective webcams page, and simply grab the stream with the embedded widget maker. Boom : in less than 30 seconds, you've got your favorite streams in the form of simple, easy to access widgets. Now, I just move the cursor to the appropriate hot corner of my display, and boom, I get the images, live. Plus the snow reports.
Couldn't be more easy, right ?
post-scriptum : I'll do the same operation with my PC, you know, this brand new Dell Latitude which comes with no WiFi and no Bluetooth. I think I'm going to enjoy my Mac even more ;-)
On Wednesday night this week, I've ordered a 500Gb external hard drive plus a 512Mb memory extension for my lovely PowerBook on the AppleStore. Yesterday Thursday All Saints Day was a day off in France. The items have been delivered this Friday afternoon, and TimeMachine is currently backing up the whole internal hard disk. That is what I call *the whole product solution* : product + service + customer satisfaction. That's why Apple is a model.
I just received my Mac OS 10.5 aka "Leopard" Install disk. I tell you, the packaging alone is worth the $129 : a gorgious hologram on the front cover, and another splendid one at the back, appearing through icons and apps' windows. At the back of the DVD holder, those simple words : "Designed and engineered by Apple in California". That explains everything. Design in first place, no "inc." after Apple's name, and California, not "USA".
For those of you who still consider Apple as a small player in the Computing arena, go to Amazon.com and check the most popular items in Software section.
A new type of virus, aka 'Storm', is infecting Windows machines all over the Planet since beginning of this year. Unfortunately, Storm is much more than a good old virus : it's a worm, a Trojan Horse, and a bot, all in one single piece of malicious software. In between 1 million and 50 million PCs are infected, as per the actual estimations. The bad news : Storm has been written by hackers looking for profit. Read the whole story here on Wired, by Bruce Schneier, CTO of BT Counterpane. I'm so happy to run a Mac.
[thanks MDN for the heads up]
Ed. note : unfortunately, I must use a PC at work.
According to MacDailyNews last night :
Shares of Apple Inc. today surged $2.869, or 1.87% to close at $156.339 on volume of 29,819,361 shares to set a new all-time closing high.
In after hours action, Apple shares currently stand up $0.07 at $156.41.
Apple's previous 52-week high was $155.00, set on September 26th. Apple's 52-week low is $72.60, set on October 11, 2006.
At market close, Apple's market value stands at $135,958,804,299. For reference, Apple's market value exceeds that of Hewlett-Packard by $4,556,203,539, surpasses Dell by $72,467,192,999, is greater than Sony by $84,476,982,739, and tops the value of Gateway by a mere $135,256,357,339.
I tell you what : I'm a bozo. Back in May 2003, I got a fairly nice severance package from my forever-beloved Agilent Technologies. During a couple of weeks, I hesitated
putting to invest half of it into a bunch of Apple' s shares, which was around $23 at this time. Actually, I wanted to buy 1,000 shares. I did not. Now you understand why I'm a bozo.
MacDailyNews article here, AAPL quote here.
Just one day after the announcement of the iPhone price drop, Apple CEO Steve Jobs has posted an open letter to all iPhone customers on Apple's website. Read it here. That is pure Art Of Marketing. And another fantastic example of Apple' s focus on its customers. I wonder how many CEOs in the World would do the same in such situation : act, apologize, and explain.
seen on MyMac here.
Post-Scriptum : back in 2000, I was running a beautiful iMac DV Special Edition. The Mac OS 9 operating system was absolutely perfect, stable and reliable. The first time my Mac hanged, after more than 12 months of service, was when I installed VirtualPC and booted Windows95. Seeing the Blue-Screen-Of-Death on a Mac was both astonishing and amusing to me...
So, Skype' users have been unable to use their favorite peer-to-peer communication network for two days because of the... Microsoft Windows Update routine. Read the real story behind last week' massive disruption here.
Okay, Windows is not directly involved : it was *just* a trigger in this case, which actually helped Skype to detect a bug into its network' self-healing process.
Nevertheless, I can't keep thinking that without Windows the World would be a kind of better place. Hey, would you accept to get your car patched every single week ?
I hear the Anti-Macs : " Windows has 95% of the market, blah blah blah... " Fair enough. However, take this : Even if Mac OS had those 95% yet, it wouldn't cause such damage. Simply because... there is no such regular updates. Because there is no need for such security patches. Keep in mind : life is way easier with a Mac. You know, the Customer-Focused thing...
According to Apple Chief Financial Officer Peter Oppenheimer at yesterday's financial earnings report, " there will be a product transition [he] can't get into."
So, the Mac-iPod-iPhone maker is up to something. My take is that the actual iPhone is the first item of a brand new product line, aimed at mobile communications. Obviously, I'm not the only one on that ;-)
The SW Developers community was kind of disappointed when Apple decided not to set up a SDK software development kit for the iPhone, preferring to enable third-parties Web applications using Safari, Apple's Web browser (which, by one of the smartest à-la-Sun Tzu moves ever, also runs on MS Windows now). An offense to all the guys used to think VisualBasic...
Among several other interesting stuff, there is one idea which seems to be a real killer : Storing iPhone apps locally with data URLs. It opens the door for amazing vertical applications for professionals - I can't wait putting my hands on an iPhone and create a fiber testing solution on it ;-)
Still sticking to VisualBasic, anyone ?
Letterman just invented the dual-purpose iPhone Nano. The very first high-tech breath mint ;-)
Go to the 5:35 mark to enjoy Dave's understanding of webcasting, followed by the iPhone intro.
Direct link to the iPhone stuff here on CBS website. Click on " Watch Video " under the " Dave's iPhone Sneak Peek 06.27.07 " title.
Welcome to FiberGeneration 2.0, and welcome to Safari 3.0 (beta). Way faster than the lovely Opera 9.2. Still some key features missing, such as IE or Firefox masquerading - very convenient, for instance to edit posts in WYSIWYG mode on TypePad ;-)
Microsoft co-founder & Chairman Bill Gates and Apple co-founder & CEO Steve Jobs shared the stage last night at the fifth edition of D: All Things Digital , the Wall Street Journal’s executive conference .
When asked what the greatest misunderstanding about their relationship was, Steve Jobs says "We've kept our marriage secret for over a decade."
A joke maybe, yet most probably a pretty smart hint what's coming next at Apple : the takover of Microsoft. Hey, have you ever seen a win-win marriage those days ?
* see here for explanation.
Photo Credit: Dan Farber/ZDNet
Reading CNET the other night, a headline grabbed my attention : " Record exec: Mobile industry could learn from Apple "
A report by Marguerite Reardon of CNET News.com. Quote Marguerite :
In a keynote address at the CTIA Wireless trade show, EMI's Eric Nicoli warned the industry that it would not reach its potential if mobile operators, handset makers and content providers don't work together and put the customer first. He said they need to make sure that every product they develop for consumers is one that people want, is easy to use, and provides value at an affordable price.
"We will not reach our goals if we carry on as we have been doing," he said. "Not to diminish what we have achieved so far, but there are important challenges to address if we want to take this business to the next level. And that means we must put the customer at the forefront."
"Apple makes stuff that people love to own," Nicoli said. "They love the simplicity and user-friendliness of the iPod and iTunes. Apple doesn't employ any sorcery or dark magic to achieve this. They listen to what consumers want. And that shouldn't be Apple's unique privilege."
Very interesting indeed. Those folks at the Mobile industry are definitely not Average Joe, they have MBAs - at least, they play golf with their peers of Wall Street, their business is driving the whole Telecoms industry at large - at the end of the day, we need fibers to carry mobiles 's signals. So, how come they forgot a simple fact, which even self-made-men like myself do know and apply every single day since the very begining ? : " It is the customer who determines what a business is...What the customer thinks he is buying, what he considers value, is decisive--it determines what a business is, what it produces, and whether it will prosper." Peter Drucker, Management: Tasks, Responsibilities, Practices, 1974, p 61.
Maybe they were driven by bozozity until the very moment Steve Jobs unveiled the iPhone ? By claiming that " [the Mobile industry] need to make sure that every product they develop for consumers is one that people want ", Mr. Nicoli
admits that they all tells his pals at the Mobile Industry that they failed listening to their customers. Now, he also made a giant step towards recovery : he is learning. He's learning that the Mobile industry has he tells them they have to learn about its their own mistakes, its their competition (Apple is coming after them with the iPhone), and its their environment.
So, what is learning, in business ? I found no better way to explain the whole idea than what Hal Stitt, my coach during my Musketeers years at Agilent Technologies, says :
" learning as a winning business strategy means learning more and learning faster than your rivals do about your customers, your competitors, your business environment and the opportunities available for your business to win customers. "
Hal likes to describe the whole concept with this diagram, based on Peter Drucker' assessment which claims that it's the customer who decides the winner.
I like it too, for it is crisp and clear. Plus, according to my own experience as a customer in B2B since 20+ years, it is exactly the way it works : a short loop, involving both the customer and the vendor in a constant dialog, always makes this vendor successful.
Perhaps the guys in the Mobile Industry were more used to a more rigid process, such as this one :
Definitely not a KISS ' Keep It Simple, Stupid ' approach, such as the one developped by David Kolb in the early 80's : -------
In this diagram, replace " Concrete, Experience" by " Customer ", " model " by " Application ", " Test " by " Feedback ", and " Reflect " by " Product ", and you get another representation of Drucker's model. Please note that I didn't put the accordingly modified diagram on purpose : do it yourself, you will better... learn ;-)
Back in 2001, Hal Stitt has published a white paper " About Learning " . I am pleased to post the first three pages, for it explain the whole idea :
LEARNING VERSUS KNOWING ORGANIZATIONS
Contrasts and Comparisons
Most organizations we have seen and read about over the past 40 years have focused more on knowing than on learning. Knowing is a state, learning is an action. Learning changes the state of knowing.
Knowing organizations promote and hire people mainly based on what they have done, on what they know. Less value is placed on the person's ability to learn. Training focuses on skills and processes with a direct impact on job performance. Little or no effort is put into training people to learn, encouraging learning, or rewarding learning.
Management effort in knowing organizations focuses on getting better and better at what the organization does, instead of what it could become. Effort is more likely to be put on careful measurement of results and comparing them with expectations than on encouraging learning. Knowing organizations put people in jobs to get results, to fix problems, to turn around failing organizations. If sales are not up to expectations, they will bring in a sales manager who knows how to fix that. If manufacturing is not meeting expectations, they will bring in a new manager who knows how to fix it. If the company is not meeting investors' expectations, they will bring in a new CEO who knows how to fix that.
In knowing organizations, learning is seen as down time. It interferes with performing.
Learning organizations hire and promote people based more on their ability to learn than on what they already know, more on what they can do than what they have already done. Learning organizations realize that results are related to actions by probability. They realize that just because something worked in the past doesn't mean it will work in the future. They realize that just because something worked in another company or another organization doesn’t mean it will work in your company or in your organization.
Knowing is not transferable across organizations or over time. The situation changes, but knowing is static. Learning is transferable. Learning is dynamic. Learning includes learning about changes in the situation.
Sun Tzu's quote is often misunderstood. The time at which your must know the enemy better than yourself
is at the time of the battle. In war, what you knew yesterday, last week, last month, last year can get you killed. In business, it just means your customers buy from your competitors.
Learning organizations see learning as a competitive sport. If they can learn more and learn faster than their competitors, they can outperform those competitors.
Innovation is a core business function. Innovation is the engine powering successful competition. Learning drives innovation. Without a stream of new learnings, innovation only happens by accident.
What your organization will learn outweighs what it already knows.
We see three fundamental reasons why what your organization will learn is more important than what it already knows:
Knowledge and experience were gained in the past. There is no logical reason to believe the future will be like the past.
A very high proportion of knowledge and experience is similar among competitors. It is too often a very weak differentiator.
The belief that the organization already has the answers leads to arrogance and complacency, which leads to defeat.
Learning is the root of competition
Your organization is either learning and innovating better than your competitors, in the eyes of your customers, or you are a target for those who are. Learning leads to innovation, which leads to winning—if you innovate better than your competitors, in the opinion of the customers.
The most valuable learnings lie outside your organization *
Getting good information first hand from good sources outside the organization, but within the system the organization serves, is a core behavior of learning organizations.
Learning only counts when it affects behavior
We do not advocate learning for learning's sake. Learning has no value to the organization unless it affects behavior. Not learning or learning the wrong things is bad enough, but we believe learning the right things and not acting on the learning is the worst possible outcome. It kills morale and motivation in the people who have learned something vital to the organization's success if they are prevented from acting by decision makers who have not. It's ludicrous! The people who have learned something vital are the people the decision makers should be motivating.
The purpose of learning is to win
We believe the most important purpose of learning is to create changes that will create wins. That is diametrically opposite to the purpose of hierarchical organizations: to develop and maintain order and control.
All businesses learn about their businesses. But the winners learn more about their customers and competitors than their competitors do. To win, most customers must prefer your products and services over your competitors. You cannot get customers to prefer your products and services by focusing your learning on your own organization— by looking in your mirrors. It requires learning about your customers. It requires understanding your customers well enough to know what your organization can do for them in the future that they will prefer over the offerings of your competitors.
*note : helping clients do that is one of DeltaNet's core strengths. To contact Hal @ DeltaNet, click here.
Peter Drucker' official biography here.
--- updated Apr. 2d, 2007, after EMI announcement on DRM-free ---
Thanks to MacDailyNews for the heads up :
Koloroo today announced the release of the first widgets that run on any iPod with a color screen. TipKalc is an easy-to-use tip calculator with instant check-splitter and KolorWheel is a color utility that provides scientifically formulated color schemes to match a web page, home decor, shirt or outfit ... in fact, just about anything. Both widgets can be loaded onto an iPod from either a PC or Mac and are available at an introductory download price of only $4.99 and $7.99 respectively.
More info: www.koloroo.com
My take : now I can start developping an OTDR for the iPhone platform.
Last year, Wired has published a long article : " Steve Jobs' Best Quotes Ever ". Here are my ten favorites. At the end of the day, those quotes tell who is Steve Jobs (did I ever told you that I would like to work for him before I die ? ;-)
I suggest that you read the date first, then read the quote :
you will then notice how funny or visionary it was.
Also, note that I sorted the quotes in perspective with the resurgence of the Cupertino firm since Jobs' s return at the head of the company... 10 years ago.
ps : BrainyQuote has some interesting stuff too (e.g. the 3 at the bonus track at the end of this post).
"Apple has some tremendous assets, but I believe without some attention, the company could, could, could -- I'm searching for the right word -- could, could die." -- On his return as interim CEO, in Time, Aug. 18, 1997
"You know, I've got a plan that could rescue Apple. I can't say any more than that it's the perfect product and the perfect strategy for Apple. But nobody there will listen to me." -- Fortune, Sept. 18, 1995
"The cure for Apple is not cost-cutting. The cure for Apple is to innovate its way out of its current predicament." -- Apple Confidential 2.0: The Definitive History of the World's Most Colorful Company, by Owen W. Linzmayer
"Innovation has nothing to do with how many R&D dollars you have. When Apple came up with the Mac, IBM was spending at least 100 times more on R&D. It's not about money. It's about the people you have, how you're led, and how much you get it." -- Fortune, Nov. 9, 1998
"It's really hard to design products by focus groups. A lot of times, people don't know what they want until you show it to them." -- BusinessWeek, May 25 1998
"The desktop computer industry is dead. Innovation has virtually ceased. Microsoft dominates with very little innovation. That's over. Apple lost. The desktop market has entered the dark ages, and it's going to be in the dark ages for the next 10 years, or certainly for the rest of this decade." -- Wired magazine, February 1996
"Why would I ever want to run Disney? Wouldn't it make more sense just to sell them Pixar and retire?" -- Fortune, Feb. 23, 2004
"It's better to be a pirate than to join the Navy." -- Odyssey: Pepsi to Apple
"There are sneakers that cost more than an iPod." -- On the iPod's $300 price tag, Newsweek, Oct. 27, 2003
"We made the buttons on the screen look so good you'll want to lick them." -- Jobs, on Mac OS X's Aqua user interface (Fortune, Jan. 24, 2000)
bonus track, DRM-free ;-)
personal comment : the latest is another piece of evidence that Steve Jobs and Raymond Loewy have something in common...
Two weeks ago, the Wall Street Journal posted a freaking good article on "How Steve Jobs Played Hardball In iPhone Birth" with Cingular (now AT&T). Shall you have only 30 seconds before you, you can get the flavour of this article by reading the Quoted section here in one of my favorite daily newspapers : Good Morning Silicon Valley.
I ain't comment on the iPhone' s multi-touch user-interface enabling a new revolution (it's well done here ), Steve Jobs being a genius (read here and here) , or Apple playing a giant chess game against Microsoft ( here, here, and here - and more).
Actually, the most interesting part to me is this one (at the end of the article) :
Usually, carriers catch more than a glimpse of the products their handset partners are working on. They get to provide input on what applications or features might make the device more marketable.
Not this time. Several small teams within Cingular worked on the project, but each handled its own specific task without knowing what the other teams were up to. Employees had code-names for the project to avoid mentioning Apple by name, says a person familiar with the matter.
Cingular sent a team of technical personnel to Apple's offices to test the device, making it sure it would work on the carrier's network. That rigorous process is normal for the release of any phone. But this time, technicians weren't allowed to handle or see the actual phone. Instead, they were given access to a dummy version that would only allow them to do the necessary network tests.
I was suspecting Steve Jobs and his team to use such secretive technics during the development phase of their strategic new products. Why that ? Simply because it happens that I had a similar idea back in the early 2K's at Agilent Technologies (nope, I'm not saying that I'm another Steve Jobs : there is no other Steve Jobs ;-)
At this time, we were to develop a brand new product, strategic for the future of our business unit. As a member of the Apple Developper Connection program, I was used to the methods the Cupertino firm put in place for Mac OS X (the 10.0 release) : regular beta seeds, beta testing program, feedback collection, etc. Hence the idea to use the same process for our new product : create a beta testers community, send them each new build of the firmware, get them engaged with the product development timeline, etc.
More : to avoid leaks - the Telecoms world is a small world... - I wanted to get the applications (i.e. the core value of this new product) tested by separate individuals, in such ways that no one would know what the others were doing. Also, using a fake hardware was planned, so nobody would learn about the real thing - see here : this product features a stunning design still unmatched by its rivals, five years after its official launch...
Unfortunately, we couldn't implement this program : our product didn't run under MS Windows or any of the commercial OS at this time (not speaking of Linux or Mac OS : the Test & Measurement industry is living in a MS Windows world...). So, we were simply unable to get people outside of the company to test a single line of code. Kind of Mission:Impossible made really impossible !
Today, the landscape is totally different. The emergence of the Web 2.0 has changed the way we can develop new applications, even those to be implemented onto a fiber optics test handheld. Design your app as a Web-based one, and you're done : APIs, widgets, snippets, etc. It's all there, available, and easy to deploy, test, and use. That's what Apple did with the iPhone, by the way : consider each function (e.g. phone, internet, camera, etc.) as an application per se, then consider it as being called as a widget... Assign one guy or one team per widget, and you reach the ultimate secrecy level : nobody will know where this stuff is going to be implemented, and how it will be used !
Actually, I will use this proven method with the developments at Testing 2.0.
Apple Computer, inc. is dead, welcome and long life to Apple, inc. For all of us Mac fans, as well as for the rest of us entrepreneurs and business developers, the MacWorld 2007 Keynote is worth watching again and again.
Of course, Tuesday the 8th of January, 2007, will stay forever as the day when Steve Jobs unveiled his best-kept-secret new baby : the iPhone. It is not that often (unfortunately ?...) that we can watch a new revolution live. But there was something way more important than the iPhone itself this day. Apple has changed. The ad banner which was released on the apple.com homepage the week before the expo tells this : Steve Jobs has set his company for the Future. Apple has dropped the word 'computer' out of its name, to make it crisp and clear to all of us, especially to its rivals Microsoft and Sony : the Mac & iPod maker is no longer a 'computing-only' firm. Apple is aimed at Consumer Electronics at large.
Another interesting fact to analyze : Apple is no longer a single-combat-warrior/free electron company. Apple do teamwork. See Intel, Nike, and now AT&T. In each case, a beautiful example of a perfect win-win setup. Thanks to Jobs, and the Apple folks, Intel is learning to think out of the box, Nike reaches the high-tech geeks, and AT&T will be #1 again soon.
Les Poven of Of Things Mac has written a very interesting article on Steve Jobs and Change Management, detailing the Keynote speech in all aspects, from a strategic marketing perspective : "The 2007 Jobs Macworld Keynote: Lessons in Change Management". A must read.
ps : about the iPhone, you shall read the excellent post "iPhone and the Dog Ears User Experience Model" by Kathy Sierra of Creating Passionate Customers. I guess Steve Jobs and Jonathan Ive know Raymond Loëwy' s MAYA principle per the book ;-)