Steve Jobs

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pages: 363 words: 94,139

Jony Ive: The Genius Behind Apple's Greatest Products by Leander Kahney


Apple II, banking crisis, British Empire, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable, Computer Numeric Control, Dynabook, global supply chain, interchangeable parts, John Markoff, Jony Ive, race to the bottom, RFID, side project, Silicon Valley, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, the built environment, thinkpad, Tim Cook: Apple

Leander Kahney, Inside Steve’s Brain, expanded edition (Portfolio, 2009), 96. 31. Joel West, “Apple Computer: The iCEO Seizes the Internet,”, October 20, 2002. 32. Adam Lashinsky, “Tim Cook: The Genius Behind Steve,” Fortune,, August 24, 2011. 33. Interview with Doug Satzger, January 2013. 34. Walter Isaacson, Steve Jobs, Kindle edition 35. Ibid. CHAPTER 10 The iPhone 1. Walter Isaacson, Steve Jobs (Simon & Schuster) Kindle Edition. 2. Ibid. 3. Ibid. 4. John Paczkowski, “Apple CEO Steve Jobs Live at D8,”, June 1, 2010. 5. Scott Forstall, Apple v. Samsung trial testimony. 6. Ibid. 7. Kevin Rose, “Matt Rogers: Founder of Nest Labs interview,” Foundation 21, 2012, video,

Katherine Rushton, “Apple Design Chief Sir Jonathan Ive: iPhone was ‘Nearly Axed,’”, July 31, 2012. 20. Vogelstein, “The Untold Story.” 21. Apple v. Samsung trial, testimony of Christopher Stringer. 22. Janko Roettgers, “Alan Kay: With the Tablet, Apple Will Rule the World,”, CHAPTER 11 The iPad 1. Walter Isaacson, Steve Jobs (Simon & Schuster, 2011), Kindle edition. 2. Brian Heater, “Steve Jobs Shows No Love for Netbooks,”,2817,2358514,00.asp, January 28, 2010. 3. Isaacson, Steve Jobs, Kindle edition. 4. Ibid. 5. Apple v. Samsung trial, testimony of Christopher Stringer. 6.

Interview with Clive Grinyer, January 2013. 33. Jim Carlton, Apple: The Inside Story of Intrigue, Egomania and Business Blunders (HarperBusiness, 1997), p. 412. 34. Kunkel, AppleDesign, p. 65. 35. Daniel Turner, MIT Technology Review 2007,, May 1, 2007. 36. Ibid. 37. Ibid. 38. Rachel Metz, “Behind Apple’s Products is Longtime Designer Ive,” Associated Press,, updated 8/26/2011. 39. Isaacon, Steve Jobs, Kindle edition. 40. Interview with Jon Rubinstein, October 2012. CHAPTER 5 Jobs Returns to Apple 1. Walter Isaacson, Steve Jobs (Simon & Schuster, 2011), Kindle edition. 2. Steve Jobs at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference 1998, video,

pages: 464 words: 155,696

Becoming Steve Jobs: The Evolution of a Reckless Upstart Into a Visionary Leader by Brent Schlender, Rick Tetzeli


Albert Einstein, Apple II, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, Bob Noyce, Byte Shop, computer age, corporate governance, El Camino Real, Isaac Newton, John Markoff, Jony Ive, Marc Andreessen, market design, McMansion, Menlo Park, Paul Terrell, popular electronics, QWERTY keyboard, Ronald Reagan, Sand Hill Road, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Tim Cook: Apple, Wall-E, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Whole Earth Catalog

.:; The Ralston White Retreat: The Seva Foundation: Smithsonian Institution’s “Oral and Video Histories” Steve Jobs interview on April 20, 1995: Steve Jobs addressing MacWorld Boston, August 6, 1997: Steve Jobs open letter “Thoughts on Flash,” explaining his reasoning for not allowing Adobe Corp.’s Flash media player software on the Apple iPhone: U.S. Bureau of Economic Affairs, Annual Industry Accounts 1976–2012, Vitsœ:; Other Cupertino City Council video archive of Steve Jobs’s presentation of plans for a new Apple headquarters, June 7, 2011,

Wozniak, Stephen, and Gina Smith. iWoz: Computer Geek to Cult Icon: How I Invented the Personal Computer, Co-founded Apple, and Had Fun Doing It. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2007. Young, Jeffrey S. Steve Jobs: The Journey Is the Reward. New York: Scott Foresman Trade, 1987. Articles by the Author Schlender, Brenton R. “Jobs, Perot Become Unlikely Partners in Apple Founder’s New Concern.” Wall Street Journal, February 2, 1987. ———. “Next Project: Apple Era Behind Him, Steve Jobs Tries Again, Using a New System.” Wall Street Journal, October 13, 1988. ———. “How Steve Jobs Linked Up with IBM.” Fortune, October 9, 1989. ———. “The Future of the PC: Steve Jobs and Bill Gates Talk About Tomorrow.” Fortune, August 26, 1991. ———. “What Bill Gates Really Wants.” Fortune, January 16, 1995. ———. “Steve Jobs’ Amazing Movie Adventure.” Fortune, September 18, 1995. ———.

Fortune, November 9, 1998. ———. “Apple’s One-Dollar-a-Year Man.” Fortune, January 24, 2000. ———. “Steve JobsApple Gets Way Cooler.” Fortune, January 24, 2000. ———. “Steve Jobs: Graying Prince of a Shrinking Kingdom.” Fortune, May 14, 2001. ———. “Pixar’s Fun House.” Fortune, July 23, 2001. ———. “Apple’s 21st Century Walkman.” Fortune, November 12, 2001. ———. “Apple’s Bumper Crop.” Fortune, February 3, 2003. ———. “What Does Steve Jobs Want?” Fortune, February 23, 2004. ———. “Incredible: The Man Who Built Pixar’s Innovation Machine.” Fortune, November 15, 2004. ———. “How Big Can Apple Get?” Fortune, February 21, 2005. ———. “Pixar’s Magic Man.” Fortune, May 17, 2006. ———. “Steve and Me: A Journalist Reminisces.” Fortune, October 25, 2011. ———. “The Lost Steve Jobs Tapes.” Fast Company, May 2012.

pages: 297 words: 89,820

The Perfect Thing: How the iPod Shuffles Commerce, Culture, and Coolness by Steven Levy


Apple II, British Empire, Claude Shannon: information theory,, indoor plumbing, Internet Archive, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, Jony Ive, Kevin Kelly, Sand Hill Road, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, social web, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, technology bubble, Thomas L Friedman

There have been five biographies of Steve Jobs to date, and every single one feasts on his dark side and tries to reapportion the credit for his successes. By and large, their tone is condescending. One book, called Accidental Millionaire, concludes with an account of his 1985 ouster from the company, flatly stating that Apple "was facing a brighter future without him." Randall Stross's Steve Jobs and the NeXT Big Thing, an account of Jobs's venture between his two terms at Apple, takes delight in the failure of the NeXT computer—a flop later mitigated by the computer's significant impact. (The NeXT legacy can be seen not only in the current Macintosh operating system but in the World Wide Web itself, which was created on a NeXT box.) In The Second Coming of Steve Jobs, Alan Deutschman paints him as an intolerable schmuck and awful Apple manager who makes the boss in the television series The Office look like Peter Drucker; reading the book, you could only conclude that no company could succeed with Jobs at the helm.

But in early 2000, when the PJB was shown at the Consumer Electronics Show, Apple Computer was late for its date with destiny. And who knows how or when Steve Jobs would have made his move were it not for a fateful, and painful, encounter with a longtime software partner of Apple's, a company called Adobe. Jobs once walked me back along the chain of events that had led to iPod. Square one, he told me, was Fire Wire, the name of a means of quickly moving masses of digital information from one gadget to another. (The technology is also known as iLink.) Apple had invented it in the early nineties, but the first to exploit it were Japanese electronics companies, which put it into their camcorders. "But nobody, including Apple, put it on a computer," says Jobs. That changed in 1999, when Apple came up with the iMac DV, an upgrade to the new iMac the company had introduced earlier.

Many people blogged about their iPods—what they were listening to on the 'pod, what color they had chosen for their boyfriend, how they slept with the iPod under their pillow, and how pissed they were that they had bought a new Podcast iPod just before Apple released a newer, cooler iteration. ("iPod" was, in fact, the most popular "tag," or category, in the massive blog search engine Technorati.) Among Apple fans and tech watchers, blogs were often the launching pad for strange iPod-related multimedia expression: miniessays, love letters, and borderline psychotic object worship. People would design exotic "fantasy" iPods. In the days before a Steve Jobs presentation, the blogosphere would be abuzz with swooning speculations about what he might be unveiling. Though cynics sometimes debunked the phenomenon by charging that Apple actually seeded this rumor mill itself to crank up the buzz level to full blast, there is every indication that Steve Jobs wasn't happy about these speculations, especially when the predictions— in some cases, apparently arrived at with the connivance of inside leakers—came close to the mark.

pages: 416 words: 129,308

The One Device: The Secret History of the iPhone by Brian Merchant

Airbnb, Apple II, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, citizen journalism, Claude Shannon: information theory, computer vision, conceptual framework, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Ford paid five dollars a day, Frank Gehry, global supply chain, Google Earth, Google Hangouts, Internet of things, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, John Gruber, John Markoff, Jony Ive, Lyft, M-Pesa, more computing power than Apollo, Mother of all demos, natural language processing, new economy, New Journalism, Norbert Wiener, offshore financial centre, oil shock, pattern recognition, peak oil, pirate software, profit motive, QWERTY keyboard, ride hailing / ride sharing, rolodex, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Skype, Snapchat, special economic zone, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Tim Cook: Apple, Turing test, Upton Sinclair, Vannevar Bush, zero day

As with the previous roman numbered sections, most of chapters iii and iV were sourced from interviews with original iPhone team members and anonymous Apple employees, previous research and reportage, and court- and FOIA-obtained documents. Among Apple personnel interviewed on the record were Bas Ording, Imran Chaudhri, Richard Williamson, Tony Fadell, Henri Lamiraux, Greg Christie, Nitin Ganatra, Andy Grignon, David Tupman, Evan Doll, Abigail Brody, Brian Huppi, Joshua Strickon, and Tom Gruber. Quotes were drawn from the Apple/Samsung trial of 2012, when Phil Schiller and Scott Forstall took the stand. Books that provided extraordinarily useful detail, research, and background were Dogfight, by Fred Vogelstein; Steve Jobs, by Walter Isaacson; Becoming Steve Jobs, by Brent Schlender; Inside Apple, by Adam Lashinsky; and Jony Ive, by Leander Kahney. Quotes attributed to Jony Ive, Steve Jobs, Mike Bell, and Douglas Satzger were drawn from those sources.

“He seemed like one of these guys that had lots of interaction experience,” Huppi says, “and I was like, he’d be perfect for this brainstorming group.” When Joshua Strickon arrived at Apple in 2003, the company was pocked by uncertainty all over again. The iMac had won accolades and steadied sales, but the tech bubble had burst; profits had fallen, and Apple was losing money for the first time since Jobs’s return. The iPod had yet to take off, and the rank and file were anxious. “When I got there,” Strickon says, “the stock price was like fourteen dollars and no one had had a raise in who knows how long.” Apple placed him in a windowless office with malfunctioning hardware. “They had given me a laptop and a desktop,” he says, “and the machines were crashing all the time.” Meanwhile, the Cupertino campus teemed with Apple “fanatics,” a number of whom made no secret of their Steve Jobs idolatry. “Apple is kind of a weird place,” he says. “You’ve got people dressing like Steve.”

He was trying to figure out how he might pursue a deal that would let Apple retain control over the design of its phone. He considered having Apple buy its own bandwidth and become its own mobile virtual network operator, or MVNO. An executive at Cingular, meanwhile, began to cobble together an alternative deal Jobs might actually embrace: Give Cingular exclusivity, and we’ll give you complete freedom over the device. Fix What You Hate From Steve Jobs to Jony Ive to Tony Fadell to Apple’s engineers, designers, and managers, there’s one part of the iPhone mythology that everyone tends to agree on: Before the iPhone, everyone at Apple thought cell phones “sucked.” They were “terrible.” Just “pieces of junk.” We’ve already seen how Jobs felt about phones that dropped calls. “Apple is best when it’s fixing the things that people hate,” Greg Christie tells me.

pages: 275 words: 84,418

Dogfight: How Apple and Google Went to War and Started a Revolution by Fred Vogelstein


Apple II, cloud computing, commoditize, disintermediation, don't be evil, Dynabook, Firefox, Google Chrome, Google Glasses, Googley, John Markoff, Jony Ive, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Peter Thiel, pre–internet, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, software patent, spectrum auction, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Tim Cook: Apple, web application, zero-sum game

Jobs did little to hide: Jason Snell, “Jobs Speaks: The Complete Transcript,” Macworld, 10/18/2010. Because of the iPod: Apple press release, 4/9/2007. Jobs said he never saw: Kara Swisher, “Full D8 Interview Video: Apple CEO Steve Jobs,” Steve Jobs interviewed by Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg (video),, 6/7/2010, available at Apple’s three-year head start: “Apple Says App Store Has Made Developers over $1 Billion,”, 6/10/2010. 7. The iPad Changes Everything—Again Starting in 2010 Jobs had: “Apple’s Diabolical Plan to Screw Your iPhone,”, 1/20/2011. “It turns out”: Beth Callaghan, “Steve Jobs’s Appearances at D, the Full Video Sessions,”, 10/5/2011. He laid out his new invention: See Steve Jobs’s iPad keynote address, 1/27/2010, available at

It’s hard to imagine: “iPhone,” Wikipedia; cross-checked with Apple financial statements. Publicly, Jobs continued his: Kara Swisher, “Blast from D Past: Apple’s Steve Jobs at D2 in 2004,”, 5/10/2010. The tension between the partners: Frank Rose, “Battle for the Soul of the MP3 Phone,” Wired, 11/2005. Jobs successfully pinned the Rokr screwup: “iPod Sales per Quarter,” Wikipedia; cross-checked with Apple financial statements; Peter Burrows, “Working with Steve Jobs,” Bloomberg Businessweek, 10/12/2011. Disney, on whose board: “Disney Teams with Sprint to Offer National Wireless Service for Families,” Disney news release, 7/6/2005. Cingular wasn’t just playing defense: “iPod Sales per Quarter,” Wikipedia; cross-checked with Apple financial statements. No one had ever put: Christine Erickson, “The Touching History of Touchscreen Tech,”, 11/9/2012; Andrew Cunningham, “How Today’s Touchscreen Tech Put the World at Our Fingertips,”, 4/17/2013; Bent Stumpe and Christine Sutton, “The First Capacitative Touch Screens at CERN,” CERN Courier, 3/31/2010; “Touchscreen Articles in Phones,”, 8/26/2008; Bill Buxton, “Multi-Touch Systems That I Have Known and Loved,”, 1/12/2007.

Levy wrote about: Steven Levy, “A Hungry Crowd Smells iPhone, and Pounces,” Newsweek, 12/22/2007. Looking back, the iPhone launch: These two paragraphs come from Apple financial statements and various news reports and reviews widely available at the time. It generates $4.5 billion: “Apple’s CEO Discusses F2Q13 Results—Earnings Call Transcript,”, 4/23/2013. After the unveiling, when: John Markoff, “Steve Jobs Walks the Tightrope Again,” New York Times, 1/12/2007. Apple helped create and then took: This comes from the testimony of Phil Schiller, Apple Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing, at the Apple v. Samsung trial, 8/3/2012. University Avenue and Kipling Street: The new Apple store in Palo Alto is at Florence Street and University Avenue. 4. I Thought We Were Friends the Android team’s initial worries: Information for the following two paragraphs comes from trial testimony and exhibits in the Oracle v.

pages: 390 words: 114,538

Digital Wars: Apple, Google, Microsoft and the Battle for the Internet by Charles Arthur


activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, AltaVista, Build a better mousetrap, Burning Man, cloud computing, commoditize, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, disintermediation, don't be evil,, Firefox, gravity well, Jeff Bezos, John Gruber, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Network effects, PageRank, pre–internet, Robert X Cringely, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Skype, slashdot, Snapchat, software patent, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, the new new thing, the scientific method, Tim Cook: Apple, turn-by-turn navigation, upwardly mobile

Notes Chapter One 1998 1 Ken Auletta (2009) Googled: The end of the world as we know it, Virgin Books, London. 2 3 4 5 Alan Deutschman (2000) The Second Coming of Steve Jobs, Broadway Books, New York. 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 Chapter Two Microsoft antitrust 1 Private e-mail. 2 Private e-mail.

Among those also targeted for Microsoft’s arm-twisting via Windows to try to crush other products in different fields, the trial heard, were Intel, Sun Microsystems, Real Networks, IBM – which was denied an OEM licence for Windows 95 until a quarter of an hour before its official launch, and so missed out on huge swathes of PC sales – and Apple. In particular, Apple was offered a deal: stop developing its own systems for playing music and films on Windows, and let Microsoft handle them using its DirectX system. If it did, Microsoft would stop putting obstacles in the way of Apple’s QuickTime on Windows. Steve Jobs, who was at the meeting in June 1998, rejected the idea because it would limit the ability for third parties to develop content that would run on Windows PCs and Apple machines. (In retrospect, that decision may be one of the most significant to Apple’s later success that Jobs ever made, since it meant that Microsoft could not control how Apple-encoded music was played on Windows.) Internet Explorer was the focus of the trial, though: the number of Microsoft staff working on it had grown from a handful in early 1995 to more than a thousand in 1999.

In 1998 Microsoft was crushing yet another upstart – Netscape, which had had the temerity to suggest that the browser could become the basis for doing work anywhere, so that Windows itself would become irrelevant; all you’d need would be a computer that could run a browser, and you’d be able to do everything for which you presently needed a PC. Steve Jobs and Apple Microsoft had reached the pinnacle by besting Apple – the company co-founded by Steve Jobs, a charming, brilliant, tempestuous, iconoclastic, unique businessman who had been thrown out of it in 1985 but returned, triumphantly, at the end of 1996 when another company he had set up, NeXT Computer, was bought by the then ailing Apple, which was bleeding cash. He forced out the incumbent chief executive in July 1997 and became ‘interim’ chief executive that September – at which point the company had made a loss of a billion dollars for the financial year.

pages: 385 words: 101,761

Creative Intelligence: Harnessing the Power to Create, Connect, and Inspire by Bruce Nussbaum


3D printing, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Berlin Wall, Black Swan, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable, clean water, collapse of Lehman Brothers, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, declining real wages, demographic dividend, Elon Musk,, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, follow your passion, game design, housing crisis, Hyman Minsky, industrial robot, invisible hand, James Dyson, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, John Gruber, John Markoff, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, lone genius, manufacturing employment, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, new economy, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, QR code, race to the bottom, reshoring, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, Skype, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, supply-chain management, Tesla Model S, The Chicago School, The Design of Experiments, the High Line, The Myth of the Rational Market, thinkpad, Tim Cook: Apple, too big to fail, tulip mania, We are the 99%, Y Combinator, young professional, Zipcar

But the technology of our time—their improved features and lowered costs, their ability to make us all creators and not just passive users—can, in fact, connect people in ways that the films or photographs of seven decades ago could not. As with many of the Creative Intelligence competencies, the road leads back to Apple. Consumers call Apple products “cool” and “easy to use,” and more sophisticated business analysts applaud Apple’s “ecosystem” of integrated software and hardware. But none of those qualities alone explains why we feel the way we do about Apple products; it’s impossible to discuss Apple products without mentioning how they feel in the hand, look to the eye, and connect to our deep emotions. The story of how Apple began creating beautiful, easy-to-use products should be required reading for anyone interested in creating something that’s not just useful but meaningful. WHEN STEVE JOBS RETURNED TO Apple in 1997, after twelve years in exile, he bet the company and his future on a radical new idea: an easy-to-use, stand-alone PC that looked unlike any other computer before it—translucent, colorful, fun.

; online/jonathan-ive-on-apple/imac-1998, accessed September 5, 2012; Janet Abrams, “Radical Craft/The Second Art Center Design Conference,” 04.06_artcenter.asp, accessed September 5, 2012. 187 Ive then spent yet more: Burrows, “Who Is Jonathan Ive?” 188 They also designed a beautiful: Neil Hughes, “Book Details Apple’s ‘Packaging Room,’ Steve Jobs’ Interest in Advanced Cameras,” Apple Insider, January 24, 2012, accessed September 5, 2012, articles/12/01/24/book_details_apples_packaging_ room_interests_in_advanced_cameras_.html; Yonu Heisler, “Inside Apple’s Secret Packaging Room,” Network World, January 24, 2012, accessed September 5, 2012, blog/inside-apples-secret-packaging-room. 188 The iMac’s launch in 1998:

It’s no accident that when he launched his company, Steve Jobs followed the Sony model of a consumer-friendly technology company. He knew that it was always tempting for technology companies to frame themselves from the engineer’s point of view, not the consumer’s. Over time, Jobs would fight his engineers constantly to keep Apple products easy to use. No one has reframed the story of personal technology quite like Steve Jobs. With every new product, he further moved the focus away from engineered functionality and toward user experience. His contributions transformed not only the personal computer market, but the entire field of design. Jobs, who framed his very role in his own terms, thinking of himself as a designer, not an engineer, was able to see a completely original relationship between people and technology. Apple under Jobs transformed entire industries and the way we interact with products on a personal level.

pages: 255 words: 68,829

How PowerPoint Makes You Stupid by Franck Frommer


Albert Einstein, business continuity plan, cuban missile crisis, dematerialisation, hypertext link, invention of writing, inventory management, invisible hand, Just-in-time delivery, knowledge worker, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, new economy, oil shock, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, union organizing

The most famous of these gatherings is the Macworld Conference Expo that takes place in January every year. Apple presents its earnings, its plans, and its new software and hardware. The “Mac family” waits like impatient fans for Steve Notes, the boss’s presentation.16 Over the years, these annual meetings have become highly codified ceremonies, the staging of which Steve Jobs has brought to a high polish. Helped by increasingly inventive technology, the entertainer of the early days turned into a guru able to convert millions of the faithful into purchasers of his latest technological gadgets. Boston, January 1997, Macworld Conference Expo: it is a historic moment. As the mythical brand is running out of steam—not only are the numbers down, but the notoriety and the originality of Apple are under severe strain—Steve Jobs, then president of Pixar,17 returns after ten years away.

First standing ovation. The presentation follows a well-tried plan: brief slide on earnings—better to be quick; they’re bad—then Steve Jobs, armed with his remote, the essential tool of Steve Notes, briefly recounts his time at Pixar, then follows with three quotations that appear on the screen. “Apple has become irrelevant.” “Apple can’t execute anything.”18 “Apple’s culture is anarchy; you can’t manage it.” Jobs’s entire presentation is based on these three negative judgments. The procedure is clever; it enables him to build, practically in real time, Apple’s new strategy on the basis of criticisms made of it and to bring out the value of the innovative products and services intended to contradict these received ideas. Jobs’s first trick is to rely on the audience’s taste for numbers. The use of a number as image or emblem is an indication of his way of using a mere item of management information as an element of communication: quantity thus becomes a sign of quality.19 The number of units sold, hard-drive capacity, prices, market share—all become icons of Apple’s success over the years, powerful elements of memory.

Exhibiting technology in this way has a twofold advantage: it is useful for staging, and it heightens the value of the product. In addition, this mastery is accented by Steve Jobs in the role of demiurge, directing each element of the spectacle with his remote, which he uses like a magic wand with authority and precision. After the film, the speaker takes the floor again, using another basic tool of presentation: interaction with the public, usually in the form of questions and answers. What are Apple’s main strengths? “Its 25 million worldwide users, meaning you!” Another ovation. The audience is happy; it has become the hero of the presentation. Being able to connect with the audience is one of the keys to a successful PowerPoint presentation. Steve Jobs goes further, seeking complicity, connivance, even identification. A skillful stage manager, the head of Apple creates a new surprise. After playing around with the names of operating systems: Tempo, Allegro, and Requiem, alluding to the firm’s sad financial state, he commits the irreparable by bringing the fox into the henhouse—the sworn enemy, Bill Gates, the boss of Microsoft, creator of Windows and copier of Apple.20 It seems implausible.

pages: 559 words: 157,112

Dealers of Lightning by Michael A. Hiltzik


Apple II, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, beat the dealer, Bill Duvall, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, computer age, creative destruction, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, Edward Thorp, El Camino Real, index card, Jeff Rulifson, John Markoff, Joseph Schumpeter, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, oil shock, popular electronics, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, speech recognition, Steve Ballmer, Steve Crocker, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, the medium is the message, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog, zero-sum game

To take the most obvious questions first: There were two separate demonstrations, not one, and the second covered all the most secret material. They occurred in December 1979. The computer was almost surely an Alto and the principal demonstrators were Goldberg, Tesler, Dan Ingalls, and Diana Merry. Steve Jobs was initially skeptical of what PARC might have to offer but allowed his engineers to convince him otherwise. As for Jobs’s acuity, he later admitted that he was shown three mind-bending innovations at PARC, but the first one was so dazzling it blinded him to the significance of the second and third. Perhaps most important, the Steve Jobs demo was not a random event or a stroke of luck for Apple, as it has sometimes been portrayed. Apple’s engineers knew what they were after. They had taken great pains to plan for the moment, and they arrived at PARC fully prepared to ask the right questions and interpret the answers.

Whether Microsoft itself will be the “Microsoft of the nineties,” in Steve Jobs’s phrase, will not be known until well after the turn of the millennium. Another dubious assumption is that Xerox, simply by dint of its size and marketing savvy, should have been well up to the demands of commercializing the Alto, Ethernet, and dozens of other orphaned PARC innovations. This argument is most often expressed as a question: “If little Apple could sell personal computers, why couldn’t big Xerox?” The answer, of course, is that Apple was able to market the PCnot in spite of its small size, but because of it. Commercializing a radical new technology often means betting the company on the outcome. In 1981 this had decidedly different meanings for Xerox and Apple. Xerox employed 125,000 workers, Apple forty. Virtually Xerox’s entire workforce was focused on selling one type of product: the office copier.

Larry Tesler, fed up by his fruitless quest to interest Xerox in the Notetaker, was awaiting only a sign of when and where he should go. That sign appeared one day in 1979, when a Silicon Valley legend in the making walked through PARC’s front door. CHAPTER 23 Steve Jobs Gets His Show and Tell Thus we come to Steven P. Jobs. The Apple Computer cofounder’s visit to PARC, from which he reputedly spirited off the ideas that later made the Apple Macintosh famous, is one of the foundation legends of personal computing, as replete with drama and consequence as the story of David and Goliath or the fable of the mouse and the lion with an injured paw. It holds enough material to serve the mythmaking of not one corporation but two, Xerox and Apple. If one seeks proof of its importance, one need look no further than the fact that to this date no two people involved in the episode recollect it quite the same way.

pages: 325 words: 110,330

Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration by Ed Catmull, Amy Wallace


Albert Einstein, business climate, buy low sell high, complexity theory, fear of failure, Golden Gate Park, iterative process, Menlo Park, rolodex, Rubik’s Cube, Sand Hill Road, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Steve Jobs, Wall-E

To this day, I am thankful that the deal went south. Because it paved the way for Steve Jobs. I first met Steve in February of 1985, when he was the director of Apple Computer, Inc. Our meeting had been arranged by Apple’s chief scientist, Alan Kay, who knew that Alvy and I were looking for investors to take our graphics division off George’s hands. Alan had been at the U of U with me and at Xerox PARC with Alvy, and he told Steve that he should visit us if he wanted to see the cutting edge in computer graphics. We met in a conference room with a white board and a large table surrounded by chairs—not that Steve stayed seated for very long. Within minutes, he was standing at the white board, drawing us a chart of Apple’s revenues. I remember his assertiveness. There was no small talk. Instead, there were questions.

As he spoke, it became clear to us that his goal was not to build an animation studio; his goal was to build the next generation of home computers to compete with Apple. This wasn’t merely a deviation from our vision, it was the total abandonment of it, so we politely declined. We returned to the task of trying to find a buyer. Time was running out. Months passed. As we approached the one-year anniversary of our unveiling of The Adventures of André and Wally B., our anxiety—the kind that builds when survival is at stake and saviors are in short supply—was showing on our faces. Still, we had fortune on our side—or, at least, geography. The 1985 SIGGRAPH conference was being held in San Francisco, right up the 101 freeway from Silicon Valley. We had a booth on the trade show floor where we showcased our Pixar Image Computer. Steve Jobs dropped by on the first afternoon. Immediately, I sensed a change.

After we signed our names, Steve pulled Alvy and me aside, put his arms around us and said, “Whatever happens, we have to be loyal to each other.” I took that as an expression of his still-bruised feelings in the wake of his ouster from Apple, but I never forgot it. The gestation had been trying, but the feisty little company called Pixar had been born. CHAPTER 3 A DEFINING GOAL There is nothing quite like ignorance combined with a driving need to succeed to force rapid learning. I know this from firsthand experience. In 1986, I became the president of a new hardware company whose main business was selling the Pixar Image Computer. The only problem was, I had no idea what I was doing. From the outside, Pixar probably looked like your typical Silicon Valley startup. On the inside, however, we were anything but. Steve Jobs had never manufactured or marketed a high-end machine before, so he had neither the experience nor the intuition about how to do so.

pages: 252 words: 70,424

The Self-Made Billionaire Effect: How Extreme Producers Create Massive Value by John Sviokla, Mitch Cohen


Cass Sunstein, Colonization of Mars, corporate raider, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Elon Musk, Frederick Winslow Taylor, game design, global supply chain, James Dyson, Jeff Bezos, John Harrison: Longitude, Jony Ive, loss aversion, Mark Zuckerberg, market design, old-boy network, paper trading, RAND corporation, randomized controlled trial, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, smart meter, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Tony Hsieh, Toyota Production System, young professional

He has since founded Vatera Healthcare Partners, a health venture capital firm, and Arisaph Pharmaceuticals, a biotech discovery firm. Steve Jobs 1955–2011, United States Apple Computer, Pixar Jobs was a game designer at Atari when he, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne launched Apple Computer in 1976 to market a personal computer Wozniak had invented. The first Apple PCs proved a huge success, but later products floundered. Infighting led to Jobs’s 1985 ouster. He founded NeXT Computer and bought the Pixar animation studio from George Lucas. Pixar’s 1995 IPO made Jobs a billionaire. Two years later, Apple bought NeXT and reinstated Jobs as CEO, ushering in an era of tremendous innovation and growth driven by the iPod, iPhone, and iPad. Steve Jobs died of pancreatic cancer in 2011. Kirk Kerkorian b. 1917, United States International Leisure, MGM/United Artists, MGM Resorts International A flight instructor as a young man, Kirk Kerkorian then risked his life flying mosquito bombers for the Canadian Royal Air Force during World War II.

Compare Boone Pickens’s resiliency to the hesitancy that affected Ron Wayne, an original partner in Apple Computer. Wayne had started a slot machine business that failed, swallowing $50,000 of savings. After that failure he went to work at Atari, where he met Steve Jobs. When Jobs later asked Wayne to join Apple Computer as a third partner to balance and adjudicate between Jobs and the engineering wunderkind Steve Wozniak, Wayne was initially enthusiastic. But then it became clear that they were going to structure the nascent Apple Computer as a partnership. Wayne, who was significantly older than his partners, was worried about the personal liability he would incur if all the borrowing and spending Jobs was doing to manufacture the Apple I at volume did not pan out. The fear overcame him and a few days after they filed the business paperwork he pulled out.33 HOW EXECUTIVES CAN LEARN TO REVERSE THE RISK EQUATION Producers aren’t knocked out of the entrepreneurial game by defeats—even those that seem entirely devastating.

The key lesson here is that Producers become skilled in the same way that top musicians get to Carnegie Hall—practice accumulated over many years. Such acumen explains how Dietrich Mateschitz was able, as an unknown businessman, to persuade the young Formula 1 driver Gerhard Berger to walk around with a bottle of Red Bull in his hand without having an official endorsement contract. It explains how Steve Jobs—the same man who had been ousted ten years earlier—was able to persuade the leaders of Apple not only to buy NeXT, a company with little in the way of unique technology, but also to reinstate him as Apple’s CEO. And it offers some insight into the history of the Time Warner Center, the jewel in the crown of Stephen Ross’s Related Companies portfolio.14 Redevelopment projects require a strong, name-brand tenant to anchor the deal. For that role Stephen Ross, the billionaire developer of New York’s Time Warner Center, approached Dick Parsons, the CEO of Time Warner, whose offices had been in the Rockefeller Center area of New York’s midtown.

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The Entrepreneurial State: Debunking Public vs. Private Sector Myths by Mariana Mazzucato


Apple II, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Bretton Woods, California gold rush, call centre, carbon footprint, Carmen Reinhart, cleantech, computer age, creative destruction, credit crunch, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, demand response, deskilling, endogenous growth, energy security, energy transition, eurozone crisis, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, Financial Instability Hypothesis, full employment, G4S, Growth in a Time of Debt, Hyman Minsky, incomplete markets, information retrieval, intangible asset, invisible hand, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, natural language processing, new economy, offshore financial centre, Philip Mirowski, popular electronics, profit maximization, Ralph Nader, renewable energy credits, rent-seeking, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, smart grid, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tim Cook: Apple, too big to fail, total factor productivity, trickle-down economics, Washington Consensus, William Shockley: the traitorous eight

While the products owe their beautiful design and slick integration to the genius of Jobs and his large team, nearly every state-of-the-art technology found in the iPod, iPhone and iPad is an often overlooked and ignored achievement of the research efforts and funding support of the government and military. Only about a decade ago Apple was best known for its innovative personal computer design and production. Established on 1 April 1976 in Cupertino, California by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne, Apple was incorporated in 1977 by Jobs and Wozniak to sell the Apple I personal computer.1 The company was originally named Apple Computer, Inc. and for 30 years focused on the production of personal computers. On 9 January 2007, the company announced it was removing the ‘Computer’ from its name, reflecting its shift in focus from personal computers to consumer electronics. This same year, Apple launched the iPhone and iPod Touch featuring its new mobile operating system, iOS, which is now used in other Apple products such as the iPad and Apple TV. Drawing on many of the technological capabilities of earlier generations of the iPod, the iPhone (and iPod Touch) featured a revolutionary multi-touch screen with a virtual keyboard as part of its new operating system.

The success and popularity of Apple’s new products was quickly reflected in the company’s revenues. In 2011, Apple’s revenue ($76.4 billion) was so big that it surpassed the US government’s operating cash balance ($73.7 billion) according to the latest figures from the US Treasury Department available at that time (BBC 2012). This surge in Apple’s revenues was quickly translated into better market valuations and increased popularity of shares of Apple stock listed on the NASDAQ. As shown in Figure 11, Apple’s stock price has increased from $8/ share to $700/share since the iPod was first introduced by Steve Jobs on 23 October 2001. The launch of iOS products in 2007 enabled the company to secure a place among the most valuable companies in the US.3 Figure 11. Apple stock prices between 1990 and 20124 Figure 12. Productive R&D or free lunch?

Chapter 5 THE STATE BEHIND THE iPHONE Stay hungry, stay foolish Steve Jobs (2005) In his now well-known Stanford University commencement address, delivered on 12 June 2005, Steve Jobs, then CEO of Apple Computer and Pixar Animation Studios, encouraged the graduating class to be innovative by ‘pursuing what you love’ and ‘staying foolish’. The speech has been cited worldwide as it epitomizes the culture of the ‘knowledge’ economy, whereby what are deemed important for innovation are not just large R&D labs but also a ‘culture’ of innovation and the ability of key players to change the ‘rules of the game’. By emphasizing the ‘foolish’ part of innovation, Jobs highlights the fact that underlying the success of a company like Apple – at the heart of the Silicon Valley revolution – is not (just) the experience and technical expertise of its staff, but (also) their ability to be a bit ‘crazy’, take risks and give ‘design’ as much importance as hardcore technology.

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Equal Is Unfair: America's Misguided Fight Against Income Inequality by Don Watkins, Yaron Brook


3D printing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Apple II, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, blue-collar work, business process, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Cass Sunstein, collective bargaining, colonial exploitation, corporate governance, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, David Brooks, deskilling, Edward Glaeser, Elon Musk,, financial deregulation, immigration reform, income inequality, indoor plumbing, inventory management, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, Jony Ive, laissez-faire capitalism, Louis Pasteur, low skilled workers, means of production, minimum wage unemployment, Naomi Klein, new economy, obamacare, Peter Singer: altruism, Peter Thiel, profit motive, rent control, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Skype, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, The Spirit Level, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, Uber for X, urban renewal, War on Poverty, wealth creators, women in the workforce, working poor, zero-sum game

The top manager—the CEO—takes the widest perspective and the most long-range time frame. In Apple’s case, Steve Jobs would eventually come to play this role as well. Jobs had been forced to resign from the company he helped to create in 1985, but after a string of bad managers put Apple on the brink of bankruptcy, he returned to the company in 1997 and assumed the position, first, of interim CEO, and then of CEO. Many people at the time thought Apple was done for, its market share torn to shreds by Microsoft. Jobs disagreed. In Jobs’s view, Apple had been destroyed by its previous leaders’ “bringing in corrupt people and corrupt values” and abandoning its commitment to “making great products.”12 To save Apple, Jobs would enact vast changes on both fronts. As biographer Walter Isaacson explains, “Jobs immediately put people he trusted into the top ranks at Apple” and, at the same time, worked “to stop the hemorrhaging of [existing] top Apple employees.”13 As for the products, Jobs started by diagnosing the problem: “The products suck!

“National Inventors Hall of Fame,” Ohio History Central, (accessed August 31, 2015). 10. Quoted in Sean Rossman, “Apple’s ‘The Woz’ Talks Jobs, Entrepreneurship,” Tallahassee Democrat, November 6, 2014, (accessed April 13, 2015). 11. Quoted in Alec Hogg, “Apple’s ‘Other’ Steve—Wozniak on Jobs, Starting a Business, Changing the World, and Staying Hungry, Staying Foolish,”, February 17, 2014, (accessed April 13, 2015). 12. Walter Isaacson, Steve Jobs (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2011), p. 295. 13. Ibid., pp. 308, 318. 14. Ibid., p. 317. 15. Ibid., p. 337. 16.

,” Cato Journal 5, no. 1, (Spring/Summer 1985), (accessed May 31, 2015). 70. See Don Watkins, RooseveltCare: How Social Security Is Sabotaging the Land of Self-Reliance (Irvine, CA: Ayn Rand Institute Press, 2014), and Marvin Olasky, The Tragedy of American Compassion (Washington, DC: Regnery, 1992). Chapter 6 1. Jay Yarow and Kamelia Angelova, “CHART OF THE DAY: Apple’s Incredible Run under Steve Jobs,” Business Insider, August 25, 2011, (accessed May 28, 2015). 2. JPL, “A Look at Berkshire Hathaway’s Annual Market Returns from 1968–2007,”, April 2, 2008, (accessed May 28, 2015); “Berkshire Hathaway Inc.

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Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World by Adam Grant

Albert Einstein, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, availability heuristic, barriers to entry, business process, business process outsourcing, Cass Sunstein, clean water, cognitive dissonance, creative destruction, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Dean Kamen, double helix, Elon Musk, fear of failure, Firefox, George Santayana, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, Jeff Bezos, job satisfaction, job-hopping, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Louis Pasteur, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, minimum viable product, Network effects, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, Ralph Waldo Emerson, random walk, risk tolerance, Rosa Parks, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, The Wisdom of Crowds, women in the workforce

But what happens when voice falls on deaf ears? The Road Not Taken Donna Dubinsky was just shy of thirty, and it was the most hectic time of her life. As Apple’s distribution and sales manager in 1985, she was working virtually nonstop from morning until bedtime, maniacally focused on shipping computers to keep up with explosive demand. Suddenly, Steve Jobs proposed eliminating all six U.S. warehouses, dropping their inventory, and moving to a just-in-time production system in which computers would be assembled upon order and overnighted by FedEx. Dubinsky thought this was a colossal mistake, one that could put the company’s entire future in jeopardy. “In my mind, Apple being successful depended on distribution being successful,” she says. For a while, she ignored the issue, thinking it would go away. When it didn’t, she started making her case.

She had earned status before exercising power, so she had idiosyncrasy credits to cash in. From the outside, the prospect of speaking up against Steve Jobs might seem a losing battle. But given his disagreeable tendencies, Jobs was exactly the kind of person who could be confronted. Dubinsky knew that Jobs respected those who stood up to him and was open to new ways of doing things. And she wasn’t speaking up for herself; she was advocating for Apple. By virtue of her willingness to challenge an idea she viewed as wrong, Dubinsky landed a promotion. She was not alone. Starting in 1981, the Macintosh team had begun granting an annual award to one person who challenged Jobs—and Jobs promoted every one of them to run a major division of Apple. Comparing Carmen Medina’s and Donna Dubinsky’s experiences raises fundamental questions about the best way to handle dissatisfaction.

black women defy categories: Robert W. Livingston, Ashleigh Shelby Rosette, and Ella F. Washington, “Can an Agentic Black Woman Get Ahead? The Impact of Race and Interpersonal Dominance on Perceptions of Female Leaders,” Psychological Science 23 (2012): 354–58. “Apple being successful depended on”: Personal interview with Donna Dubinsky, June 20, 2014; Todd D. Jick and Mary Gentile, “Donna Dubinsky and Apple Computer, Inc. (A),” Harvard Business School, Case 9-486-083, December 11, 1995. Jobs promoted every one of them: Walter Isaacson, Steve Jobs (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2013). “Voice feeds” : Albert O. Hirschman, Exit, Voice, and Loyalty: Responses to Decline in Firms, Organizations, and States (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1970). the mistakes we regret: Thomas Gilovich and Victoria Husted Medvec, “The Temporal Pattern to the Experience of Regret,” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 67 (1994): 357–65, and “The Experience of Regret: What, When, and Why,” Psychological Review 102 (1995): 379–95. 4: Fools Rush In “Never put off till tomorrow”: Quote Investigator, January 17, 2013,

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Losing the Signal: The Spectacular Rise and Fall of BlackBerry by Jacquie McNish, Sean Silcoff


Albert Einstein, Clayton Christensen, corporate governance, diversified portfolio, indoor plumbing, Iridium satellite, patent troll, QWERTY keyboard, rolodex, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Skype, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, the new new thing

Rubin’s Dream touch-screen phone was moved into the fast lane.5 Fred Vogelstein summed up iPhone’s impact that day in his book Dogfight with a quote by Google engineer Chris DeSalvo: “We’re going to have to start over.” 6 Mike Lazaridis was home on his treadmill when he saw a TV report about Apple’s news. He soon forgot about exercise. There was Steve Jobs waving a small glass object, downloading music, videos, and maps from the Internet onto a phone. “How did they do that?” Lazaridis wondered. His curiosity turned to disbelief when Sigman took the stage to announce Cingular’s deal to sell Apple’s phone. What was its parent, AT&T, thinking? “It’s going to collapse the network,” he thought. The next day Lazaridis grabbed Balsillie at the office and pulled him in front of a computer. “Jim, I want you to watch this,” he said, linking to a Webcast of the iPhone unveiling. “They put a full Web browser on that thing. The carriers aren’t letting us put a full browser on our products.” Balsillie’s first thought was RIM was losing AT&T as a customer. “Apple’s got a better deal,” Balsillie said.

The device would be called PlayBook. But Apple once again set the agenda when Steve Jobs unveiled its tablet in late January 2010. With its ten-inch multitouch screen, familiar features including iTunes, a full browser, and lots of apps, plus an electronic reader, all wrapped in an elegant and accessible design, the Apple iPad would become one of the fastest-selling electronic devices ever when it hit the market that April. One of the iPad’s strengths was that it looked like a larger iPod or iPhone, complete with the all-glass screen and a single home button, but it was better suited to applications that called for a larger screen, including games, watching movies, and reading. By offering an instantly accessible and familiar user experience, Apple broke the computing industry’s decades-old tablet curse.

Meanwhile, with few mobile developers working on Adobe AIR, the PlayBook’s app deficiency was glaring.17 Steve Jobs added insult to injury in mid-October when he said during an Apple earnings call that he couldn’t foresee RIM catching up to Apple because it had to venture into the “unfamiliar territory of trying to become a software platform company. I think it’s going to be a challenge for them to create a competitive platform and to convince developers to create apps for yet a third software platform.”18 Balsillie was starting to worry that PlayBook was “half-baked,” but he did what he had always done: talked up the product like it was the best device ever made. In public, Balsillie went on about how great Flash was and dismissed the “appification” of the Web, suggesting Apple relied so heavily on mobile apps because its browser wasn’t able to deliver an adequate Internet experience without Adobe.19 Some observers thought Balsillie was losing it, but he was just making the best of a bad hand, says Patrick Spence.

pages: 532 words: 139,706

Googled: The End of the World as We Know It by Ken Auletta


23andMe, AltaVista, Anne Wojcicki, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, bioinformatics, Burning Man, carbon footprint, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, Colonization of Mars, commoditize, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, death of newspapers, disintermediation, don't be evil, facts on the ground, Firefox, Frank Gehry, Google Earth, hypertext link, Innovator's Dilemma, Internet Archive, invention of the telephone, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Long Term Capital Management, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, PageRank, Paul Buchheit, Peter Thiel, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Sand Hill Road, Saturday Night Live, semantic web, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, social graph, spectrum auction, stealth mode startup, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, strikebreaker, telemarketer, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, Upton Sinclair, X Prize, yield management, zero-sum game

Most disruptive of all, Coach Campbell, the colead director at Apple and almost a brother to Steve Jobs, has told friends he would regretfully choose to sever his ties to Google. Tensions between Apple and Google were simmering. By the end of 2009, it was likely they would come to a boil. PART FOUR Googled CHAPTER FIFTEEN Googled Media companies can be divided into two broad categories: the few who create waves, and the many who ride them—or drown. The elite companies that generate waves are rare, the wave riders common. A company can be successful—Cisco, Dell, Oracle—yet not fundamentally alter the behavior of consumers or other companies. Dell’s approach to efficiently making computers was an innovation, not a disrupter; it did not alter the way consumers behave. Steve Jobs and Apple are wave makers; companies like Dell—or Quincy Smith’s CBS and Irwin Gotlieb’s GroupM—attempt to ride the wave; newspapers crash into them.

“What I learned from coaching,” he said, “is that if your guys are not as big and fast as the other guys, you’re fucked!” Campbell’s boldness appealed to the ever-rebellious Steve Jobs. The two men bonded. By 1984, said Campbell, “Sculley and Jobs were going at each other already.” Although Jobs had recruited Sculley to bring professional management to Apple, he came to think he was more interested in marketing, including marketing himself, than in Apple products; Sculley believed Jobs wanted an acolyte, not a CEO. Nevertheless, Campbell earned the rare distinction of being able to both befriend Jobs and command Sculley’s respect. Before Sculley succeeded in pushing Jobs out of Apple in 1985, Campbell warned him it would be a huge mistake. Tensions flared between Campbell and Sculley, and in 1987 Campbell was put in charge of Apple’s Claris software division, with the intention of spinning it off as a private company with Campbell at the helm.

The company was an early pioneer in pen computing—too early, it seemed, and when the market didn’t respond, Campbell unloaded the Go Corporation on AT&T, in 1993. He next became CEO of Intuit when Doerr suggested to founder Scott Cook that Campbell would be a great partner. Four years later, he moved up to chairman of the board. On the eve of Steve Jobs’s return to Apple in 1997, he asked Campbell to join his board. Today Campbell serves as a mentor to some of the Valley’s most successful entrepreneurs, from Marc Andreessen to Steve Jobs, whom he walks and talks with most weekends in Palo Alto, where they are neighbors. He estimates that he spends about 10 percent of his time on Apple business, about 35 percent on Intuit business, an equal amount at Google, about 10 percent as chairman of the board of Columbia University, and the remainder on assorted activities. He said he has donated his Google stock to the foundation he established to make charitable gifts to his hometown, among others.

pages: 315 words: 99,065

The Virgin Way: Everything I Know About Leadership by Richard Branson


barriers to entry, call centre, carbon footprint, Celtic Tiger, clean water, collective bargaining, Costa Concordia, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, friendly fire, glass ceiling, illegal immigration, index card, inflight wifi, Lao Tzu, low cost carrier, M-Pesa, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, Northern Rock, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Tesla Model S, trade route, zero-sum game

As I recall, I ended up doing what I should really have done in the first place and went somewhere else for a curry. It did stick with me, however, that to take their show on the road, even a megabrand like McDonald’s can, on occasion, be forced to ‘think outside the bun’. APPLE SEEDS SALES Another brand that is anything but typical in its approach to every element of doing business is Apple. Steve Jobs’ fanaticism for product design and detail was (and still is) seamlessly visible all the way from technical form and function to packaging to the Apple Stores. And boy, has it ever paid off – there is nothing remotely ‘average’ about an Apple Store. I find the shopping experience there to be a disarming cross between visiting an art gallery and some form of an electronics exhibition that has been stripped of everything but the coolest and best the business has to offer.

By coincidence, right around the time that Virgin Produced, our entertainment division, was about to release the movie Jobs, which tells the story of Steve Jobs and the early years of Apple, I had dinner with a fascinating group of business leaders that included Twitter CEO Dick Costolo, Nest’s Tony Fadell, Mike McCue of Flipboard and Dave Morin of the social network Path. As someone who is a regular user of Flipboard and, for reasons I cannot begin to explain, has millions of followers on Twitter, this was a mindboggling group and they didn’t disappoint – they all had great stories to share. Then I learned that Messrs Fadell and Morin had both worked at Apple earlier in their careers, and so couldn’t resist the urge to cajole them into sharing a few insider impressions on Steve Jobs, who despite his well-documented character flaws – several of which are evident in the movie – is still one of the leaders I most admire.

It falls to management at every level in the pyramid to foster an on-going, openly collaborative culture that sustains and facilitates that same ‘early-stage’ kind of energy and freedom of expression. This means as few walls as possible – real and imaginary. It also calls for leaders that are out there getting their hands dirty every day. Steve Jobs put it perfectly when he said to his biographer Walter Isaacson, ‘Creativity comes from spontaneous meetings, from random discussions. You run into someone, you ask what they’re doing, you say “Wow” and soon you’re cooking up all sorts of ideas.’ MEET ME IN THE PIAZZA Collaboration should have been Steve Jobs’ middle name as he was forever going to amazing ends to foster it – and not just at Apple. When he created Pixar, home to Toy Story, Monsters Inc. and many other animated classics, he went to great lengths to make unplanned collaboration part of the company’s foundations – literally!

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The New Kingmakers by Stephen O'Grady


Amazon Web Services, barriers to entry, cloud computing, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, David Heinemeier Hansson, DevOps, Jeff Bezos, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Netflix Prize, Paul Graham, Ruby on Rails, Silicon Valley, Skype, software as a service, software is eating the world, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Tim Cook: Apple, Y Combinator

Here are five businesses that, in at least one area, understood the importance of developers and engaged appropriately. Apple In August 2011, a month after reporting record earnings, Apple surpassed Exxon as the world’s biggest company by market capitalization. This benchmark was reached in part because of fluctuations in oil price that affected Exxon’s valuation, but there’s little debate that Apple is ascendant. By virtually any metric, Steve Jobs’s second tenure at Apple has turned into one of the most successful in history, in any industry. Seamlessly moving from hit product to hit product, the Apple of 2012 looks nothing like the Apple of the late nineties, when Dell CEO Michael Dell famously suggested that Apple should be shut down, to “give the money back to the shareholders.” It is no longer the leader in smartphone shipments, but according to independent analyst Horace Dediu, Apple regularly collects two-thirds of the industry’s total available mobile phone profits.

Even its forgotten desktop business is showing steady if unspectacular growth. There are many factors contributing to Apple’s remarkable success, from the brilliance of the late Steve Jobs to the supply chain sophistication of current CEO Tim Cook. And of course, Apple’s success is itself fueling more success. In the tablet market, for example, would-be competitors face not only the daunting task of countering Apple’s unparalleled hardware and software design abilities, but the economies of scale that allow Apple to buy components more cheaply than anyone else. The perfect storm of Apple’s success is such that some analysts are forecasting that it could become the world’s first trillion-dollar company. Lost in the shuffle has been the role of developers in Apple’s success. But while the crucial role played by Apple’s developers in the company’s success might be lost on the mainstream media, it is not lost on Apple itself.

But you have known for awhile that I have been really impressed with your work. What led 42Floors to this decision? In their own words, “The very best can’t be hired. They must be courted.” For perhaps the first time in the history of the industry, people are worth more than the code they produce, a valuation supported by logic. Steve Jobs believed that an elite talent was 25 times more valuable to Apple than an average alternative. For Jobs, this was critical to Apple’s resurgence: That’s probably…certainly the secret to my success. It’s that we’ve gone to exceptional lengths to hire the best people. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg agrees, saying in a 2010 interview: Someone who is exceptional in their role is not just a little better than someone who is pretty good. They are 100 times better.

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Commodore: A Company on the Edge by Brian Bagnall


Apple II, belly landing, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, Byte Shop, Claude Shannon: information theory, computer age, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Firefox, game design, index card, inventory management, Isaac Newton, low skilled workers, Menlo Park, packet switching, pink-collar, popular electronics, prediction markets, pre–internet, QWERTY keyboard, Robert Metcalfe, Robert X Cringely, Silicon Valley, special economic zone, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Ted Nelson

Of the two founders, Steve Jobs was easy to sell to the public. “Steve [Jobs] is a very, very charismatic guy,” recalls Leonard Tramiel. However, the mediocre sales of the Apple I computer, a period before Markkula and McKenna, testifies to his lack of results compared to other kit computers. “It’s really easy to get carried away with what he is saying, but as far as actually producing sales and making money and selling machines, Commodore did a far better job than Apple.” Although Steve Jobs was a natural, Steve Wozniak lacked a compelling persona. “If you were to read the literature during that time, you will discover that [McKenna] probably took Woz to two places and then dumped him because Woz just didn’t come across as smart and interesting,” recalls Peddle. In May 1977, Apple moved into their first company headquarters in Palo Alto, close to Commodore.

Although there were disagreements, Wozniak and Jobs were still willing to sell, as long as the price was right. According to Wozniak, “We went to Commodore and talked primarily with Andre Sousan. Steve Jobs was trying to talk Commodore into buying the Apple II for a large amount, like hundreds of thousands of dollars. … Steve Jobs also wanted Commodore to hire us along with the proposed deal. The deal was never on paper and never concrete, as to how much.” “The discussions never got beyond a meeting with Jack and Steve,” says Peddle. “Jack’s view was that Steve wanted much too much for the company and in the fall of 1976 he was right. I remember him laughing about Steve Jobs and his view of his company’s position.” Tramiel was willing to purchase Apple, but he wanted the lowest price possible. To do that, he put pressure on Jobs by refusing his initial offer. “Basically Jack decided to go along with it, but he tried to squeeze Steve,” explains Peddle.

“We were so broke we could not bootstrap the company without that money,” says Peddle. * * * At Apple, chairman Mike Markkula had already invested $250,000 of his own cash in the fledgling company. He began transforming Apple into a professional company. “Mike Markkula is a marketing genius,” says Peddle, who credits Markkula over Steve Jobs with Apple’s initial success. “He was the guy that was tying the company together and he brought in Regis [McKenna].” Regis McKenna, a former Intel advertising executive, was responsible for Apple’s early advertising. “Regis hit on this great idea of making these two guys in the garage and how wonderful they were,” explains Peddle. “Mike Markkula and Regis McKenna created the Apple legend in a very careful, controlled, PR way.” Without the two former Intel executives promoting Apple, Jobs and Wozniak did not stand out from other computer hobbyists of the time.

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Machines of Loving Grace: The Quest for Common Ground Between Humans and Robots by John Markoff


A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, AI winter, airport security, Apple II, artificial general intelligence, Asilomar, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Bill Duvall, bioinformatics, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, call centre, cellular automata, Chris Urmson, Claude Shannon: information theory, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, collective bargaining, computer age, computer vision, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, DARPA: Urban Challenge, data acquisition, Dean Kamen, deskilling, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Hofstadter, Dynabook, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, factory automation, From Mathematics to the Technologies of Life and Death, future of work, Galaxy Zoo, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Grace Hopper, Gunnar Myrdal, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Hacker Ethic, haute couture, hive mind, hypertext link, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, information retrieval, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invention of the wheel, Jacques de Vaucanson, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Conway, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, labor-force participation, loose coupling, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, medical residency, Menlo Park, Mother of all demos, natural language processing, new economy, Norbert Wiener, PageRank, pattern recognition, pre–internet, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Stallman, Robert Gordon, Rodney Brooks, Sand Hill Road, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, semantic web, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Singularitarianism, skunkworks, Skype, social software, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, strong AI, superintelligent machines, technological singularity, Ted Nelson, telemarketer, telepresence, telepresence robot, Tenerife airport disaster, The Coming Technological Singularity, the medium is the message, Thorstein Veblen, Turing test, Vannevar Bush, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Whole Earth Catalog, William Shockley: the traitorous eight, zero-sum game

Instead, the Knowledge Navigator envisioned a natural conversation with an intelligent machine that both recognized and synthesized human speech. Brought to Apple as chief executive during the personal computing boom, Sculley started his tenure in 1983 with a well-chronicled romance with Apple’s cofounder Steve Jobs. Later, when the company’s growth stalled in the face of competition from IBM and others, Sculley fought Jobs for control of the company, and won. However, in 1986, Jobs launched a new computer company, NeXT. Jobs wanted to make beautiful workstations for college students and faculty researchers. That placed pressure on Sculley to demonstrate that Apple could still innovate without its original visionary. Sculley turned to Alan Kay, who had left Xerox PARC first to create Atari Labs and then came to Apple, for guidance on the future of the computer market. Kay’s conversations with Apple’s chief executive were summarized in a final chapter in Sculley’s autobiographical Odyssey.

When originally completed, it served as a research and development center, but as Apple scaled down after Sculley left in 1993, it became a fortress for an increasingly besieged company. When Steve Jobs returned, first as “iCEO” in 1997, there were many noticeable changes including a dramatic improvement in the cafeteria food. The fine silver that had marked the executive suite during the brief era when semiconductor chief Gilbert Amelio ran the company also disappeared. As his health declined during a battle with pancreatic cancer in 2011, Steve Jobs came back for one last chapter at Apple. He had taken his third medical leave, but he was still the guiding force at the company. He had stopped driving and so he would come to Apple’s corporate headquarters with the aid of a chauffeur. He was bone-thin and in meetings he would mention his health problems, although never directly acknowledging the battle was with cancer.

One of the most enduring bits of Silicon Valley lore recalls how Steve Jobs recruited Pepsi CEO John Sculley to Apple by asking him if he wanted to spend the rest of his life selling sugar water. Though some might consider it naive, the Valley’s ethos is about changing the world. That is at the heart of the concept of “scale,” which is very much a common denominator in motivating the region’s programmers, hardware hackers, and venture capitalists. It is not enough to make a profit, or to create something that is beautiful. It has to have an impact. It has to be something that goes under 95 percent of the world’s Christmas trees, or offers clean water or electricity to billions of people. Google’s chief executive Larry Page took the Steve Jobs approach in recruiting Sebastian Thrun. Thrun was a fast-rising academic who had spent a sabbatical year at Stanford in 2001, which opened his eyes to the world that Silicon Valley offered beyond the walls of academia.

pages: 197 words: 60,477

So Good They Can't Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love by Cal Newport


Apple II, bounce rate, Byte Shop, Cal Newport, capital controls, cleantech, Community Supported Agriculture, deliberate practice, financial independence, follow your passion, Frank Gehry, information asymmetry, job satisfaction, job-hopping, knowledge worker, Mason jar, medical residency, new economy, passive income, Paul Terrell, popular electronics, renewable energy credits, Results Only Work Environment, Richard Bolles, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, rolodex, Sand Hill Road, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, web application, winner-take-all economy

It was around the time I was transitioning from graduate school that I started to pull on these threads, eventually leading to my complete rejection of the passion hypothesis and kicking off my quest to find out what really matters for creating work you love. Rule #1 is dedicated to laying out my argument against passion, as this insight—that “follow your passion” is bad advice—provides the foundation for everything that follows. Perhaps the best place to start is where we began, with the real story of Steve Jobs and the founding of Apple Computer. Do What Steve Jobs Did, Not What He Said If you had met a young Steve Jobs in the years leading up to his founding of Apple Computer, you wouldn’t have pegged him as someone who was passionate about starting a technology company. Jobs had attended Reed College, a prestigious liberal arts enclave in Oregon, where he grew his hair long and took to walking barefoot. Unlike other technology visionaries of his era, Jobs wasn’t particularly interested in either business or electronics as a student.

Jobs jumped at the opportunity to make an even larger amount of money and began scrounging together start-up capital. It was in this unexpected windfall that Apple Computer was born. As Young emphasizes, “Their plans were circumspect and small-time. They weren’t dreaming of taking over the world.” The Messy Lessons of Jobs I shared the details of Steve Jobs’s story, because when it comes to finding fulfilling work, the details matter. If a young Steve Jobs had taken his own advice and decided to only pursue work he loved, we would probably find him today as one of the Los Altos Zen Center’s most popular teachers. But he didn’t follow this simple advice. Apple Computer was decidedly not born out of passion, but instead was the result of a lucky break—a “small-time” scheme that unexpectedly took off. I don’t doubt that Jobs eventually grew passionate about his work: If you’ve watched one of his famous keynote addresses, you’ve seen a man who obviously loved what he did.

In exploring this question, it helps to get specific. In Rule #1, I provided several examples of people who had great jobs and love (or loved) what they do—so we can draw from there. Among others, I introduced Apple founder Steve Jobs, radio host Ira Glass, and master surfboard shaper Al Merrick. Using this trio as our running example, I can now ask what it is specifically about these three careers that makes them so compelling? Here are the answers that I came up with: TRAITS THAT DEFINE GREAT WORK Creativity: Ira Glass, for example, is pushing the boundaries of radio, and winning armfuls of awards in the process. Impact: From the Apple II to the iPhone, Steve Jobs has changed the way we live our lives in the digital age. Control: No one tells Al Merrick when to wake up or what to wear. He’s not expected in an office from nine to five.

pages: 59 words: 15,958

Anything You Want: 40 Lessons for a New Kind of Entrepreneur by Derek Sivers


business process, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs

When you sign up to run a marathon, you don’t want a taxi to take you to the finish line. The day Steve Jobs dissed me in a keynote In May 2003, Apple invited me to their headquarters to discuss getting CD Baby’s catalog into the iTunes Music Store. iTunes had just launched two weeks before, with only some music from the major labels. Many of us in the music biz—especially those who had seen companies like eMusic use this exact same model for years without much success—were not sure this idea was going to work. I flew to Cupertino, California, thinking I’d be meeting with one of Apple’s marketing or tech people. When I arrived, I found out that about a hundred people from small record labels and distributors had also been invited. We all went into a little presentation room, not knowing what to expect. Then out came Steve Jobs. Whoa! Wow. He was in full persuasive presentation mode—trying to convince all of us to give Apple our entire catalog of music, talking about iTunes’ success so far, and all the reasons we should work with Apple.

Since the summer of 2003, all musicians everywhere have been able to sell all their music in almost every outlet online. Do you realize how amazing that is? But there was one problem. iTunes wasn’t getting back to us. Yahoo!, Rhapsody, Napster, and the rest were all up and running. But iTunes wasn’t returning our signed contract. Was it because I had posted my meeting notes? Had I pissed off Steve Jobs? Nobody at Apple would say anything. It had been months. My musicians were getting impatient and angry. I gave optimistic apologies, but I was starting to get worried, too. A month later, Steve Jobs did a special worldwide simulcast keynote speech about iTunes. People had been criticizing iTunes for having less music than the competition. They had 400,000 songs, while Rhapsody and Napster had more than 2 million songs. (More than 500,000 of those were from CD Baby.) Four minutes in, he said something that made my pounding heart sink to my burning stomach: “This number could have easily been much higher, if we wanted to let in every song.

Care about your customers more than about yourself Act like you don’t need the money Don’t punish everyone for one person’s mistake A real person, a lot like you You should feel pain when you’re unclear The most successful e-mail I ever wrote Little things make all the difference It’s OK to be casual Naive quitting Prepare to double It’s about being, not having The day Steve Jobs dissed me in a keynote My $3.3 million mistake Delegate or die: The self-employment trap Make it anything you want Trust, but verify Delegate, but don’t abdicate How I knew I was done Why I gave my company to charity You make your perfect world Contact me anytime Acknowledgments Dedicated entirely to Seth Godin. This book only exists because of his encouragement.

pages: 304 words: 93,494

Hatching Twitter by Nick Bilton


4chan, Airbus A320, Burning Man, friendly fire, index card, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg,, rolodex, Ruby on Rails, Saturday Night Live, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, social web, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, technology bubble, traveling salesman, US Airways Flight 1549, WikiLeaks

But worse than the anarchy inside was the fact that Apple Computer had recently torn a hole in the hull of the company. On a Tuesday morning several months earlier, Odeo employees had gathered around their computers to watch Steve Jobs, the venerable CEO of Apple, announce the latest iPod. But stunned silence had enveloped them when Jobs declared that Apple was adding podcasts to iTunes. At the end of the announcements, the tech giant sent a brief press release across the news wires with the ominous headline, APPLE TAKES PODCASTING MAINSTREAM. In that brief moment podcasting, which had been the entire company thesis for Odeo, had become a simple add-on for Apple. Ev had known almost immediately that this was a fatal blow for Odeo. How could they beat Apple, which owned iTunes, the biggest music service in the world, at podcasting?

It wasn’t a grand master plan by Jack to copy Jobs. Rather it was dozens of little plans that added up to a re-creation. In many respects it was Steve Jobs who helped create Jack Dorsey. Jobs was notorious for denying access to reporters. He had trained the media to behave exactly how he wanted them to—when he spoke, they listened, which was his best magic trick of all. So when he took a leave from Apple after falling ill in 2009, the media went in search of the next Steve Jobs. Jack walked like that duck, used the same quotes as that duck, wore the same glasses, had the same principles, and the same astounding theories on design as that duck. He even listened to the Beatles! But for Jack, cultivating Steve Jobs 2.0 wasn’t just about creating an aura of visionary; it also had the unintended consequence of lighting a fire that Jack had been trying to start since he had been ousted from Twitter.

He referred to “rounding the edges” in design meetings, a term Jobs began using in 1981 when he designed the Macintosh operation system. He set up the same weekly schedule for product meetings at Square that Jobs had commanded at Apple. And he started using Jobs quotes in his own speeches. Then Jack started hiring former Apple employees at Square. But their interviews were different from those of other candidates. “Did you have the opportunity to work with Steve Jobs?” Jack would ask. “Can you tell me a little about his management style?” During discussions with former Apple employees who had been hired at Square, Jack heard that Jobs didn’t consider himself a CEO but rather an “editor.” At some point Jack started referring to himself as “the editor, not just the CEO” of Square. During one talk to employees, he announced: “I’ve often spoken to the editorial nature of what I think my job is.

pages: 260 words: 76,223

Ctrl Alt Delete: Reboot Your Business. Reboot Your Life. Your Future Depends on It. by Mitch Joel


3D printing, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, call centre, clockwatching, cloud computing, Firefox, future of work, ghettoisation, Google Chrome, Google Glasses, Google Hangouts, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, Kodak vs Instagram, Lean Startup, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Network effects, new economy, Occupy movement, place-making, prediction markets, pre–internet, QR code, recommendation engine, Richard Florida, risk tolerance, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, social graph, social web, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Thomas L Friedman, Tim Cook: Apple, Tony Hsieh, white picket fence, WikiLeaks, zero-sum game

And what this data indicates is that the one-screen world is not a possible trend but an inevitability that has already taken place, and that the growth continues at an exponential pace. When Apple CEO Tim Cook took to the stage at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts on March 7, 2012, many people were waiting to see both how Cook would handle the first major release from Apple in a post–Steve Jobs world and what the rumored iPad would be capable of, as the iPad 2 was still selling well. Beyond a smooth performance and a new iPad that featured Retina Display with a faster computer processor (dual-core A5X processor with quad-core graphics, thank you very much), few picked up on the staggering data point that Cook enlightened us all with. Apple sold over fifteen million iPads in the first quarter of 2012. That was more than any PC maker’s total computer sales during the same quarter (including companies like HP, Lenovo, Dell, and Acer). In 2011, Apple had sold close to 175 million iPads, when all PC manufacturers combined shipped nearly 300 million PCs during that same year.

The new office space also allows people to go off and get the work done. Even in open environments, remember that headphones are the new DO NOT DISTURB sign. Lesson #3—Create more collisions. Apple’s new campus (which is due to be completed in 2016) will cover close to three million square feet and hold up to thirteen thousand Apple employees. The headquarters (based in Cupertino, California) will also house its own power plant and over six thousand trees. The design has been called a “spaceship,” and reading the Steve Jobs biography by Walter Isaacson tells us there’s a powerful reason for its circular shape: Steve Jobs loved moments of collision. The biography tells the tale of Pixar’s headquarters where the bathrooms were something of a hike for the majority of employees. Pregnant women were known to complain and were said to speak in hushed tones about Jobs’s lack of compassion, when—in reality—Jobs just wanted people to collide and spark conversations (yes, even on the way to the bathroom).

Whether or not it is perceived as successful by both Wall Street and consumers is less important than the philosophy that Johnson—an individual who helped build the Apple retail experience—is bestowing on us mere mortals. What we’re learning from Johnson and the JCPenney experience is that simple is not obvious. It takes work, and it’s not always going to work on the first try. To date, JCPenney continues to struggle as it unravels the layers of complexity to define a simpler approach to business and their consumers. Instead of shrugging and concluding that JCPenney has failed, we could also take this lesson and apply it to our lives: Simple is not easy, and it will take some time and effort to strip away the decades of complexity that the majority of us have created for our businesses and how we approach them. SIMPLIFY OR DIE. Steve Jobs often lamented that Apple “thinks a lot about how products should be made to look pure and seamless.”

pages: 265 words: 70,788

The Wide Lens by Ron Adner

barriers to entry, call centre, Clayton Christensen, inventory management, iterative process, Jeff Bezos, Lean Startup, M-Pesa, minimum viable product, mobile money, new economy, RAND corporation, RFID, smart grid, smart meter, spectrum auction, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, supply-chain management, Tim Cook: Apple, transaction costs, July 12, 2002, 210 iPod, boasting 100 million customers: Steven Levy, “Why We Went Nuts About the iPhone,” Newsweek, July 16, 2007. 210 Apple’s stock shot up 44 percent: Matt Krantz, “iPhone Powers up Apple’s Shares,” USA Today, June 28, 2007. 211 “four times the number of PCs that ship every year”: Morris, “Steve Jobs Speaks Out.” 211 Ericsson released the R380: Dave Conabree, “Ericsson Introduces the New R380e,” Mobile Magazine, September 25, 2001. 211 Palm followed up with its version: Sascha Segan, “Kyocera Launches First Smartphone in Years,” PC Magazine, March 23, 2010,,2817,2361664,00.asp#fbid=C81SVwKJIvh. 211 “one more entrant into an already very busy space”: “RIM Co-CEO Doesn’t See Threat from Apple’s iPhone,” InformationWeek, February 12, 2007. 212 the phone was exclusively available from only one carrier: In a handful of markets regulators ruled the exclusivity arrangement illegal. 212 “The bigger problem is the AT&T network”: David Pogue, “The iPhone Matches Most of Its Hype,” New York Times, June 27, 2007. 212 priced at a mere $99 in 2007: Kim Hart, “Rivals Ready for iPhone’s Entrance; Pricey Gadget May Alter Wireless Field,” Washington Post, June 24, 2007. 212 “cause irreparable damage to the iPhone’s software”: Apple, press release, September 24, 2007. 213 “I say I like our strategy”: Steve Ballmer interviewed on CNBC, January 17, 2007. 213 They ran out of the older model six weeks before the July 2008 launch: Tom Krazit, “The iPhone, One Year Later,”, June 26, 2008, 213 60 percent went to buyers who already owned at least one iPod: Apple COO Tim Cook’s comments at Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference, cited in JPMorgan analyst report, “Strolling Through the Apple Orchard: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly Scenarios,” March 4, 2008. 215 the average iPhone user paid AT&T $2,000: Jenna Wortham, “Customers Angered as iPhones Overload AT&T,” New York Times, September 2, 2009. 215 as high as $18 per user per month: Tom Krazit, “Piper Jaffray: AT&T Paying Apple $18 per iPhone, Per Month,”, October 24, 2007, 216 Apple announced its 10 billionth app download:, “iTunes Store Tops 10 Billion Songs Sold,” February 25, 2010, Accessed October 20, 2011. 219 financial analysts, technology blogs, and the mainstream media were already obsessed: James Quinn, “Apple’s ‘Tablet’ to rival Amazon’s Kindle,” Daily Telegraph (London), May 22, 2009. 219 “Apple’s latest billion-dollar jackpot”: David Smith, “Steve Jobs’ New Trick: The Apple Tablet,” Observer, August 23, 2009. 219 “2010 Could be the Year of the Tablet”: Nick Bilton, “2010 Could be the Year of the Tablet,” New York Times, December 28, 2009. 219 “already 75 million people who know how to use this”: Joshua Topolosky, “Live from the Apple ‘Latest Creation’ Event,”, January 27, 2010. 219 all committed to providing books for the device: Ibid. 219 daily version of the paper specially tailored for iPad users: Andy Brett, “The New York Times Introduces an iPad App,” TechCrunch, April 1, 2010,

Without the extensive access to MP3s and broadband, the value proposition could not come together. The iPod Wins, Three Years Late The MP3 player market did eventually consolidate around a dominant product, Apple’s iPod. But the iPod, launched in late 2001—three years after the MPMan—was anything but a first mover. How can we understand the iPod’s success despite its delayed entry? In 1997, the late Steve Jobs returned to Apple, the company he had co-founded as a college dropout, as interim CEO. As the Internet bubble grew, Apple was hungry for growth. Only a sliver of computer users had embraced its Mac offering. In 2001, Jobs noted: “Apple has about 5 percent market share today. Most of the other 95 percent of computer buyers don’t even consider us.” Jobs was a pioneer of the convergence of digital and media. It is inconceivable that digital music was not on his radar.

No less distinctive than its products, but far less understood, has been Apple’s approach to innovating its ecosystems. And while Apple’s ability to create its MVE and then stage its expansion has been exceptional, my own view is that it is Apple’s mastery of the principle of ecosystem carryover that has propelled it so far ahead of its rivals. Its hidden point of differentiation has not been in its elegant products but rather in its approach to leveraging its advantage from one ecosystem into the next—a feat it has repeated as it extended its reach from MP3 players to smartphones to, most recently, tablet devices. How long its unique success will last is unclear. But its approach is timeless. iPod: Staged Expansion While the 1990s were rocky for former Apple CEO Steve Jobs, in the new century it seemed he could do no wrong.

pages: 380 words: 118,675

The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon by Brad Stone


3D printing, airport security, AltaVista, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, bank run, Bernie Madoff, big-box store, Black Swan, book scanning, Brewster Kahle, call centre, centre right, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, collapse of Lehman Brothers, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Danny Hillis, Douglas Hofstadter, Elon Musk, facts on the ground, game design, housing crisis, invention of movable type, inventory management, James Dyson, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Kodak vs Instagram, late fees, loose coupling, low skilled workers, Maui Hawaii, Menlo Park, Network effects, new economy, optical character recognition,, Ponzi scheme, quantitative hedge fund, recommendation engine, Renaissance Technologies, RFID, Rodney Brooks, search inside the book, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, skunkworks, Skype, statistical arbitrage, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Thomas L Friedman, Tony Hsieh, Whole Earth Catalog, why are manhole covers round?, zero-sum game

Over his years at the helm of Apple, Steve Jobs usually reviled those former colleagues who had defected from his company and abandoned its righteous mission. Though Diego Piacentini left Apple for a startup that Jobs had incredulously dismissed as just a retailer, the two remained unusually cordial, perhaps because Piacentini had given Apple six months to find his replacement as head of European operations. Jobs would occasionally contact Piacentini when he needed something from Amazon, and in early 2003, Piacentini e-mailed his former boss with a request of his own. Amazon wanted to make Apple a proposal. Piacentini brought Neil Roseman and H. B. Siegel, the technologist who’d started the company’s fledgling digital-media group, to the meeting that spring on Apple’s campus in Cupertino. The Amazon executives did not expect to meet with Jobs himself and were surprised when Apple’s cofounder greeted them personally and spent several hours with them that day.

In trying to loosen Amazon’s grip on the e-book market, the publishers and Apple created a significant new problem for themselves. A day after the standoff with Macmillan, according to court documents, Amazon sent a white paper to the Federal Trade Commission and the U.S. Department of Justice laying out the chain of events and its suspicion that the publishers and Apple were engaged in an illegal conspiracy to fix e-book prices. Many publishing executives suspect that Amazon played a major role in provoking the legal brouhaha that resulted. But antitrust investigators likely didn’t need much nudging. Incredibly, even though Steve Jobs passed away in the fall of 2011, his earlier comments dug the legal hole deeper for Apple and the five agency publishers. In the biography Steve Jobs, Walter Isaacson quoted Jobs as saying, “Amazon screwed it up… Before Apple even got on the scene, some booksellers were starting to withhold books from Amazon.

He’s out of his mind, so brilliant about what he does.”11 Regardless, Campbell concluded Galli was unnaturally focused on issues of compensation and on perks like private planes, and he saw that employees were loyal to Bezos. He sagely recommended to the board members that they stick with their founder. Galli says that the final decision to leave Amazon was his own. Before he joined the company, he had read the book Odyssey: Pepsi to Apple, by John Sculley, who had joined Apple as CEO in the mid-1980s and then ousted Steve Jobs in a boardroom coup. “Before I went out there, I promised myself and my family that I would never do to Jeff what Sculley did to Steve Jobs,” Galli says. “I just felt like Jeff was falling in love more and more with his vision and what the company could be. I could anticipate it was not going to work. He wanted to have a more hands-on role. I’m just not a great number two. It’s not in my DNA.” In July of 2000, Galli left Amazon for the top job at a startup called VerticalNet, which perished soon after in the dot-com bust.

The Naked Presenter: Delivering Powerful Presentations With or Without Slides by Garr Reynolds


deliberate practice, fear of failure, Hans Rosling, index card, Mahatma Gandhi, Maui Hawaii, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs

eBook <WoweBook.Com> Know your audience When I was working at Apple in Cupertino, California, I received an email forwarded from Steve Jobs’s office. The email was from the leader of a user group whose organization had received a presentation from one of Apple’s field engineers the day before. The user group leader was not happy with the presentation and decided to let the CEO of the firm know of his displeasure. My job was to investigate the problem and smooth things over with the user group. According to the leader of the group, the engineer obviously had deep knowledge of what he was talking about. The material, however, was deeply technical and of little interest to the majority of the audience members. While the group was very interested in technology— especially the latest Apple technology—they were mostly interested in how to use the tools and how they can do useful things to improve their creativity or productivity at work and at home.

What Sierra means is that when you present information in a conversational way, the listeners’ brains think they are in a conversation and that they have to hold up their end of the conversation by paying attention. Conversations, after all, are not one way. Admitting that it is a bit of a generalization, Sierra says, “If you’re using formal language in a lecture, learning book (or marketing message, for that Chapter 5 Sustain with Pace and Participation 147 Wow! eBook <WoweBook.Com> Presentation Tips from a Steve Jobs Keynote Apple’s Steve Jobs is a good example of someone who presents with the help of multimedia in an engaging style. It’s true that he has great products to talk about, but he is also incredibly skilled at presenting those products. Great content is a necessary condition, but it is not sufficient. Jobs has both solid content and excellent delivery skills. Given his fame and exciting, Photo credit: Gail Murphy sexy products, you may think that his presentations are relatively easy to pull off.

During this time I realized that my prepared talk—as good as I thought it was—was not going to be a good fit for this particular group. I was disappointed, but was determined to push ahead with my presentation. After all, I was from Apple and people expect a kind of “mini-me” version of a Steve Jobs presentation, don’t they? Still, somehow the projector-and-computer accompaniment did not feel right for the context.  Chapter 5 Sustain with Pace and Participation 141 Wow! eBook <WoweBook.Com> At the moment I was introduced, I called an audible and changed my plan: I put down the remote control and pulled up a stool and sat down in the center, close to the front row, and proceeded to have what amounted to a fireside chat about Apple, user groups, the group’s needs, their complaints, and so on. I listened as much as I talked during the hour. As I thought, the questions were quite different from the material I had prepared.

pages: 383 words: 81,118

Matchmakers: The New Economics of Multisided Platforms by David S. Evans, Richard Schmalensee


Airbnb, Alvin Roth, big-box store, business process, cashless society, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable, creative destruction, Deng Xiaoping, if you build it, they will come, information asymmetry, Internet Archive, invention of movable type, invention of the printing press, invention of the telegraph, invention of the telephone, Jean Tirole, John Markoff, Lyft, M-Pesa, market friction, market microstructure, mobile money, multi-sided market, Network effects, Productivity paradox, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, QR code, ride hailing / ride sharing, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, Tim Cook: Apple, transaction costs, two-sided market, Uber for X, Victor Gruen, winner-take-all economy

See Jay Yarow, “Google Is Reportedly Trying to Get a Bigger Slice of Android App Revenue,” Business Insider, June 28, 2013,; Vogelstein, Dogfight, 121. 42. Isaacson, Steve Jobs, 500–502. 43. Arnold Kim, “Steve Jobs Announces Third Party SDK for iPhone for February 2008,” MacRumors, October 17, 2007,; Apple Hot News (archived October 18, 2007), “Third Party Applications on the iPhone,” Internet Archive Wayback Machine, 44. Nielsen Informate, “International Smartphone Mobility Report,” March 2015, Application time usage is estimated as total smartphone time usage, less time spent on calls, messaging, chat, VoIP, and web browsing. 45.

Based on the consistent iPhone interface, carriers did not seem to be allowed to block Apple apps or features, and they couldn’t install their own apps. Exclusivity didn’t come cheap for Apple in the United States. Since AT&T’s share of US mobile connections in the second quarter of 2007 was only 26.2 percent, the iPhone wasn’t available to 73.8 percent of subscribers unless they switched carriers.32 The iPhone was thus a single-sided business when Apple made the first iPhone available on June 29, 2007. Apple made the handset, the operating system, and most of the apps. It just needed to get the subscribers of the mobile carriers, the ones it did exclusive deals with, to buy its new phone. Herding Cats Larry Page was as worried about the mobile phone as Steve Jobs, but for a different reason.33 Google made its money serving ads on the web that people accessed from desktop computers.

He couldn’t get the company to approve a mobile phone app because it would cannibalize its thirty-year-old legacy technology.25 The Symbian experience showed Apple and Google that just starting a two-sided platform and securing customers on both sides wouldn’t be enough. The platform would also have to nurture a healthy ecosystem around it. Symbian couldn’t do that. If anything, Symbian contributed to making its ecosystem more dysfunctional. In 2005, when Apple and Google started looking into how to reduce the frictions in the mobile phone business, it wasn’t obvious what sort of platform they should build or how they should go about nurturing a healthy ecosystem around it. Maybe One Side Is Enough Steve Jobs, having created a highly successful music business around the iPod, was worried: “The device that can eat our lunch is the cell phone.”26 People wouldn’t need iPods if handset makers built music players into them.

pages: 386 words: 91,913

The Elements of Power: Gadgets, Guns, and the Struggle for a Sustainable Future in the Rare Metal Age by David S. Abraham


3D printing, Airbus A320, carbon footprint, clean water, cleantech, commoditize, Deng Xiaoping, Elon Musk,, glass ceiling, global supply chain, information retrieval, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, reshoring, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, telemarketer, Tesla Model S, thinkpad, upwardly mobile, uranium enrichment, Y2K

Paul Kedrosky, “The Jesus Phone,” Wall Street Journal, June 29, 2007,; Brian Lam, “The Pope Says Worship Not False Idols: Save Us, Oh True Jesus Phone,” Gizmodo, December 26, 2006, 3. Fred Vogelstein, “And Then Steve Said, ‘Let There Be an iPhone,’ ” New York Times, October 6, 2013,; Steve Jobs, “Steve Jobs: Complete Transcript of Steve Jobs, Macworld Conference and Expo, January 9, 2007,” Genius, January 9, 2007, 4. Helen Walters, “A Sputnik Moment for STEM Education: Ainissa Ramirez at TED2012,” TED Blog, March 2, 2012, accessed November 2, 2014, 5. T. E. Graedel, E.

It’s not hyperbole to state that the fate of the planet and our ability to live a sustainable future in which technology can freely flow to the billions who do not yet have access depends on our understanding and production of rare metals and our avoidance of conflict over them. I Metals, Metals Everywhere Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer was incredulous. “There’s no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance,” Ballmer prophesied during a CEO Forum before Steve Jobs released the iPhone in June 2007. But, by the end of the first week of sales, most storeroom shelves were bare; Apple and its AT&T partner sold hundreds of thousands of phones. The company was fast on its way to taking more than 20 percent of the smartphone market within just a few months.1 To those who waited in line outside Apple stores for a day or two to snap up the first phones—or paid others hundreds of dollars to wait for them—the iPhone was a revolution, the stuff of dreams. Although smartphones had been out for a few years, Jobs’s phone, they believed, was set to be the smartest.

Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2012–5215” (Reston, VA, 2012), available at 10. Walter Isaacson, Steve Jobs (New York: Simon and Schuster, 2011). 11. C. Hagelüken, R. Drielsmann, and K. Ven den Broeck, “Availability of Metals and Materials,” in Precious Materials Handbook, Ulla Sehrt and Matthias Grehl, 10–35 (Hanau-Wolfgang, Germany: Umicore AG, 2012). 12. Michael Wolff, “Michael Wolff: Uber Invades the World,” USA-Today, June 14, 2014,; Brian Lam, “The Life of Steve Jobs,” Gizmodo, August 24, 2011, 13. Michael Feroli, “Economics Web Note,” Morgan Markets, J.P. Morgan, September 10, 2014,

pages: 386 words: 91,913

The Elements of Power: Gadgets, Guns, and the Struggle for a Sustainable Future in the Rare Metal Age by David S. Abraham

3D printing, Airbus A320, carbon footprint, clean water, cleantech, commoditize, Deng Xiaoping, Elon Musk,, glass ceiling, global supply chain, information retrieval, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, reshoring, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, telemarketer, Tesla Model S, thinkpad, upwardly mobile, uranium enrichment, Y2K

Paul Kedrosky, “The Jesus Phone,” Wall Street Journal, June 29, 2007,; Brian Lam, “The Pope Says Worship Not False Idols: Save Us, Oh True Jesus Phone,” Gizmodo, December 26, 2006, 3. Fred Vogelstein, “And Then Steve Said, ‘Let There Be an iPhone,’ ” New York Times, October 6, 2013,; Steve Jobs, “Steve Jobs: Complete Transcript of Steve Jobs, Macworld Conference and Expo, January 9, 2007,” Genius, January 9, 2007, 4. Helen Walters, “A Sputnik Moment for STEM Education: Ainissa Ramirez at TED2012,” TED Blog, March 2, 2012, accessed November 2, 2014, 5. T. E. Graedel, E.

It’s not hyperbole to state that the fate of the planet and our ability to live a sustainable future in which technology can freely flow to the billions who do not yet have access depends on our understanding and production of rare metals and our avoidance of conflict over them. I Metals, Metals Everywhere Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer was incredulous. “There’s no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance,” Ballmer prophesied during a CEO Forum before Steve Jobs released the iPhone in June 2007. But, by the end of the first week of sales, most storeroom shelves were bare; Apple and its AT&T partner sold hundreds of thousands of phones. The company was fast on its way to taking more than 20 percent of the smartphone market within just a few months.1 To those who waited in line outside Apple stores for a day or two to snap up the first phones—or paid others hundreds of dollars to wait for them—the iPhone was a revolution, the stuff of dreams. Although smartphones had been out for a few years, Jobs’s phone, they believed, was set to be the smartest.

Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2012–5215” (Reston, VA, 2012), available at 10. Walter Isaacson, Steve Jobs (New York: Simon and Schuster, 2011). 11. C. Hagelüken, R. Drielsmann, and K. Ven den Broeck, “Availability of Metals and Materials,” in Precious Materials Handbook, Ulla Sehrt and Matthias Grehl, 10–35 (Hanau-Wolfgang, Germany: Umicore AG, 2012). 12. Michael Wolff, “Michael Wolff: Uber Invades the World,” USA-Today, June 14, 2014,; Brian Lam, “The Life of Steve Jobs,” Gizmodo, August 24, 2011, 13. Michael Feroli, “Economics Web Note,” Morgan Markets, J.P. Morgan, September 10, 2014,

pages: 222 words: 54,506

One Click: Jeff Bezos and the Rise of by Richard L. Brandt


Amazon Web Services, automated trading system, big-box store, call centre, cloud computing, Dynabook, Elon Musk, inventory management, Jeff Bezos, Kevin Kelly, Marc Andreessen, new economy, science of happiness, search inside the book, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, software patent, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, Tony Hsieh, Whole Earth Catalog, Y2K

Frox was developing “revolutionary” home entertainment systems, including the much-publicized Frox wand, a one-button universal remote. Frox had attracted engineers from Lucasfilm, Droidworks, Xerox PARC, Sun Microsystems, and Apple Computer. But Frox didn’t have the design flair of Steve Jobs. Kaphan lasted about three years, the company lasted twenty. In 1992 Kaphan joined Kaleida Labs, a joint venture between Apple and IBM, which created a digital multimedia player for computers, and wanted to create a similar program for television set-top boxes. Founded in 1991, it was folded into Apple in 1995. In the spring of 1994, just about the time Bezos was looking for an idea that he could turn into a good Web-based business, Herb and Shel were doing the same thing. But the pair felt that they knew what their previous start-ups had lacked.

And manufacturing and delivering electronic books is much, much cheaper than manufacturing and delivering the paper kind. But it took another brilliant entrepreneur to give him the idea. Except for Web services, Bezos sold only physical goods in Amazon’s first decade. Then, on March 4, 2003, Apple’s Steve Jobs demonstrated that some physical products were unnecessary. The music CD was simply a way of delivering the real product, the music itself. But music can be digitized and shipped over the Internet without the cost of the physical CD or the expense of mailing. The iTunes music store was born. Sometime in 2004 Bezos had an Amazon executive approach Gregg Zehr, a hardware developer who had worked at Apple and at palmOne, which created the Palm personal digital assistant. The executive asked Zehr to start a new company in order to create a new electronic book reader for Amazon. Zehr reportedly asked why he should be interested.

Bezos had to give in to Sargent’s demands and within another week had restored Macmillan’s books to the site. This was, no doubt, due partly to the fact that Steve Jobs had already agreed to the agency model, which could have given Apple better access to e-books from placated publishers. On the other hand, in October 2010 Amazon offered to pay royalties of 70 percent to authors who self-publish through the Kindle store, compared to 25 percent from most publishers. For now, the Kindle still leads the market for e-book readers at its current price. Research company ChangeWave estimated that the Kindle had the largest share of the market in early 2011, at 47 percent. Apple’s iPad (which does much more than just read books and is more expensive) had a 32 percent share. The Sony Reader and the Barnes & Noble Nook were laggards, with just 5 percent and 4 percent of the market, respectively.

pages: 278 words: 70,416

Smartcuts: How Hackers, Innovators, and Icons Accelerate Success by Shane Snow


3D printing, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, attribution theory, augmented reality, barriers to entry, conceptual framework, correlation does not imply causation, David Heinemeier Hansson, deliberate practice, Elon Musk, Fellow of the Royal Society, Filter Bubble, Google X / Alphabet X, hive mind, index card, index fund, Isaac Newton, job satisfaction, Khan Academy, Law of Accelerating Returns, Lean Startup, Mahatma Gandhi, meta analysis, meta-analysis, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, popular electronics, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, Ruby on Rails, Saturday Night Live, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs

Alexander George, “The Best Portable Bluetooth Speaker,” TheWirecutter, November 4, 2013, (accessed February 17, 2014). 163 “Now that I do know it”: Arthur Conan Doyle, A Study in Scarlet (1887). 163 closet was filled with dozens: Anyone who saw Steve Jobs on stage knows the outfit: black turtleneck, blue jeans. Walter Isaacson explains the backstory in his biography: Walter Isaacson, Steve Jobs (Simon and Schuster, 2011). 163 “You’ll see I wear only gray or blue suits”: Michael Lewis, “Obama’s Way,” Vanity Fair, October 2012. 164 making lots of tiny choices depletes: Kathleen D. Vohs, Brandon J. Schmeichel, Noelle M. Nelson, Roy F. Baumeister, Jean M. Twenge, and Dianne M. Tice, “Making Choices Impairs Subsequent Self-Control: A Limited-Resource Account of Decision Making, Self-Regulation, and Active Initiative,” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 94, no. 5 (2008): 883–98. 164 doubled Apple’s mouse market share: Neil Hughes and Kasper Jade, “Magic Mouse Helps Apple Double Share of Market in 8 Weeks,” Apple Insider (blog), December 29, 2009, 164 “1,000 songs in your pocket”: “Apple Press Info,” Apple, (accessed February 17, 2014). 167 kids who are tenaciously: Focused kids win spelling bees over kids with higher IQs, according to Angela Lee Duckworth, Teri A.

Tice, “Making Choices Impairs Subsequent Self-Control: A Limited-Resource Account of Decision Making, Self-Regulation, and Active Initiative,” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 94, no. 5 (2008): 883–98. 164 doubled Apple’s mouse market share: Neil Hughes and Kasper Jade, “Magic Mouse Helps Apple Double Share of Market in 8 Weeks,” Apple Insider (blog), December 29, 2009, 164 “1,000 songs in your pocket”: “Apple Press Info,” Apple, (accessed February 17, 2014). 167 kids who are tenaciously: Focused kids win spelling bees over kids with higher IQs, according to Angela Lee Duckworth, Teri A. Kirby, Eli Tsukayama, Heather Berstein, and K. Anders Ericsson, “Deliberate Practice Spells Success: Why Grittier Competitors Triumph at the National Spelling Bee,” Social Psychological and Personality Science 2, no. 2 (2010): 174–81. 167 simplicity as “the ultimate sophistication”: This quote is attributed to Leonardo da Vinci, though the attribution has never been validated by an original source. According to Walter Isaacson, Steve Jobs was fond of the quote and it was an early Apple slogan.

That’s why so many busy and powerful people practice mind-clearing meditation and stick to rigid daily routines: to minimize distractions and maximize good decision making. Simplification is why Steve Jobs’s Magic Mouse doubled Apple’s mouse market share overnight. With zero buttons (the whole thing is a button, actually) and a touchscreen glass top, the mouse is both pretty and intuitive—a huge departure from the conventional “innovative” mouse arms race, which amounted to adding more bulk and more buttons. Similarly, Apple’s iPod won the MP3 player war with breakthrough simplicity, both in physical design and how the company explained it. While other companies touted “4 Gigabytes and a 0.5 Gigahertz processor!” Apple simply said, “1,000 songs in your pocket.” Constraints like that in Jane Chen’s “Design for Extreme Affordability” challenge are often the forcing functions that lead to breakthrough innovation.

pages: 270 words: 79,992

The End of Big: How the Internet Makes David the New Goliath by Nicco Mele


3D printing, 4chan, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, big-box store, bitcoin, business climate, call centre, Cass Sunstein, centralized clearinghouse, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, collaborative editing, commoditize, creative destruction, crony capitalism, cross-subsidies, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, death of newspapers, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart,, Exxon Valdez, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Galaxy Zoo, global supply chain, Google Chrome, Gordon Gekko, Hacker Ethic, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, John Markoff, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Mark Zuckerberg, minimum viable product, Mohammed Bouazizi, Mother of all demos, Narrative Science, new economy, Occupy movement, old-boy network, peer-to-peer, period drama, Peter Thiel, pirate software, publication bias, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, social web, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, Stuxnet, Ted Nelson, Telecommunications Act of 1996, telemarketer, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, uranium enrichment, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, Zipcar

A liberationist ethic also became entrenched in the overt marketing of personal computing devices, most famously in a classic television commercial, Apple’s 1984 spot. Following the rousing success of Apple’s first two home computer models, Steve Jobs wanted to do something big to roll out its third model, the Macintosh personal computer. He hired Ridley Scott, who two years earlier had directed the sci-fi classic Bladerunner, to make the commercial.18 The result was a powerful and intense ad that referenced the dystopian future of George Orwell’s classic novel 1984. In the ad, a young woman breaks into a large auditorium where a crowd of mindless automatons sit listening to a giant screen of a speaking man, presumably Big Brother. The woman, representing the Macintosh (she has a sketch of the Mac on her tank top), smashes the screen. The advertisement closes with the text, “On January 24th, Apple Computer will introduce Macintosh.

The quotation is taken from his essay “We Owe It All to the Hippies,” Time, 1 Mar. 1995. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. John Markoff, What the Dormouse Said: How the Sixties Counterculture Shaped the Personal Computer Industry (New York: Penguin, 1996). 18. 19. 20. Adelia Cellini, “The Story Behind Apple’s ‘1984’ TV Commercial: Big Brother at 20.” MacWorld 21, no. 1 (2004): 18. 21.

Therefore, I am less sympathetic to hackers when they use their newfound power arrogantly and non-constructively.”5 Indeed, in our arrogance and optimism, we nerds haven’t considered the impact of our designs, nor have we thought through the potential for chaos, destabilization, fascism, and other ills. We’ve simply subjected the world to our designs, leaving everyone else to live with the consequences, whether or not we like them. Technology seems value-neutral, yet it isn’t. It has its own worldview, one the rest of us adopt without consideration because of the convenience and fun of our communications devices. People worship Steve Jobs and his legendary leadership of Apple, and they consume Apple products such as the iPhone and iPad with delight and intensity—yet these products and indeed the vision of Jobs are reorganizing our world from top to bottom. The nerds who brought you today’s three most dominant communications technologies—the personal computer, the Internet, and mobile phones—were in different ways self-consciously hostile to established authority and self-consciously alert to the vast promise and potential of individual human beings.

pages: 465 words: 109,653

Free Ride by Robert Levine


A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Anne Wojcicki, book scanning, borderless world, Buckminster Fuller, citizen journalism, commoditize, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Firefox, future of journalism, Googley, Hacker Ethic, informal economy, Jaron Lanier, Julian Assange,, Kevin Kelly, linear programming, Marc Andreessen, moral panic, offshore financial centre,, publish or perish, race to the bottom, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, spectrum auction, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, subscription business, Telecommunications Act of 1996, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks

In the grand narrative of the music business collapse, the labels were rescued from their own incompetence by Steve Jobs’s iTunes music store, which made piracy a marginal problem. Apple certainly pushed the labels into doing something they were unable to do themselves, and its iTunes Store has become the biggest music retailer in the United States. But legitimate online music stores like Apple’s have hardly stopped piracy: more music is downloaded illegally than legally, according to the NPD Group.82 (Not all of those songs represent lost sales, of course, but surely some must.) And, like the industry’s attempts to turn file sharing into a legitimate business, the real story of Apple’s effect on the music business is more complicated than most people realize. In October 2001, Apple was a second-tier technology company that controlled about 3 percent of the personal computer market and was slowly regaining its relevance with high-design candy-colored Macs.83 When it introduced the $400 iPod just as the economy slowed, consumers didn’t exactly line up in front of Apple stores (of which there were only a few at the time anyway).

HOW TECHNOLOGY COULD TURN THE PAGE ON PUBLISHING On January 28, 2010, John Sargent Jr. and Brian Napack, the chief executive and the president of Macmillan Publishers, flew to Seattle to give some news they knew the online retailer wouldn’t like. A couple of days before, Macmillan had made a deal to sell its titles in Apple’s iBookstore, just as Steve Jobs was set to introduce the company’s new iPad. Rather than sell titles to Apple on a wholesale basis and let the company set a retail price, as it did with Amazon and other bookstores, Macmillan would set the price for its digital books itself and give Apple a 30 percent commission for selling them to consumers. Apple had also made similar deals with four of the other five major U.S. publishers. But Amazon wanted to set book prices as well. Since Amazon started selling downloadable e-books in the fall of 2007, it had priced best sellers at $9.99—usually $2.00 or $3.00 less than the wholesale price it paid publishers—in order to drive demand for its Kindle digital reading device.

Ask most people what humbled the mighty major labels and you’ll hear the same answers: they failed to negotiate with Napster, missed their chance to turn file sharing into a legitimate business, and got saved by Apple’s iTunes Store when Steve Jobs dragged them, kicking and screaming, into the digital age. This makes for a compelling narrative about how a college student revolutionized a calcified business that didn’t give consumers what they wanted. But while the labels certainly moved too slowly, the real story is far more complex. The labels did negotiate with Napster, even as they fought in public, and each side walked away from talks at different times. Even if they had made a deal, a legal version of Napster would have faced competition from second-generation file-sharing services like Grokster and Kazaa, which would have offered for free what Napster charged for. And while Apple gave the labels a workable digital business model, its iTunes Store also replaced sales of $15 albums with ninety-nine-cent songs.

The Man Behind the Microchip: Robert Noyce and the Invention of Silicon Valley by Leslie Berlin


Apple II, Bob Noyce, collective bargaining, computer age, George Gilder, informal economy, John Markoff, laissez-faire capitalism, low skilled workers, means of production, Menlo Park, Murray Gell-Mann, open economy, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, Sand Hill Road, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, union organizing, War on Poverty, women in the workforce, Yom Kippur War

Small entrepreneurs depend totally: Robert Noyce, Testimony before Congress, Telecommunications and Finance Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, High Definition Television: Hearing Before the House Telecommunications and Finance Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, 13 Sept., 1989. Apple founding: Mike Markkula, interview by author; Steve Jobs, interview by author; Michael Moritz, The Little Kingdom: The Private Story of Apple Computer (New York: William Morrow and Co., 1984). Nothing else was in Intel’s interest: Mike Markkula, interview by author. Even a supplier-customer relationship between Intel and Apple failed to materialize. Wozniak had originally chosen a Motorola processor for Apple machines, and even though Markkula says he and Grove met several times to discuss whether a switch to an Intel chip was warranted, “the timing was never right,” and so Apple stayed with Motorola. Jobs at McKenna dinner: Ann Bowers, interview by author. Not very appealing: Arthur Rock quoted in “HBS [Harvard Business School] Working Knowledge,”

Not very appealing: Arthur Rock quoted in “HBS [Harvard Business School] Working Knowledge,” special_reports_donedeals Noyce and Jobs Seabee accident: Steve Jobs, interview by author. Remember personal things: Steve Jobs, interview by author. Apple Computer IPO: Apple Computer prospectus, 12 Dec. 1980. On Tandem: Smith, “Silicon Valley Spirit”; “The fall of an American Icon,” Business Week, 5 Feb. 1996. Compaq acquisition of Tandem: David Lazarus, “Compaq Boosts High End with Tandem Deal,” Inc., 23 June 1997. On Atari: nolan_bushnell.html On Genentech: Timeline and Investors Fact Sheet at, accessed 24 Aug. 2004. More than 3,000 small firms: Lenny Siegel, Testimony Prepared for the Subcommittee on Science, Research, and Technology of the House Committee on Science and Technology and the Task Force on Education and Employment of the House Budget Committee, 16 June 1983, PSC.

They are the most challenging, irreverent bunch around.”45 The chairman’s comments appeared in an issue of Time whose cover featured a soft-focus picture of Apple Computer co-founder Steve Jobs under the headline, “Striking it Rich: America’s Risk Takers.” Jobs was 26 years old and worth nearly $150 million. He was the most visible member of a new generation of electronics entrepreneurs—young men (a new generation, but the dominance of men remained a constant) building companies whose products relied on semiconductor technology. Noyce once said that “small entrepreneurs depend totally upon the infrastructure that is— has been—established . . . so that they can use those tools, those techniques, and go off and do something specialized.” This certainly was true of Apple Computer, which was financed by men associated with Fairchild and Intel and staffed with many people from Hewlett-Packard and Intel.46 Apple had gotten its start in 1976, when 19-year-old Jobs convinced his friend Steve Wozniak, who had developed a personal computer in his garage, to start a business with him.

pages: 304 words: 82,395

Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work, and Think by Viktor Mayer-Schonberger, Kenneth Cukier


23andMe, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, airport security, AltaVista, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, Black Swan, book scanning, business intelligence, business process, call centre, cloud computing, computer age, correlation does not imply causation, dark matter, double entry bookkeeping, Eratosthenes, Erik Brynjolfsson, game design, IBM and the Holocaust, index card, informal economy, intangible asset, Internet of things, invention of the printing press, Jeff Bezos, lifelogging, Louis Pasteur, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, Nate Silver, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, Network effects, obamacare, optical character recognition, PageRank, performance metric, Peter Thiel, Post-materialism, post-materialism, random walk, recommendation engine, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, smart grid, smart meter, social graph, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, the scientific method, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Turing test, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!

Working with a subset, rather than the whole, entails a tradeoff: the company can find what it is looking for faster and more cheaply, but it can’t answer questions that it didn’t consider in advance. Apple’s legendary chief executive Steve Jobs took a totally different approach in his fight against cancer. He became one of the first people in the world to have his entire DNA sequenced as well as that of his tumor. To do this, he paid a six-figure sum—many hundreds of times more than the price 23andMe charges. In return, he received not a sample, a mere set of markers, but a data file containing the entire genetic codes. In choosing medication for an average cancer patient, doctors have to hope that the patient’s DNA is sufficiently similar to that of patients who participated in the drug’s trials to work. However, Steve Jobs’s team of doctors could select therapies by how well they would work given his specific genetic makeup.

“When a company is filled with engineers, it turns to engineering to solve problems. Reduce each decision to a simple logic problem. That data eventually becomes a crutch for every decision, paralyzing the company.” Brilliance doesn’t depend on data. Steve Jobs may have continually improved the Mac laptop over years on the basis of field reports, but he used his intuition, not data, to launch the iPod, iPhone, and iPad. He relied on his sixth sense. “It isn’t the consumers’ job to know what they want,” he famously said, when telling a reporter that Apple did no market research before releasing the iPad. In the book Seeing Like a State, the anthropologist James Scott of Yale University documents the ways in which governments, in their fetish for quantification and data, end up making people’s lives miserable rather than better.

. [>] Google’s hiring practices—See Douglas Edwards, I’m Feeling Lucky: The Confessions of Google Employee Number 59 (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2011), p. 9. See also Steven Levy, In the Plex (Simon and Schuster, 2011), pp. 140–141. Ironically, Google’s co-founders wanted to hire Steve Jobs as CEO (despite his lack of a college degree); Levy, p. 80. Testing 41 gradations of blue—Laura M. Holson, “Putting a Bolder Face on Google,” New York Times, March 1, 2009 ( Google’s chief designer’s resignation—Quotation is excerpted (without ellipses for readability) from Doug Bowman, “Goodbye, Google,” blog post, March 20, 2009 ( [>] Jobs quotation—Steve Lohr, “Can Apple Find More Hits Without Its Tastemaker?” New York Times, January 18, 2011, p. B1 (

pages: 222 words: 70,132

Move Fast and Break Things: How Facebook, Google, and Amazon Cornered Culture and Undermined Democracy by Jonathan Taplin

1960s counterculture, 3D printing, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, American Legislative Exchange Council, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, back-to-the-land, barriers to entry, basic income, battle of ideas, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, bitcoin, Brewster Kahle, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, Clayton Christensen, commoditize, creative destruction, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, data is the new oil, David Brooks, David Graeber, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, equal pay for equal work, Erik Brynjolfsson, future of journalism, future of work, George Akerlof, George Gilder, Google bus, Hacker Ethic, Howard Rheingold, income inequality, informal economy, information asymmetry, information retrieval, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invisible hand, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, labor-force participation, life extension, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Metcalfe’s law, Mother of all demos, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, offshore financial centre, packet switching, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, Plutocrats, plutocrats, pre–internet, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, rent-seeking, revision control, Robert Bork, Robert Gordon, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Reagan, Sand Hill Road, secular stagnation, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, smart grid, Snapchat, software is eating the world, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, The Chicago School, The Market for Lemons, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, transfer pricing, trickle-down economics, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, universal basic income, unpaid internship, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, web application, Whole Earth Catalog, winner-take-all economy, women in the workforce, Y Combinator

What was the chance that any of the PARC stuff could ever be sold through the Xerox channels? Zero.” So the decision was made to try to partner with Apple. Almost every version of the story of Steve Jobs visiting PARC for a demonstration in December of 1979 is wrong. It is usually said to epitomize the complete failure on Xerox’s part to understand what they had invented. A bit of background: Apple had successfully launched the Apple II computer in April of 1977. It was an instant hit, and between September of 1977 and September of 1980, yearly sales grew from $775,000 to $118 million, an average annual growth rate of 533 percent. But Jobs refused to sit still. He had heard about the Xerox Alto and had worked out a deal with Xerox in which he would sell them perhaps as much as 5 percent of Apple in return for a licensing agreement to all the PARC technology. But in a true sign of how dysfunctional Xerox management was, it did not inform the PARC executives of the pending stock transaction.

The revolution began in the moral precepts of the counterculture: decentralize control and harmonize people. The earliest networks—like the Whole Earth ’Lectronic Link (WELL), organized by Stewart Brand, the founder of The Whole Earth Catalog—grew directly out of 1960s counterculture. Brand had helped novelist Ken Kesey organize the Acid Tests—epic be-ins where thousands of hippies ingested LSD and danced to the music of a new band, the Grateful Dead. Steve Jobs, founder of Apple Computer, Inc., dropped acid as well. “Jobs explained,” wrote John Markoff in his book What the Dormouse Said, “that he still believed that taking LSD was one of the two or three most important things he had done in his life, and he said he felt that because people he knew well had not tried psychedelics, there were things about him they couldn’t understand.” Brand, Kesey, and Jobs envisioned a new kind of network that was truly “bottom-up.”

In 1985, after the debut of the Macintosh, Microsoft quickly introduced Windows, an operating system that totally mimicked the Macintosh. Whatever advantage Apple had was quickly extinguished, and Steve Jobs was forced out of the company. Jobs immediately set out for revenge on his old company by building a new computer called NeXT. Not long after that, a twenty-nine-year-old English engineer, Tim Berners-Lee, took up a position at the Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire (CERN). The Internet at this point was purely an academic research network linking physicists around the world and allowing them to share research documents, and CERN was the largest European node of the network. Finding documents was getting increasingly dicey as the network got more popular, so Berners-Lee began to work on the concept of hypertext as a way for researchers to link directly to other documents in their references.

pages: 418 words: 128,965

The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires by Tim Wu


accounting loophole / creative accounting, Alfred Russel Wallace, Apple II, barriers to entry, British Empire, Burning Man, Cass Sunstein, Clayton Christensen, commoditize, corporate raider, creative destruction, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Howard Rheingold, Hush-A-Phone, informal economy, intermodal, Internet Archive, invention of movable type, invention of the telephone, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, John Markoff, Joseph Schumpeter, Menlo Park, open economy, packet switching, PageRank, profit motive, road to serfdom, Robert Bork, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Coase, sexual politics, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Telecommunications Act of 1996, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the market place, The Wisdom of Crowds, too big to fail, Upton Sinclair, urban planning, zero-sum game

After it was launched in the late eighties, early-nineties Windows ran off with the market Apple had pioneered, based mostly on ideas that had been Apple’s to begin with. The victory of PCs and Windows over Apple was viewed by many as the defining parable of the decade; its moral was “open beats closed.” It suggested that Wozniak had been right from the beginning. But by then Steve Jobs had been gone for years, having been forced out of Apple in 1985 in a boardroom coup. Yet even in his absence Jobs would never agree about the superiority of openness, maintaining all the while that closed had simply not yet been perfected. A decade after his expulsion, back at the helm of the company he founded, Steve Jobs would try yet again to prove he had been the true prophet. JUST WHAT IS GOOGLE? In 1902, the New York Telephone Company opened the world’s first school for “telephone girls.”

He wanted it that way. The Apple II was my machine, and the Mac was his.” Apple’s origins were pure Steve Wozniak, but as everyone knows, it was the other founder, Steve Jobs, whose ideas made Apple what it is today. Jobs maintained the early image that he and Wozniak created, but beginning with the Macintosh in the 1980s, and accelerating through the age of the iPod, iPhone, and iPad, he led Apple computers on a fundamentally different track. Jobs is a man who would seem as much at home in Victorian England as behind the counter of a sushi bar: he is an apostle of perfectibility and believes in a single best way of performing any task and presenting the results. As one might expect, his ideas embody an aesthetic philosophy as much as a sense of functionality, which is why Apple’s products look so good while working so well.

One particularly interesting history of Wozniak and Jobs’s initial meeting and development of what would eventually become Apple, as well as the reinvention of the company in recent years with the development of popular modern Apple technology, may be found in Michael Moritz, Return to the Little Kingdom: Steve Jobs, the Creation of Apple, and How It Changed the World (New York: Overlook, 2009). Other descriptions of the early history of Apple include Roy A. Allen, A History of the Personal Computer: The People and the Technology (London, Ontario: Allen Publishing, 2001), 36. 6. This quote, as well as much of the Wozniakcentric information in this chapter, is drawn from Steve Wozniak’s autobiography, iWoz—Computer Geek to Cult Icon: How I Invented the Personal Computer, Co-Founded Apple, and Had Fun Doing It (New York: W. W. Norton, 2006), 103. 7. Wozniak said this at his talk at Columbia University on September 28, 2006. 8.

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Exploding the Phone: The Untold Story of the Teenagers and Outlaws Who Hacked Ma Bell by Phil Lapsley


air freight, Apple II, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, Bob Noyce, card file, Chance favours the prepared mind, cuban missile crisis, dumpster diving, Hush-A-Phone, index card, Jason Scott:, John Markoff, Menlo Park, popular electronics, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, the new new thing, the scientific method, urban renewal, wikimedia commons

According to Wozniak, Draper cracked some twenty WATS extenders by Charley’s brute-force dialing of codes while Draper was working at Apple. All this did not sit well with Steve Jobs and the other managers at Apple, who thought the Charley Board product was a bit too risky and, besides, they disliked Draper to begin with. Charley was shelved. Draper left Apple and moved from California to rural Pennsylvania to work at a friend’s company designing a product for the emerging cable television industry. He and his like-minded housemates quickly turned their house in the Poconos into a microcomputer laboratory—a Processor Technology SOL-20 microcomputer sat side by side with an Apple II. Wires spilled out from the guts of Draper’s Apple II, where a new and improved Charley Board connected his computer to the telephone line. Charley was immediately set to work scanning for numbers.

Every one needed hardware and software hackers to help them. Riches, or promises of riches, or maybe just a fun job that might pay the bills beckoned. In 1976 former phone phreaks Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak were selling Apple I computers to their fellow hobbyists. “Jobs placed ads in hobbyist publications and they began selling Apples for the price of $666.66,” journalist Steven Levy wrote. “Anyone in Homebrew could take a look at the schematics for the design, Woz’s BASIC was given away free with the purchase of a piece of equipment that connected the computer to a cassette recorder.” The fully assembled and tested Apple II followed later that year. By 1977 microcomputers had begun to enter the mainstream. You could stroll down to your local Radio Shack and buy a TRS-80 microcomputer off the shelf, something absolutely unheard of just a year earlier.

Phone phreaking was one of the first big adventures I had in my life. And it made me want to have more of those adventures by designing more things like my blue box, weird things that worked in ways that people didn’t expect. For the rest of my life, that was the reason I kept doing project after project after project, usually with Steve Jobs. You could trace it right up to the Apple II computer. It was the start of wanting to constantly design things very, very well and get noticed for it. Steve and I were a team from that day on. He once said that Apple wouldn’t have existed without the blue box, and I agree. Today a lot of people are computer hackers and a lot of them just want to cause problems for others—they’re like vandals. I was not a vandal, I was just curious. But, boy, I wanted to find out what the limits of the telephone system were.

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Founders at Work: Stories of Startups' Early Days by Jessica Livingston


8-hour work day, affirmative action, AltaVista, Apple II, Brewster Kahle, business process, Byte Shop, Danny Hillis, David Heinemeier Hansson, don't be evil, fear of failure, financial independence, Firefox, full text search, game design, Googley, HyperCard, illegal immigration, Internet Archive, Jeff Bezos,, Larry Wall, Maui Hawaii, Menlo Park, nuclear winter, Paul Buchheit, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Robert Metcalfe, Ruby on Rails, Sand Hill Road, side project, Silicon Valley, slashdot, social software, software patent, South of Market, San Francisco, Startup school, stealth mode startup, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, web application, Y Combinator

Little did he know that I was actually up all night writing a business plan, not partying. C H A P T 3 E R Steve Wozniak Cofounder, Apple Computer If any one person can be said to have set off the personal computer revolution, it might be Steve Wozniak. He designed the machine that crystallized what a desktop computer was: the Apple II. Wozniak and Steve Jobs founded Apple Computer in 1976. Between Wozniak’s technical ability and Jobs’s mesmerizing energy, they were a powerful team. Woz first showed off his home-built computer, the Apple I, at Silicon Valley’s Homebrew Computer Club in 1976. After Jobs landed a contract with the Byte Shop, a local computer store, for 100 preassembled machines, Apple was launched on a rapid ascent. Woz soon followed with the machine that made the company: the Apple II. He single-handedly designed all its hardware and software—an extraordinary feat even for the time.

We called back Steve Jobs and he said, “Great! Sell me your company.” We said, “Steve, we’re not for sale.” He said, “Well, all right.” And basically he helped construct a proposal for how we would license him this software. We agreed on a royalty per printer. We also closed a deal shortly after that with Digital Equipment. We began developing the laser printer for Apple, which eventually became the LaserWriter. We signed an agreement with Apple in December 1983, roughly a year after we went into business (we incorporated in December 1982). Unlike any startups that I’m aware of, we turned a profit within our first 12 months, as a result of that contract with Apple. So it’s a very atypical story. Steve did a prepayment on royalties to make sure we had the resources to stay in business, and Apple also bought a little less than 20 percent of the company, 286 Founders at Work which quintupled the value of the original investors’ money.

Up until that time, all text on computer displays were bitmaps that were handcrafted. We wanted to be able to demonstrate that you could use the same technology on the screen that you used on the printed page. Apple had actually been working on that for a while. Their technology was called TrueType. We were trying to market our solution to Apple, not with a lot of success. By then Steve Jobs had left. He’d been the primary Adobe champion inside Apple. Now Jean-Louis Gassée had taken over the product side of the business, and for whatever reason, Jean-Louis and Adobe never got along. So we were beginning to really have a problem with Apple. They were getting tired of paying us royalties for the LaserWriter; they thought that they shouldn’t have to pay anymore. We decided that one way to deal with that would be to convince Microsoft that they should adopt our technology for Windows.

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The End of Nice: How to Be Human in a World Run by Robots (Kindle Single) by Richard Newton


3D printing, Black Swan, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, Clayton Christensen, crowdsourcing, deliberate practice, fear of failure, Filter Bubble, future of work, Google Glasses, Isaac Newton, James Dyson, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Lean Startup, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Paul Erdős, Paul Graham, recommendation engine, rising living standards, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Y Combinator

But the stubbornness was essential to allowing him to sell his ideas to partners and investors who may not have shared his vision. He told Forbes magazine: “If there were moments I was stubborn in my life it was because I was really… REALLY believing in something that I wanted to see become a reality and every now and then people around me didn’t totally get it.” Selling and persuasion. That’s what it takes to put your vision into someone else’s head. At Apple they had a name for it. The Reality Distortion Field was the label they gave Steve Jobs’ pressure-selling charisma and its effect on those around him. You’ll have noticed something else about the list of successes a few paragraphs earlier. It’s how often they failed. And that’s the corollary of trying to innovate (or deviate) from the norm. It’s what the McKinsey boss pointed out when he said winners fail more but they keep getting off their ass.

This is an opportunity to be happier people living larger lives. It’s about being Captain Jack Sparrow rather than Commander James Norrington. It’s about crafting a life in the woods with Robin Hood rather than inside the castle with the Sheriff of Nottingham’s henchmen, joining Princess Leia’s rebels not Vader’s idiot stormtroopers. It’s about having a gleeful laugh and a gleam in your eye and learning the life-grabbing, Anti-Nice behaviour of Steve Jobs, Picasso, Peter Pan, Muhammad Ali and Houdini. In The Pirates of the Caribbean, James Norrington is the essentially decent, noble, honourable, and duty-driven Royal Navy captain whose decisions (and therefore whose life) is led according to rules made by the Admiralty in London. He sacrifices his personal happiness to do the “right” thing. But the “right” thing turns out to be the “wrong” thing when the rules bump into real life.

This way of life is called Anti-Nice because this behaviour demands a deliberate effort to go against the grain. To move against the forceful tide of our conditioning. It’s to be liberated from an attitude designed for different days. The choice in the end is a stark one: to be a servant to the Machine or a servant to your own creative potential. It’s what you call a “no-brainer”. …And one more thing, as Steve Jobs would say. At the same time as the Machine forces us into the corner where we can only work in ways it cannot, we are increasingly aware of the need to find satisfaction from our labour. Our ancestors worked to live: to provide a roof to live under and to put bread and water on the table. But now we, for all our financial hardships in recent years, are living an abundant life. We swim in a sea of non-essential consumer products and time-sucking socially-shared content.

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A More Beautiful Question: The Power of Inquiry to Spark Breakthrough Ideas by Warren Berger


3D printing, Airbnb, carbon footprint, Clayton Christensen, clean water, fear of failure, Google X / Alphabet X, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Kickstarter, late fees, Lean Startup, Mark Zuckerberg, minimum viable product, new economy, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, Ray Kurzweil, self-driving car, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Thomas L Friedman, Toyota Production System, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Y Combinator, Zipcar

Martin’s Press, 2008). 6 A nice description of this phenomenon . . . Maura O’Neill, “Disruptive Innovation Often Comes from Unexpected Places,” Huffington Post, January 25, 2013. 7 the late cofounder of Apple, Steve Jobs . . . Jobs’s interest in shoshin and other Zen principles has been chronicled in a number of places, including Walter Isaacson’s biography Steve Jobs (New York: Simon and Schuster, 2011); as well as Daniel Burke, “Steve Jobs’ Private Spirituality Now an Open Book,” USA Today, November 2, 2011; and my own article for Fast Company, “What Zen Taught Steve Jobs (and Silicon Valley) about Innovation,” April 9, 2012, 8 a bit of ancient wisdom, brought to . . . As explained to me by Randy Komisar, in my interviews with him in the spring and fall of 2012.

But getting to the How of this was another matter; Nike was a sneaker company, not a digital-device maker. The company figured that the only way to pull off something as audacious as this was through a partnership with a tech company. Striking a collaborative deal with Steve Jobs and Apple wasn’t easy. (According to a press report, Jobs initially berated Nike chief executive9 Mark Parker for trying to expand into digital; stick to the sneakers was Jobs’s message, with a profanity or two thrown in.) But eventually, Nike won over Jobs and produced a hybrid product, Nike+, which wirelessly connected a Nike running shoe to an Apple iPod device, which was in turn connected to a website. A classic “smart recombination,” it enabled the runner to program music, track running and health data, communicate with other runners, find running partners, share tips, and so forth.

In the business world, for instance, as I interviewed corporate executives for my writing in Harvard Business Review and Fast Company, I found a great deal of interest in questioning. Many businesspeople seemed to be aware, on some level, of a link between questioning and innovation. They understood that great products, companies, even industries, often begin with a question. It’s well-known that Google, as described by its chairman, is a company that “runs on questions,”2 and that business stars such as the late Steve Jobs of Apple and Amazon’s Jeff Bezos made their mark by questioning everything. Yet, as I began to explore this subject within the business sector, I found few companies that actually encouraged questioning in any substantive way. There were no departments or training programs focused on questioning; no policies, guidelines, best practices. On the contrary, many companies—whether consciously or not—have established cultures that tend to discourage inquiry in the form of someone’s asking, for example, Why are we doing this particular thing in this particular way?

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Computer: A History of the Information Machine by Martin Campbell-Kelly, William Aspray, Nathan L. Ensmenger, Jeffrey R. Yost


Ada Lovelace, air freight, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, barriers to entry, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, borderless world, Buckminster Fuller, Build a better mousetrap, Byte Shop, card file, cashless society, cloud computing, combinatorial explosion, computer age, deskilling, don't be evil, Donald Davies, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, fault tolerance, Fellow of the Royal Society, financial independence, Frederick Winslow Taylor, game design, garden city movement, Grace Hopper, informal economy, interchangeable parts, invention of the wheel, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, John Markoff, John von Neumann, light touch regulation, linked data, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, natural language processing, Network effects, New Journalism, Norbert Wiener, Occupy movement, optical character recognition, packet switching, PageRank, pattern recognition, Pierre-Simon Laplace, pirate software, popular electronics, prediction markets, pre–internet, QWERTY keyboard, RAND corporation, Robert X Cringely, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, the market place, Turing machine, Vannevar Bush, Von Neumann architecture, Whole Earth Catalog, William Shockley: the traitorous eight, women in the workforce, young professional

Microsoft, which came late to the PDA/smartphone platform business by licensing Windows-based mobile operating systems, had some success in the enterprise market before smartphones became consumer oriented and the touchscreen-based Apple iOS and Android systems rose to dominance. While Apple’s Macintosh was a technical success at its launch in 1984, it helped Microsoft far more than Apple itself (by showing the dominant operating-system company the way to a user-friendly graphics-based operating system). Apple Computer was struggling as a company in the mid-1980s, and co-founder and Macintosh team leader Steve Jobs lost a boardroom battle, was isolated from Apple’s management, and elected to resign from the firm. In 1985 Jobs formed NeXT, a computer platform development company focused on the educational and business markets. NeXT acquired the small computer graphics division of Lucasfilms, which it later spun-off as Pixar—the IPO made Jobs a billionaire.

Within months of its initial launch at the beginning of 1975, the Altair 8800 had itself been eclipsed by dozens of new models produced by firms such as Applied Computer Technology, IMSAI, North Star, Cromemco, and Vector. THE RISE OF APPLE COMPUTER Most of the new computer firms fell almost as quickly as they rose, and only a few survived beyond the mid-1980s. Apple Computer was the rare exception in that it made it into the Fortune 500 and achieved long-term global success. Its initial trajectory, however, was quite typical of the early hobbyist start-ups. Apple was founded by two young computer hobbyists, Stephen Wozniak and Steve Jobs. Wozniak grew up in Cupertino, California, in the heart of the booming West Coast electronics industry. Like many of the children in the area, he lived and breathed electronics. Wozniak took to electronics almost as soon as he could think abstractly; he was a talented hands-on engineer, lacking any desire for a deeper, academic understanding.

Despite being a failure in commercial terms, the Xerox Star presented a vision that would transform the way people worked on computers in the 1980s. STEVE JOBS AND THE MACINTOSH In December 1979 Steve Jobs was invited to visit Xerox PARC. When he made his visit, the network of prototype Alto computers had just begun to demonstrate Xerox’s office-of-the-future concept, and he was in awe of what he saw. Larry Tesler, who demonstrated the machines, recalled Jobs demanding, “Why isn’t Xerox marketing this? . . . You could blow everybody away!” This was of course just what Xerox intended to do with the Xerox Star, which was then under development. Returning to Apple’s headquarters at Cupertino, Jobs convinced his colleagues that the company’s next computer would have to look like the machine he had seen at Xerox PARC.

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Why Information Grows: The Evolution of Order, From Atoms to Economies by Cesar Hidalgo


Ada Lovelace, Albert Einstein, Arthur Eddington, assortative mating, Claude Shannon: information theory, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Douglas Hofstadter, Everything should be made as simple as possible, frictionless, frictionless market, George Akerlof, Gödel, Escher, Bach, income inequality, income per capita, industrial cluster, information asymmetry, invention of the telegraph, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, job satisfaction, John von Neumann, New Economic Geography, Norbert Wiener, p-value, Paul Samuelson, phenotype, price mechanism, Richard Florida, Ronald Coase, Rubik’s Cube, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Skype, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, The Market for Lemons, The Nature of the Firm, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, total factor productivity, transaction costs, working-age population

While personal computers tend to have an identifiable brand, different firms design and manufacture different parts of a finished computer. Even Apple’s devices, which are proudly designed in California, contain parts—such as their displays—that are designed and manufactured by others, including Apple’s nemesis, Samsung.8 In fact, soon after Steve Jobs returned to Apple he begun to outsource the manufacturing of devices, relying heavily on technologies from other firms.9 The iPod was made possible by a small hard drive that was invented by Toshiba. The Gorilla Glass screen of the iPhone was the brainchild of Corning, a glass manufacturer in upstate New York. What is true for Apple products is also true for many other modern devices. In fact, no matter what brand your computer is, it is probably a salad of electronics: powered by a chip made by Intel or AMD; a hard drive made by Quantum, Samsung, Seagate, or Fujitsu; a memory made by Kingston, Corsair, or PNY; and a network card made by D-Link, TP-Link, or Netgear.

Silicon Valley’s knowledge and knowhow are not contained in a collection of perennially unemployed experts but rather in the experts working in firms that participate in the design and development of software and hardware. In fact, the histories of most firms in Silicon Valley are highly interwoven. Steve Jobs worked at Atari and Steve Wozniak worked at HP before starting Apple. As mentioned previously, Steve Jobs is also famously known for “borrowing” the ideas of a graphical user interface and object-oriented programming from Xerox PARC. If HP, Atari, and Xerox PARC had not been located in the valley, it is likely that the knowledge and knowhow needed to get Apple started would not have been there, either. Hence, industries that require subsets of the knowledge and knowhow needed in other industries represent essential stepping-stones in the process of industrial diversification.

So social institutions affect not only the size of the networks that people form but also their adaptability, and this helped Silicon Valley leave Route 128 in the dust.15 Silicon Valley’s porous boundaries and adaptability are exemplified in Steve Jobs’ famous visit to Xerox’s Palo Alto Research Center (Xerox PARC) in late 1979. It was there that Jobs learned about graphical user interfaces (GUIs) and object-oriented programming. Ultimately Apple, not Xerox, was the company that succeeded in commercializing these technologies. Intellectual property purists might complain about Apple and not Xerox profiting from these ideas, but a more pragmatic view holds that it was better for the long-term sustainability of Silicon Valley to have Apple (or anyone, for that matter) develop and commercialize ideas that otherwise could have died in the inboxes of Xerox’s managers or, worse, might have been commercialized by a company in a competing cluster.

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Bold: How to Go Big, Create Wealth and Impact the World by Peter H. Diamandis, Steven Kotler


3D printing, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, cloud computing, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, dematerialisation, deskilling, Elon Musk,, Exxon Valdez, fear of failure, Firefox, Galaxy Zoo, Google Glasses, Google Hangouts, Google X / Alphabet X, gravity well, ImageNet competition, industrial robot, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, John Harrison: Longitude, John Markoff, Jono Bacon, Just-in-time delivery, Kickstarter, Kodak vs Instagram, Law of Accelerating Returns, Lean Startup, life extension, loss aversion, Louis Pasteur, Mahatma Gandhi, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Mars Rover, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microbiome, minimum viable product, move fast and break things, Narrative Science, Netflix Prize, Network effects, Oculus Rift, optical character recognition, packet switching, PageRank, pattern recognition, performance metric, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Thiel, pre–internet, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, rolodex, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Skype, smart grid, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, telepresence, telepresence robot, Turing test, urban renewal, web application, X Prize, Y Combinator, zero-sum game

These planes helped the United States win the cold war, of course, but their bigger impact was organizational: for the next half a century, whenever a company wanted to go bold, skunk was often the way innovation got done. Everyone from Raytheon and DuPont to Walmart and Nordstrom has gotten in on the skunk game. In the early 1980s, to offer another example, Apple cofounder Steve Jobs leased a building behind the Good Earth restaurant in Silicon Valley, stocked it with twenty brilliant designers, and created his own skunk works to build the first Macintosh computer.3 The division was set apart from Apple’s normal R&D department and led by Jobs himself. When people asked him why they needed this new facility, Jobs liked to say: “It is better to be a pirate than join the Navy.” The question is why. When it comes to fostering bold innovation, why is it better to be a pirate? Why does the skunk methodology consistently foster such great results?

#2: WHEN GIVEN A CHOICE—TAKE BOTH! We’re taught that when you are given a choice you have to choose only one option. But why choose? All through graduate school I was told to either go to school or start a company. It was binary or bust. But not for me. In my case, the answer was both and then some. I started three companies while in graduate school. I started eight more before I was forty. Steve Jobs juggled both Apple and Pixar. Elon Musk runs three multibillion-dollar successes: Tesla Motors, SpaceX, and SolarCity. Branson, well, alongside his Virgin Management group, has started over five hundred companies, including eight billion-dollar companies in eight different industries. This multiple-choice approach—if properly managed—can create tremendous momentum. Ideas cross-pollinate. Networks expand.

v=G-0KJF3uLP8. 31 “About Blue Origin,” Blue Origin, July 2014, 32 Alistair Barr, “Amazon testing delivery by drone, CEO Bezos Says,” USA Today, December 2, 2013, referencing a 60 Minutes interview with Jeff Bezos, 33 Jay Yarow, “Jeff Bezos’ Shareholder Letter Is Out,” Business Insider, April 10, 2014, 34 “Larry Page Biography,” Academy of Achievement, January 21, 2011, 35 Marcus Wohlsen, “Google Without Larry Page Would Not Be Like Apple Without Steve Jobs,” Wired, October 18, 2013, 36 Google Inc., 2012, Form 10-K 2012, retrieved from SEC Edgar website: 37 Larry Page, “Beyond Today—Larry Page—Zeitgeist 2012,” Google Zeitgeist, Zeitgeist Minds, May 22, 2012, 38 Matt Ridley, The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves (New York: HarperCollins, 2010). 39 Larry Page, “Google I/O 2013: Keynote,” Google I/O 2013, Google Developers, May 15, 2013,

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The Future of the Internet: And How to Stop It by Jonathan Zittrain


A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andy Kessler, barriers to entry, book scanning, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man,, call centre, Cass Sunstein, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, clean water, commoditize, corporate governance, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, distributed generation,, Firefox, game design, Hacker Ethic, Howard Rheingold, Hush-A-Phone, illegal immigration, index card, informal economy, Internet Archive, jimmy wales, John Markoff, license plate recognition, loose coupling, mail merge, national security letter, old-boy network, packet switching, peer-to-peer, Post-materialism, post-materialism, pre–internet, price discrimination, profit maximization, Ralph Nader, RFC: Request For Comment, RFID, Richard Stallman, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, Robert Bork, Robert X Cringely, SETI@home, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, software patent, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Ted Nelson, Telecommunications Act of 1996, The Nature of the Firm, The Wisdom of Crowds, web application, wikimedia commons, zero-sum game

Rather than a platform that invites innovation, the iPhone comes preprogrammed. You are not allowed to add programs to the all-in-one device that Steve Jobs sells you. Its functionality is locked in, though Apple can change it through remote updates. Indeed, to those who managed to tinker with the code to enable the iPhone to support more or different applications,4 Apple threatened (and then delivered on the threat) to transform the iPhone into an iBrick.5 The machine was not to be generative beyond the innovations that Apple (and its exclusive carrier, AT&T) wanted. Whereas the world would innovate for the Apple II, only Apple would innovate for the iPhone. (A promised software development kit may allow others to program the iPhone with Apple’s permission.) Jobs was not shy about these restrictions baked into the iPhone. As he said at its launch: We define everything that is on the phone….

They are Ryan Budish, Tim Hwang, Blair Kaminsky, Sarah Kmball, Jon Novotny, Elisabeth Oppenheimer, Elizabeth Stark, Sarah Tierney, and Sally Walkerman. Notes INTRODUCTION 1. Steve Jobs, CEO, Apple, Macworld San Francisco 2007 Keynote Address, Jan. 9, 2007, available at 2. David H. Ahl, The First West Coast Computer Faire, in 3 THE BEST OF CREATIVE COMPUTING 98 (David Ahl & Burchenal Green Eds., 1980), available at 3. See Tom Hormby, VisiCalc and the Rise of the Apple II, ORCHARD, Sept. 26, 2006, 4. See, e.g., ModMyiFone, Main Page, (as of Sept. 30, 2007, 16:17 GMT) (containing code and instructions for modifications). 5. See Posting of Saul Hansell to N.Y. Times Bits Blog, Saul Hansell, Steve Jobs Girds for the Long iPhone War, (Sept. 27, 2007, 19:01); Jane Wake-field, Apple iPhone Warning Proves True, BBC NEWS, Sept. 28, 2007, 6.

Times Bits Blog, Saul Hansell, Steve Jobs Girds for the Long iPhone War, (Sept. 27, 2007, 19:01); Jane Wake-field, Apple iPhone Warning Proves True, BBC NEWS, Sept. 28, 2007, 6. See John Markoff, Steve Jobs Walks the Tightrope Again, N.Y. TIMES, Jan. 12, 2007, available at 7. Posting of Ryan Block to Engadget, A Lunchtime Chat with Bill Gates, (Jan. 8, 2007, 14:01). PART I. THE RISE AND STALL OF THE GENERATIVE NET 1. For a discussion of the consolidation of the telephone industry at the turn of the twentieth century, see JASON A. HOIDA, AMERICAN TELEPHONY (1997); ROBERT W. GARNET, THE TELEPHONE ENTERPRISE (1985). 2.

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Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Start-Up Bubble by Dan Lyons


activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Airbnb, Bernie Madoff, bitcoin, call centre, cleantech, cloud computing, corporate governance, dumpster diving, fear of failure, Filter Bubble, Golden Gate Park, Google Glasses, Googley, Gordon Gekko, hiring and firing, Jeff Bezos, Lean Startup, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, minimum viable product, new economy, Paul Graham, pre–internet, quantitative easing, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rosa Parks, Sand Hill Road, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Snapchat, software as a service, South of Market, San Francisco, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, telemarketer, tulip mania, Y Combinator, éminence grise

In their mind, HubSpot belongs to them, not to these interlopers and outsiders who are now storming into the place and writing memos and telling everybody how they should be doing their jobs. Many of these people have never worked anywhere else. A lot of them aren’t very good. But here, they’re in charge. And I’m stuck working under them. Eight The Bozo Explosion Apple CEO Steve Jobs used to talk about a phenomenon called a “bozo explosion,” by which a company’s mediocre early hires rise up through the ranks and end up running departments. The bozos now must hire other people, and of course they prefer to hire bozos. As Guy Kawasaki, who worked with Jobs at Apple, puts it: “B players hire C players, so they can feel superior to them, and C players hire D players.” That’s the bozo explosion, and that’s what I believe has happened at HubSpot in the course of the last seven years. “How weird are you, on a scale from one to ten?”

I didn’t know anything about computers, but nobody else did, either. The personal computer was still a relatively new thing. We were getting in on the ground floor of what would become a huge new market. In the 1980s Silicon Valley technology companies were boring places where engineers worked in drab office parks writing software or designing semiconductors and circuit boards and network routers. There weren’t any celebrities, other than Steve Jobs at Apple, and even he wasn’t such a big deal back then. In the early 1990s the Internet era began, and Silicon Valley changed. The new companies were flimsy, based on hype and grandiose rhetoric and the promise of making a fortune overnight. The dotcom boom of the late 1990s was followed by the dotcom bust, and then came a period when Silicon Valley felt like a ghost town. Slowly, a new generation of Internet-related companies arose, and while this second boom wasn’t a direct copy of the first one, there were some worrisome similarities, chief among them the fact that none of these companies seemed to be generating a profit.

“Success,” Shah says, striding back and forth across a stage, with his head down, stroking his beard, as if impersonating a professor, “is making those who believed in you look brilliant.” Then he will pause, as if he has just said something incredibly profound and wants to give you a moment to let it sink in. Then he repeats the line, and a ballroom full of marketing people cheer. But when I meet them together it occurs to me that their different personalities are probably why their partnership works. There’s a yin-and-yang quality, like the one between Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, the co-founders of Apple. Halligan is the Jobs figure, the corporate visionary, the guy who thinks about sales and marketing. Shah is like Woz, the nerdy software programmer. Shah is wearing scruffy jeans and a rumpled T-shirt, his usual attire. He has dark hair and a dark beard, flecked with gray. Halligan wears jeans, and a sports jacket over a button-down oxford shirt. His hair is gray, as gray as my own, in fact, and he wears the same kind of chunky horn-rimmed glasses that I do.

pages: 270 words: 79,068

The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers by Ben Horowitz


Airbnb, business intelligence, cloud computing, financial independence, Google Glasses, hiring and firing, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, new economy, nuclear winter, Peter Thiel, Productivity paradox, random walk, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs

At the time, Bill was in his sixties, with gray hair and a gruff voice, yet he had the energy of a twenty-year-old. He began his career as a college football coach and did not enter the business world until he was forty. Despite the late start, Bill eventually became the chairman and CEO of Intuit. Following that, he became a legend in high tech, mentoring great CEOs such as Steve Jobs of Apple, Jeff Bezos of Amazon, and Eric Schmidt of Google. Bill is extremely smart, super-charismatic, and elite operationally, but the key to his success goes beyond those attributes. In any situation—whether it’s the board of Apple, where he’s served for over a decade; the Columbia University Board of Trustees, where he is chairman; or the girls’ football team that he coaches—Bill is inevitably everybody’s favorite person. People offer many complex reasons for why Bill rates so highly. In my experience it’s pretty simple.

CAN A CEO BE BOTH? Can a CEO build the skill sets to lead in both peacetime and wartime? One could easily argue that I failed as a peacetime CEO but succeeded as a wartime one. John Chambers had a great run as peacetime CEO of Cisco but has struggled as Cisco has moved into war with Juniper, HP, and a range of new competitors. Steve Jobs, who employed a classical wartime management style, removed himself as CEO of Apple in the 1980s during their longest period of peace before coming back to Apple for a spectacular run more than a decade later, during their most intense war period. I believe that the answer is yes, but it’s hard. Mastering both wartime and peacetime skill sets means understanding the many rules of management and knowing when to follow them and when to violate them. Be aware that management books tend to be written by management consultants who study successful companies during their times of peace.

We look for three key traits: The ability to articulate the vision The right kind of ambition The ability to achieve the vision Let’s take these in order. THE ABILITY TO ARTICULATE THE VISION: THE STEVE JOBS ATTRIBUTE Can the leader articulate a vision that’s interesting, dynamic, and compelling? More important, can the leader do this when things fall apart? More specifically, when the company gets to a point when it does not make financial sense for any employee to continue working there, will the leader be able to articulate a vision that’s compelling enough to make people stay? I believe Jobs’s greatest achievement as a visionary leader was in getting so many super-talented people to continue following him at NeXT, long after the company lost its patina, and in getting the employees of Apple to buy into his vision when the company was weeks away from bankruptcy. It’s difficult to imagine any other leader being so compelling that he could accomplish these goals back-to-back, and this is why we call this one the Steve Jobs attribute.

pages: 538 words: 147,612

All the Money in the World by Peter W. Bernstein


Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Berlin Wall, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, call centre, corporate governance, corporate raider, creative destruction, currency peg, David Brooks, Donald Trump, estate planning, family office, financial innovation, George Gilder, high net worth, invisible hand, Irwin Jacobs: Qualcomm, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job-hopping, John Markoff, Long Term Capital Management, Marc Andreessen, Martin Wolf, Maui Hawaii, means of production, mega-rich, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, new economy, Norman Mailer, PageRank, Peter Singer: altruism, pez dispenser, popular electronics, Renaissance Technologies, Rod Stewart played at Stephen Schwarzman birthday party, Ronald Reagan, Sand Hill Road, school vouchers, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, the new new thing, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, traveling salesman, urban planning, wealth creators, William Shockley: the traitorous eight, women in the workforce

In his 1989 book The Alexander Complex: The Dreams That Drive the Great Businessmen, Michael Meyer examined the lives of six empire builders, including five Forbes 400 members—Steve Jobs, Ross Perot, biotech billionaire Robert Swanson, Ted Turner, and the late shipping magnate Daniel Ludwig—to try to divine what drove them to spectacular success. They “live in the grip of a vision38,” concludes Meyer. “Work and career take on the quality of a mission, a pursuit of some Holy Grail. And because they are talented and convinced they can change the world, they often do.” Meyer refers to Apple founder39 Steve Jobs, for one, as a “visionary monster,” and other accounts seem to bear that out. In The Silicon Boys, for example, David Kaplan recounts a telling anecdote about Jobs. Jobs and his buddy Steve Wozniak famously founded Apple Computer in 1976, when both were in their early twenties. As the company grew, stories of Jobs’s abrasive personality and propensity for tantrum-throwing swirled around Silicon Valley.

The high-tech landscape was changing fast in 1980. Apple Computer, a three-year-old start-up2 founded by a couple of hippies from northern California, Steve Jobs and Stephen Wozniak, was in the process of racking up $139 million in sales. Later that year, Apple would go public with the most successful stock offering since that of the Ford Motor Company in 1956. An impatient IBM3 wanted to break into the burgeoning personal-computer market, and it was going into overdrive to take advantage of a new sixteen-bit microprocessor chip developed by Intel, a company founded by Gordon E. Moore (2006 net worth: $3.4 billion) and the now-deceased Robert Noyce (also a member of the Forbes 400 list before his death in 1990). The new 8088 chip made it possible to support 256 times more memory than the previous eight-bit chip. Prior to Apple’s astounding success and before the arrival of the 8088 chip, personal computers were viewed as gadgets for hobbyists.

Then, in 1963, Sobrato and Berg went into business together as commercial developers (they have since parted ways) and began building industrial buildings and office buildings. Their tenants included companies such as Cisco and Apple. Property values rose so fast that they never had to depend upon investors to realize their gains. Instead, they were able to finance new projects by borrowing against their equity. Without the high-tech boom, Sobrato might have been just another prosperous businessman. “A lot of it is focus,”32 he says. “I have always worked hard at whatever I did. But I was certainly in the right place at the right time.” By the mid-1970s, California, fueled by Silicon Valley development and the new start-up capital pouring in, had become a magnet for entrepreneurs and iconoclasts of all stripes. Before he started Apple Computer33, Steve Jobs had dropped out of college, tried LSD, lived in a commune, and traveled to India on a spiritual quest.

pages: 421 words: 110,406

Platform Revolution: How Networked Markets Are Transforming the Economy--And How to Make Them Work for You by Sangeet Paul Choudary, Marshall W. van Alstyne, Geoffrey G. Parker


3D printing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Alvin Roth, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, Andrei Shleifer, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, bitcoin, blockchain, business process, buy low sell high, chief data officer, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable, clean water, cloud computing, connected car, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, data acquisition, data is the new oil, digital map, discounted cash flows, disintermediation, Edward Glaeser, Elon Musk,, Erik Brynjolfsson, financial innovation, Haber-Bosch Process, High speed trading, information asymmetry, Internet of things, inventory management, invisible hand, Jean Tirole, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, John Markoff, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, market design, Metcalfe’s law, multi-sided market, Network effects, new economy, payday loans, peer-to-peer lending, Peter Thiel,, pre–internet, price mechanism, recommendation engine, RFID, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Coase, Satoshi Nakamoto, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart contracts, smart grid, Snapchat, software is eating the world, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, The Chicago School, the payments system, Tim Cook: Apple, transaction costs, two-sided market, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, winner-take-all economy, zero-sum game, Zipcar

Here’s an example of how the effort to limit multihoming plays out in the new world of strategy. Adobe Flash Player is a browser app that delivers Internet content to users, including audio/video playback and real-time game play. Flash could have been used by app developers on Apple’s iPhone operating system—but Apple prevented this by making its iOS incompatible with Flash and insisting that developers use similar tools created by Apple itself. Developers and users responded with dismay, and some observers called the policy an anti-competitive gambit that might be subject to governmental sanction under antitrust regulations. The furor grew so heated that, in 2010, Apple’s Steve Jobs felt compelled to defend the policy in an open letter—a highly unusual step for a CEO to take. In his “Thoughts on Flash,” Jobs argued that Flash was a closed system and technically inferior to other options, consuming excessive energy and otherwise delivering poor performance on mobile devices.

Ironically, while Microsoft stopped retail sales of XP in 2008 and of Vista in 2010, XP’s market share in 2015 was above 12 percent, while that of Vista was below 2 percent.10 By contrast, when Steve Jobs returned to the leadership of Apple in 1997 after his years developing the ambitious but unsuccessful NeXT computer, he made a crucial decision that honored the end-to-end principle and helped lead to Apple’s subsequent success. At NeXT, Jobs and his team had developed an elegant new operating system with a clean, layered architecture and a beautiful graphical interface. Now, planning a successor to Apple’s Mac OS 9 operating system, Jobs faced a hard choice: he could merge the NeXT and Mac OS 9 software code, thereby producing an operating system that would be compatible with both systems, or he could jettison Mac OS 9 in favor of NeXT’s clean architecture.

Students and faculty alike were dropping out of school to launch fledgling technology businesses. Inevitably, the market came crashing down. Beginning in March 2000, trillions of dollars’ worth of paper valuations vanished in a matter of months. Yet amid the rubble, certain companies survived. While Webvan and disappeared, Amazon and eBay survived and thrived. Steve Jobs, who had lost Apple to mistakes he made earlier, recovered, returned to Apple, and built it into a juggernaut. Eventually, the online world emerged from the depths of the 2000 downturn to become stronger than ever. Why were some Internet-based businesses successful while others were not? Were the differences a matter of random luck, or were deeper design principles at work? What are the rules of the new economics of networks? Geoff and Marshall set about trying to answer these questions.

Design of Business: Why Design Thinking Is the Next Competitive Advantage by Roger L. Martin

asset allocation, Buckminster Fuller, business process, Frank Gehry, global supply chain, high net worth, Innovator's Dilemma, Isaac Newton, mobile money, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Waldo Emerson, risk tolerance, six sigma, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, Wall-E, winner-take-all economy

What is important is the protection of validity and the promotion of design thinking. A fine example of successful CEO behavior between the two extremes is Steve Jobs, cofounder and returned CEO of Apple. Jobs has a long-standing reputation as a visionary designer. He was the cocreator of the Apple II, the forerunner of the Apple Macintosh, and after he left Apple in 1985, the company fell into a succession of disastrous strategies and fratricidal politics. Since his triumphant return as CEO in 1997, Apple has produced a string of design hits including the iMac series, the iPod, and the iPhone. Given his reputation and track record, most people would assume that Jobs functions as Apple’s analogue to Laliberté and Lazaridis, chief designer as well as the company’s leading advocate of validity. But in actual fact, Jobs operates as more of a hybrid.

This is essentially the design of a business that will bring the abductively created insight to fruition. Without that, all the observation and imagination will have no meaningful payoff. The master of configuration is Steve Jobs, who created an activity system for the iPod, including iTunes and Apple stores. The system made iPod a compelling product, exceedingly hard to replicate and highly profitable. (See figure 7-2.) For a manager, the configuration step is to ask how your insight and new solution fit into the larger scheme of the business in which you operate. The activity system you create may relate only to your department or project. But even within that limited sphere, you can build a model to test and verify. FIGURE 7-2 Apple’s iPod activity system Source: Apple Activity System developed and copyright by Heather Fraser and Mark Leung, 2008. Experiences To be a better design thinker, consciously use your experiences to deepen your mastery and nurture your originality.

James Hackett of Steelcase acquired the design firm IDEO to infuse design thinking across the entire Steelcase organization. 5 Between the extremes represented by Laliberté and Lazaridis at one end and Hackett and Lafley at the other, there are numerous intermediate alternatives. Steve Jobs, for instance, cofounder and returned CEO of Apple Inc., is probably the CEO most widely viewed as a design thinker, thanks to elegant, customer-pleasing products like the Macintosh, iMac, iPod, and iPhone, among many others. But he is not the solitary design genius of popular imagination. It was Apple’s designers, led by Jonathan Ive, who realized those innovative products. Jobs played a different, equally crucial role: he created an organization that placed “insanely great” design at the top of its hierarchy of values, and he gave the green light to spend the resources necessary to make lasting successes of his designers’ innovations.

pages: 292 words: 85,151

Exponential Organizations: Why New Organizations Are Ten Times Better, Faster, and Cheaper Than Yours (And What to Do About It) by Salim Ismail, Yuri van Geest


23andMe, 3D printing, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, bioinformatics, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, Burning Man, business intelligence, business process, call centre, chief data officer, Chris Wanstrath, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive bias, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, commoditize, corporate social responsibility, cross-subsidies, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, dark matter, Dean Kamen, dematerialisation, discounted cash flows, distributed ledger, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk,, ethereum blockchain, Galaxy Zoo, game design, Google Glasses, Google Hangouts, Google X / Alphabet X, gravity well, hiring and firing, Hyperloop, industrial robot, Innovator's Dilemma, intangible asset, Internet of things, Iridium satellite, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, Law of Accelerating Returns, Lean Startup, life extension, lifelogging, loose coupling, loss aversion, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, market design, means of production, minimum viable product, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, Network effects, new economy, Oculus Rift, offshore financial centre, p-value, PageRank, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer model, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Thiel, prediction markets, profit motive, publish or perish, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, Ronald Coase, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, Skype, smart contracts, Snapchat, social software, software is eating the world, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, subscription business, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, telepresence, telepresence robot, Tony Hsieh, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, urban planning, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, X Prize, Y Combinator, zero-sum game

There are, however, a few corporate rock stars, the most famous of which is Apple. Apple’s army of millions of true believers, who line up to buy its products, create blogs about the company and products, place Apple stickers in the back windows of cars, and vociferously defend the company against heretics and apostates, is a paradigmatic example of a lively, complex and powerful corporate community. Obviously, creating such a community requires a great product and a compelling vision. But it also demands a fair amount of time. It took eight years after the introduction of the Macintosh for Apple Computer to become a phenomenon, and another sixteen years for the company to reach its status as a cultural icon. Exponential Organizations don’t have that amount of time. Nor are they likely to have a charismatic leader like Steve Jobs. Instead, they must move quickly and systematically, using proven techniques and tools.

Founded in June 2010 and focused on low-end Android smartphones, the company sold twenty million handsets in 2013, recording annual revenues of more than $5 billion. Lei Jun, one of the founders, is seen as a Chinese Steve Jobs. That’s not just because he’s been heavily inspired by Apple’s design, marketing and supply chain management, but also because of Xiaomi’s intense focus on performance, quality and customer experience—characteristics that Lei Jun wants to make available to everyone at affordable prices. Xiaomi offers a curated Apple smartphone experience with the software development, speed and processes of Google Android, all at a low price. The company currently outsells Apple in China and is closing in on Samsung. Its products are available in four Asian countries and the company plans to expand to ten more emerging markets, including India and Brazil.

The explosive transition from film to digital photography is now occurring in several accelerating technologies. We are information-enabling everything. An information-enabled environment delivers fundamentally disruptive opportunities. Even traditional industries are ripe for disruption. CHAPTER TWO A Tale of Two Companies In one of the most iconic moments in modern business history, Steve Jobs rocked the world in January 2007 with his announcement of the Apple iPhone, which debuted six months later. Literally everything in high tech changed that day—indeed, you might even call it a Singularity—as all existing strategies in consumer electronics were instantly rendered obsolete. At that moment, the entire future of the digital world had to be reconsidered. Two months later, Finnish mobile phone giant Nokia spent a staggering $8.1 billion to buy Navteq, a navigation and road-mapping company.

pages: 83 words: 7,274

Buyology by Martin Lindstrom


anti-work, Berlin Wall, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Mikhail Gorbachev, Saturday Night Live, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker

Ritual, superstition, religion—whether we’re aware of it or not, all these factors contribute to what we think about when we buy. In fact, as the results of our brain-scan study would show, the most successful products are the ones that have the most in common with religion. Take Apple, for example, one of the most popular—and profitable—brands around. I’ll never forget the Apple Macromedia conference I attended in the mid-nineties. Sitting in a packed convention center in San Francisco among ten thousand cheering fans, I was surprised when Steve Jobs, the founder and CEO, ambled out onstage, wearing his usual monkish turtleneck, and announced that Apple was going to discontinue its Newton brand of handheld computers. Jobs then dramatically hurled a Newton into a garbage can a few feet away to punctuate his decision. Newton was done. Cooked. In fury and desperation, the man next to me pulled out his own Newton, threw it to the floor, and began furiously stomping on it.

But what exactly is it in our brains that makes some products so much more memorable and appealing than others? Well, we’re about to take a look at one of the most fascinating brain discoveries of recent times, one that plays an enormous role in why we’re attracted to the things we are. The place: Parma, Italy. The unwitting codiscoverers of this phenomenon? A species of monkey known as the macaque. 3 I’LL HAVE WHAT SHE’S HAVING Mirror Neurons at Work IN 2004, STEVE JOBS, CEO, chairman, and co-founder of Apple, was strolling along Madison Avenue in New York City when he noticed something strange, and gratifying. Hip white earphones (remember, back then most earphones came in basic boring black). Looping and snaking out of people’s ears, dangling down across their chests, peeking out of pockets and purses and backpacks. They were everywhere. “It was, like, on every block, there was someone with white headphones, and I thought, ‘Oh, my God, it’s starting to happen,’” Jobs, who’d recently launched his company’s immensely successful iPod, was quoted as saying.1 You could term the popularity of the iPod (and its ubiquitous, iconic white headphones) a fad.

“It involves interior exploration, quests for a transcendent goal, overcoming barriers and 08/08/2009 10:45 43 of 83 file:///D:/000004/Buy__ology.html physical or spiritual healing.”3 Go Steelers. Most religions also have a clear vision. By that I mean that they are unambiguous in their mission, whether it’s to reach a certain state of grace or achieve a spiritual goal. And of course, most companies have unambiguous missions as well. Steve Jobs’s vision for Apple dates back to the mid-1980s when he said, “Man is the creator of change in this world. As such he should be above systems and structures, and not subordinate to them.” Twenty years and a few million iPods later, the company still pursues this vision, and will doubtlessly continue to do so twenty years from now. Or think about high-end audio and video product maker Bang & Olufsen’s mission statement, “Courage to constantly question the ordinary in search of surprising, long-lasting experiences,” or IBM’s mandate, “Solutions for a Small Planet.”

pages: 486 words: 132,784

Inventors at Work: The Minds and Motivation Behind Modern Inventions by Brett Stern


Apple II, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, bioinformatics, Build a better mousetrap, business process, cloud computing, computer vision, cyber-physical system, distributed generation, game design, Grace Hopper, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, Skype, smart transportation, speech recognition, statistical model, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, the market place, Yogi Berra

Calvert: These are the things that an inventor really needs to learn and work out before taking that big step of sending a patent application to the USPTO—hopefully as the prelude to starting up their own business. 1 2 CHAPTER 23 Steve Wozniak Co-Founder Apple Computer A Silicon Valley icon and philanthropist for more than thirty years, Steve Wozniak helped shape the computing industry with his design of Apple’s first line of products, the Apple I and II, and influenced the popular Macintosh. In 1976, Wozniak and Steve Jobs founded Apple Computer Inc. with Wozniak’s Apple I personal computer. The following year he introduced his Apple II personal computer, featuring a central processing unit, a keyboard, color graphics, and a floppy disk drive. The Apple II was integral to launching the personal computer industry. Wozniak is named sole inventor on the US patent for “microcomputer for use with video display.”

His bestselling autobiography—iWoz: Computer Geek to Cult Icon: How I Invented the Personal Computer, Co-Founded Apple, and Had Fun Doing It—was published in 2006 (W. W. Norton). His television appearances include Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List, Dancing with the Stars, and The Big Bang Theory. Brett Stern: You talk about having an engineering side and a human side. Any thoughts on what the difference is, and how you define those sides? Steve Wozniak: I talk about the difference between the engineering side and the human side in two different senses. One is the general sense of developing technology products. If you look at Apple history, you’ll find out that the most important thing that made Apple great—and made Steve Jobs such a great person—was our focus on understanding the users more than understanding the technology.

So this high school teacher had strict procedures and he had stockrooms full of parts that he had gotten companies to donate. He spent a lot of his own time to make his class great. He contacted companies and found engineers who would let students like myself go in and work on projects such as programming a computer to control streetlights. When Steve Jobs and I were first starting Apple, we went to the world’s first computer trade show out in Atlantic City, called PC ’76. We were just introducing the Apple I, even though we had the Apple II designed and working. There were a bunch of little companies with two young kids like us—with no money and ideas that maybe these microprocessors could make the start of a business. It was the garage-style entrepreneurship that you see nowadays with kids going into writing apps for iPhones and the like.

pages: 472 words: 117,093

Machine, Platform, Crowd: Harnessing Our Digital Future by Andrew McAfee, Erik Brynjolfsson

3D printing, additive manufacturing, AI winter, Airbnb, airline deregulation, airport security, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, backtesting, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, book scanning, British Empire, business process, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, centralized clearinghouse, Chris Urmson, cloud computing, cognitive bias, commoditize, complexity theory, computer age, creative destruction, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Dean Kamen, discovery of DNA, disintermediation, distributed ledger, double helix, Elon Musk,, Erik Brynjolfsson, ethereum blockchain, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, family office, fiat currency, financial innovation, George Akerlof, global supply chain, Hernando de Soto, hive mind, information asymmetry, Internet of things, inventory management, iterative process, Jean Tirole, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, John Markoff, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, law of one price, Lyft, Machine translation of "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." to Russian and back, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, moral hazard, multi-sided market, Myron Scholes, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, Oculus Rift, PageRank, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer lending, performance metric, Plutocrats, plutocrats, precision agriculture, prediction markets, pre–internet, price stability, principal–agent problem, Ray Kurzweil, Renaissance Technologies, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, Ronald Coase, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, smart contracts, Snapchat, speech recognition, statistical model, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, Ted Nelson, The Market for Lemons, The Nature of the Firm, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, transaction costs, transportation-network company, traveling salesman, two-sided market, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, winner-take-all economy, yield management, zero day

Chapter 7 PAYING COMPLEMENTS, AND OTHER SMART STRATEGIES 151 “$500? Fully subsidized? With a plan?”: “Ballmer Laughs at iPhone,” YouTube, September 18, 2007, 2:22, 152 “When [the iPhone] first came out in early 2007”: Walter Isaacson, Steve Jobs (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2011), 501. 152 “You don’t want your phone to be like a PC”: John Markoff, “Phone Shows Apple’s Impact on Consumer Products,” New York Times, January 11, 2007, 162 Steve Jobs made a “nine-digit” acquisition offer: Victoria Barret, “Dropbox: The Inside Story of Tech’s Hottest Startup,” Forbes, October 18, 2011, 162 84% of total revenue for Facebook: Facebook, “Facebook Reports Third Quarter 2016 Results,” November 2, 2016, 163 “grand slam”: Apple, “iPhone App Store Downloads Top 10 Million in First Weekend,” July 14, 2008, 164 $6 billion: Daisuke Wakabayashi, “Apple’s App Store Sales Hit $20 Billion, Signs of Slower Growth Emerge,” Wall Street Journal, January 6, 2016, 165 “Jobs soon figured out”: Isaacson, Steve Jobs, 501. 165 Facebook’s offer to publish: Henry Mance, “UK Newspapers: Rewriting the Story,” Financial Times, February 9, 2016, 166 “we only have the faintest idea”: Peter Rojas, “Google Buys Cellphone Software Company,” Engadget, August 17, 2005, 166 “best deal ever”: Owen Thomas, “Google Exec: Android Was ‘Best Deal Ever,’ ” VentureBeat, October 27, 2010, 166 Android founder Andy Rubin: Victor H., “Did You Know Samsung Could Buy Android First, but Laughed It Out of Court?”

v=eywi0h_Y5_U. 152 “When [the iPhone] first came out in early 2007”: Walter Isaacson, Steve Jobs (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2011), 501. 152 “You don’t want your phone to be like a PC”: John Markoff, “Phone Shows Apple’s Impact on Consumer Products,” New York Times, January 11, 2007, 162 Steve Jobs made a “nine-digit” acquisition offer: Victoria Barret, “Dropbox: The Inside Story of Tech’s Hottest Startup,” Forbes, October 18, 2011, 162 84% of total revenue for Facebook: Facebook, “Facebook Reports Third Quarter 2016 Results,” November 2, 2016, 163 “grand slam”: Apple, “iPhone App Store Downloads Top 10 Million in First Weekend,” July 14, 2008, 164 $6 billion: Daisuke Wakabayashi, “Apple’s App Store Sales Hit $20 Billion, Signs of Slower Growth Emerge,” Wall Street Journal, January 6, 2016, 165 “Jobs soon figured out”: Isaacson, Steve Jobs, 501. 165 Facebook’s offer to publish: Henry Mance, “UK Newspapers: Rewriting the Story,” Financial Times, February 9, 2016, 166 “we only have the faintest idea”: Peter Rojas, “Google Buys Cellphone Software Company,” Engadget, August 17, 2005, 166 “best deal ever”: Owen Thomas, “Google Exec: Android Was ‘Best Deal Ever,’ ” VentureBeat, October 27, 2010, 166 Android founder Andy Rubin: Victor H., “Did You Know Samsung Could Buy Android First, but Laughed It Out of Court?”

US Copyright Royalty Judges, “In the Matter of Digital Performance Right in Sound Recordings and Ephemeral Recordings: Determination of Rates and Terms,” Docket No. 2005-1 CRB DTRA, accessed March 1, 2017, CHAPTER 7 PAYING COMPLEMENTS, AND OTHER SMART STRATEGIES The curious task of economics is to demonstrate to men how little they really know about what they imagine they can design. — Friedrich von Hayek, 1988 IN 2007, STEVE JOBS WAS IN THE MIDDLE OF WHAT WAS PERHAPS the greatest tenure as a CEO in US corporate history. But throughout that year, his failure to fully appreciate a basic insight from economics threatened to stall his company’s momentum. How Steve Jobs Nearly Blew It Early in 2007, Apple introduced the iPhone, a product that deserves the label “iconic.” Its groundbreaking design and novel features, including multitouch screen, powerful mobile Internet browser, accelerometer, and GPS made it an instant hit, with rapturous reviews and sales of over 6 million handsets in its first year.

pages: 239 words: 56,531

The Secret War Between Downloading and Uploading: Tales of the Computer as Culture Machine by Peter Lunenfeld


Albert Einstein, Andrew Keen, Apple II, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Brownian motion, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, butterfly effect, computer age, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, East Village, Edward Lorenz: Chaos theory, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frank Gehry, Grace Hopper, gravity well, Guggenheim Bilbao, Honoré de Balzac, Howard Rheingold, invention of movable type, Isaac Newton, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Mercator projection, Metcalfe’s law, Mother of all demos, mutually assured destruction, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, PageRank, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, planetary scale, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Post-materialism, post-materialism, Potemkin village, RFID, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Stallman, Robert Metcalfe, Robert X Cringely, Schrödinger's Cat, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, Silicon Valley, Skype, social software, spaced repetition, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Ted Nelson, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the medium is the message, Thomas L Friedman, Turing machine, Turing test, urban planning, urban renewal, Vannevar Bush, walkable city, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, William Shockley: the traitorous eight

And selling to the masses is one way to be remembered, at least in the United States. Selling to the masses is what Hustlers were born to do. The Hustlers: Steve Jobs and Bill Gates Who can afford to do professional work for nothing? —Bill Gates, 1976 Real artists ship. —Steve Jobs, 1983 162 HOW THE COMPUTER BECAME OUR CULTURE MACHINE If J.C.R. Licklider and Douglas Engelbart are obscure talismans even among the best-informed computer users, Steve Jobs and Bill Gates are iconic, triumphal nerds.20 Jobs at his height was perhaps the most intriguing businessperson in the world, and one of the few people to have built multibillion-dollar companies in two different industries, with Apple computers and Pixar animated films. Gates was the CEO of Microsoft, and as cab drivers from Calcutta to Cancún can tell you, for years the richest person in the world.

Gates has been admired for his strategy and condemned for his ruthlessness, but much like the Plutocrats before him, he was never defined by vision. Steve Jobs, the cofounder and CEO of Apple, on the other hand, has been known to create a “reality distortion effect” around himself because of the intensity of his vision for computing. He worked for early electronic games pioneer Atari in the late 1970s and visited Xerox PARC, where he saw the work infused with Engelbart and Kay’s Aquarian vision. This spirit resonated with Jobs, who at one point had taken a personal pilgrimage to India and lived in an ashram. But even more so, the meme of participation entered his head on those visits to PARC. The Apple II, released in 1977, was unique in having a graphics capability and a soundboard built in. Here was the first major computer for the masses, designed from the start as a multimedia machine. These Apple IIs became the de facto machines in classrooms around the country, and without a doubt prepared a generation of computer users for what was to come.

They are followed in turn by the Plutocrats— Thomas Watson Sr. and Thomas Watson Jr. of IBM—who make a business out of computing, centralizing the operations into top-down bureaucracies during the 1950s and 1960s. In reaction to the buttoned-down, all-business attitudes of the Plutocrats, the Aquarians of the 1960s and 1970s—people like Douglas Englebart and Alan Kay—expand on the more openended ideas of the Patriarchs, and develop the paradigm of visual, personalized, networked computing. In the 1980s and 1990s, the Hustlers—Microsoft’s Bill Gates and Apple’s Steve Jobs—commodify this personalized vision, putting a distinctive, “new economy” stamp on computing. Building on the installed base of all these users as the new millennium looms, the Hosts— World Wide Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee and open-source guru Linus Torvalds—link these disparate personal machines into a huge web, concentrating on communication as much as technology, pushing participation to the next level.

pages: 388 words: 106,138

The Song Machine: Inside the Hit Factory by John Seabrook


barriers to entry, financial independence, game design, peer-to-peer, Ponzi scheme, Saturday Night Live, Steve Jobs, technoutopianism, trade route

Who would have imagined, as one label head put it, that “your enemy could become your friend”? One factor in the evolution of the labels’ thinking was Apple, which had proved to be an unsatisfactory business partner. The iTunes store, the industry’s attempt, in partnership with Apple, to build a digital record shop, opened in 2003 to sell downloads, but that didn’t alter the downward trajectory of sales revenues; indeed, by unbundling tracks from the album so that buyers could cherry-pick their favorite songs, Apple arguably hastened the decline. Music had been an important part of Apple’s business when Steve Jobs first negotiated the iTunes licenses, back in 2002—the music helped sell the iPod. But by 2011 music was more important to the Apple brand than to its business. Apple would not even let Android users, who represent more than 80 percent of the global mobile business, have iTunes on their phones, because it wanted to sell iPhones.

AOL, BMG, and EMI teamed with RealNetworks to create MusicNet, a download service. Neither service would license to the other one, which crippled them both. With the sense of urgency mounting, Steve Jobs, Apple’s founder, stepped into the breach with a cool proposal—the iTunes music store. Roger Ames, head of Warner Music Group, saw Jobs’s presentation as the future. “Yes, yes, that’s exactly what we’ve been waiting for,” he said. One by one, his fellow leaders signed on to Jobs’s plan. Finally, Jobs went to see Doug Morris himself, and won the record man over with his charm. “When I met Steve, I thought he was our savior,” Morris told writer Walter Isaacson in Steve Jobs. Morris called Jimmy Iovine at Interscope to get his impression. “You’re right,” Iovine said. “He’s got a turnkey solution.” So the deal was done, and iTunes opened its virtual doors on April 28, 2003, selling downloadable songs for 99 cents and albums for $9.99.

“Denniz was very good at erasing things, and making the sound picture cleaner, and simplified. I think he took away maybe fifty percent of our instrumentation.” As Denniz once said, in response to a question about how hard could it possibly be to write such simple songs, “it’s much more difficult to make it simple, especially achieving a simplicity without having it sound incredibly trivial.” Lundin says, “Denniz was an arrangement genius.” He adds, “like Steve Jobs, he knew what to take out. ‘You can get rid of that, that. Keep it simple.’ ” As Denniz put it, “A great pop song should be interesting, in some way. That means that certain people will hate it immediately and certain people will love it, but only as long as it isn’t boring and meaningless. Then it’s not a pop song any longer; then it’s something else. It’s just music.” Ekberg recalls, “He always said, ‘I don’t care how we do it, as long as it sounds good.’

pages: 515 words: 132,295

Makers and Takers: The Rise of Finance and the Fall of American Business by Rana Foroohar


3D printing, accounting loophole / creative accounting, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, algorithmic trading, Alvin Roth, Asian financial crisis, asset allocation, bank run, Basel III, bonus culture, Bretton Woods, British Empire, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, carried interest, centralized clearinghouse, clean water, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, computerized trading, corporate governance, corporate raider, corporate social responsibility, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, David Graeber, deskilling, Detroit bankruptcy, diversification, Double Irish / Dutch Sandwich, Emanuel Derman, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, financial deregulation, financial intermediation, Frederick Winslow Taylor, George Akerlof, gig economy, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, High speed trading, Home mortgage interest deduction, housing crisis, Howard Rheingold, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, index fund, information asymmetry, interest rate derivative, interest rate swap, Internet of things, invisible hand, John Markoff, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, labor-force participation, labour mobility, London Whale, Long Term Capital Management, manufacturing employment, market design, Martin Wolf, money market fund, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, non-tariff barriers, offshore financial centre, oil shock, passive investing, Paul Samuelson, pensions crisis, Ponzi scheme, principal–agent problem, quantitative easing, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, Rana Plaza, RAND corporation, random walk, rent control, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, Satyajit Das, Second Machine Age, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Snapchat, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Jobs, technology bubble, The Chicago School, the new new thing, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tim Cook: Apple, Tobin tax, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Vanguard fund, zero-sum game

This book is an attempt to start that conversation—to illustrate how takers came to dominate makers in our economy, and how we can change things for the better. It wasn’t the way Steve Jobs would have done it. In the spring of 2013, Jobs’s successor as CEO of Apple Inc., Tim Cook, decided the company needed to borrow $17 billion. Yes, borrow. Never mind that Apple was the world’s most valuable corporation, that it had sold more than a billion devices so far, and that it already had $145 billion sitting in the bank, with another $3 billion in profits flowing in every month. So, why borrow? It was not because the company was a little short, obviously, or because it couldn’t put its hands on any of its cash. The reason, rather, was that Apple’s financial masters had determined borrowing was the better, more cost-effective way to obtain the funds. Whatever a loan might normally cost, it would cost Apple far less, thanks to a low-interest bond offering available only to blue-chip companies.

The pressure for these changes has been building for some time. Witness Apple CEO Tim Cook’s 2013 testimony on Capitol Hill, where senators praised their favorite iGadgets while also accusing the world’s most valuable company of being one of its biggest tax avoiders, laying out how Apple jumped through loopholes to save some $44 billion of otherwise taxable income. As Senator Carl Levin, then chair of the Investigations Subcommittee, put it, Apple “sought the holy grail” of tax avoidance by funneling vast earnings to overseas subsidiaries. (Cook responded that Apple paid $6 billion in US corporate taxes the previous year.) Bottom line: when you have a lot of cash and can move much of it abroad easily, as the biggest tech companies do, everyone will start watching you more closely. As Steve Jobs once said, “It’s better to be a pirate than to join the navy.”

Whatever a loan might normally cost, it would cost Apple far less, thanks to a low-interest bond offering available only to blue-chip companies. Even better, Apple would not actually have to touch its bank accounts, which aren’t held someplace down the street like yours or mine. Rather, they are scattered in a variety of places around the globe, including offshore financial institutions. (The company is secretive about the details.) If that money were to return to the United States, Apple would have to pay hefty tax rates on it, something it has always studiously avoided, even though there is something a little off about a quintessentially American firm dodging a huge chunk of American taxes. So Apple borrowed the $17 billion. This was never the Steve Jobs way. Jobs focused relentlessly on creating irresistible, life-changing products, and was confident that money would follow.

pages: 391 words: 105,382

Utopia Is Creepy: And Other Provocations by Nicholas Carr


Air France Flight 447, Airbnb, Airbus A320, AltaVista, Amazon Mechanical Turk, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Bernie Sanders, book scanning, Brewster Kahle, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, centralized clearinghouse, cloud computing, cognitive bias, collaborative consumption, computer age, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, deskilling, digital map, Donald Trump, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Elon Musk, factory automation, failed state, feminist movement, Frederick Winslow Taylor, friendly fire, game design, global village, Google bus, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Googley, hive mind, impulse control, indoor plumbing, interchangeable parts, Internet Archive, invention of movable type, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, job automation, Kevin Kelly, lifelogging, low skilled workers, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Menlo Park, mental accounting, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Norman Mailer, off grid, oil shale / tar sands, Peter Thiel, Plutocrats, plutocrats, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Republic of Letters, robot derives from the Czech word robota Czech, meaning slave, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, SETI@home, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Singularitarianism, Snapchat, social graph, social web, speech recognition, Startup school, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, technoutopianism, the medium is the message, theory of mind, Turing test, Whole Earth Catalog, Y Combinator

THE IPAD LUDDITES April 7, 2010 IS IT POSSIBLE FOR a Geek God to also be a Luddite? That was the question that popped into my head as I read Cory Doctorow’s impassioned anti-iPad diatribe at Boing Boing. The device that Apple calls “magical” and “revolutionary” is, to Doctorow, a counterrevolutionary contraption conjured up through the black magic of the evil wizards at One Infinite Loop. The locked-down, self-contained design of the iPad—nary a USB port in sight, and don’t even think about loading an app that hasn’t been blessed by Steve Jobs—manifests “a palpable contempt for the owner,” writes Doctorow. You can’t fiddle with the damn thing. The original Apple II came with schematics for the circuit boards, and birthed a generation of hardware and software hackers who upended the world for the better. . . . Buying an iPad for your kids isn’t a means of jump-starting the realization that the world is yours to take apart and reassemble; it’s a way of telling your offspring that even changing the batteries is something you have to leave to the professionals.

To put it a different way, the sharecroppers operate happily in an attention economy while their overseers operate happily in a cash economy. In this view, the attention economy of the digital realm does not operate separately from the cash economy of the real world. The attention economy is just a means of creating cheap inputs for the cash economy. Many share in the work, few in the profit. STEVE’S DEVICES January 10, 2007 IT’S HARD TO IMAGINE the pleasure Steve Jobs must get from singlehandedly upstaging the entire Consumer Electronics Show. When he introduced Apple’s “revolutionary mobile phone” at Macworld in San Francisco yesterday—the gadget is called (surprise!) iPhone—the euphoric press coverage drowned out everything happening in Vegas. There was just one moment during Jobs’s slick two-hour presentation when he went off script, but it was a telling one. His clicker failed, and while he waited for his backstage minions to fix the glitch he launched into a reminiscence about how, back in the day, he and Woz hacked together a little device that could jam television signals.

The rest of us are free to gain admission by purchasing a ticket for $500, but we’re required to remain in our seats at all times while the show is in progress. User-generated content? Hah! We’re not even allowed to change the freaking battery. In Jobs’s world, users are users, creators are creators, and never the twain shall meet. Which is, of course, why the iPhone, like the iPod, is an exquisite device. Steve Jobs is not interested in amateur productions. TWITTER DOT DASH March 18, 2007 AND SO AT LAST, after passing through Email and Instant Messaging and Texting, we arrive in the land of Twitter. The birds are singing in the trees—they look like that robin at the end of Blue Velvet—and the air is so clean you can see yourself in it. Twitter is the telegraph system of Web 2.0. Like Morse’s machine, it limits messages to very brief strings of text.

pages: 372 words: 89,876

The Connected Company by Dave Gray, Thomas Vander Wal


A Pattern Language, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, Atul Gawande, Berlin Wall, business process, call centre, Clayton Christensen, commoditize, complexity theory, creative destruction, David Heinemeier Hansson,, factory automation, Googley, index card, industrial cluster, interchangeable parts, inventory management, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, loose coupling, market design, minimum viable product, more computing power than Apollo, profit maximization, Richard Florida, Ruby on Rails, self-driving car, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, software as a service, South of Market, San Francisco, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tony Hsieh, Toyota Production System, Vanguard fund, web application, WikiLeaks, Zipcar

In 2001, Napster had already disrupted the music business, and there was no safe, easy, legitimate way to buy music online. While Apple’s Steve Jobs set out to recruit music companies and artists to offer their songs for sale on iTunes, Sony announced it would go forward with a proprietary format called Pressplay. Apple announced a rival technology called FairPlay. Both Pressplay and FairPlay protected the digital rights of any song bought online. But there was a critical difference. Sony’s Pressplay would only play authorized, protected files, but Apple’s FairPlay would protect files bought in their store, and also play any file in a user’s existing library. This made Apple’s platform more valuable, because users did not have to start from scratch to build a music library. In addition, Apple aggressively courted musicians and record labels, giving away all of the money from music sales to partners: record companies made 70 cents on every 99-cent purchase, with the rest split between artists and merchandising costs.

In a recent interview, Gary Starkweather, inventor of the laser printer and former Xerox PARC researcher, told Malcolm Gladwell: “They just could not seem to see that they were in the information business… Xerox had been infested by a bunch of spreadsheet experts who thought you could decide every product based on metrics. Unfortunately, creativity wasn’t on a metric.” Apple founder Steve Jobs paid a visit to Xerox PARC in 1979. He was inspired. Xerox PARC engineer Larry Tesler reported to Gladwell: “Jobs was pacing around the room, acting up the whole time. He was very excited. Then, when he began seeing the things I could do onscreen, he watched for about a minute and started jumping around the room, shouting, ‘Why aren’t you doing anything with this? This is the greatest thing. This is revolutionary!’” Jobs went back to Apple, and the rest is history. Xerox may have learned its lesson. Today, the company is focused on moving from being a copier company to a services company. Since 2006, revenue from services—such as outsourcing its customers’ document management and other business processes—has risen from 25% to almost 50%.

As resources accumulate, this constellation of capabilities and goals begins to coalesce into a working model, and possibly a new and innovative offering. The bottom line is that entrepreneurs focus on things that are within their direct control and try to make things happen. If life gives you lemons, you make lemonade. We have a tradition of making heroes out of entrepreneurs: people like Richard Branson of Virgin Media, Steve Jobs of Apple, and Jeff Bezos of Amazon. And indeed, they are amazing people. But they can also be intimidating. The deification of entrepreneurs can lead to a feeling of helplessness, the idea that we as individuals aren’t smart enough or visionary enough to pull it off. But the powerful message here is that anyone can be an entrepreneur. An entrepreneur isn’t a kind of person; it’s a method that anyone can follow.

pages: 468 words: 124,573

How to Build a Billion Dollar App: Discover the Secrets of the Most Successful Entrepreneurs of Our Time by George Berkowski


Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, barriers to entry, Black Swan, business intelligence, call centre, crowdsourcing,, game design, Google Glasses, Google Hangouts, Google X / Alphabet X, iterative process, Jeff Bezos, Jony Ive, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Lean Startup, loose coupling, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, minimum viable product, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, Oculus Rift, Paul Graham, QR code, Ruby on Rails, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Snapchat, social graph, software as a service, software is eating the world, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Y Combinator

I’ll go through a brief history of how apps came about, and then explore three core reasons that allow apps to deliver a great mobile experience – things you’ll need to keep in mind when developing your own billion-dollar app. A brief history of the app The term ‘app’ has been around for a long time. An app (or application) and a software program are the same thing. Thanks to Apple, though, the word has been adopted by the mobile world, and means either a smartphone app or a tablet app. This wonderful app ecosystem almost didn’t happen at all, according to Walter Isaacson, the biographer of the famed Steve Jobs. When Apple was developing the iPhone, Jobs was initially not too enamoured with the idea that third-party developers should be able to create software to run directly on his beautiful, sleek device – and potentially mess it up. Instead, he wanted developers to create Web apps that could be used through the device’s mobile Safari Web browser.

While it is charging merchants 3.25 per cent for transactions6 (more than in the US and Canada), the rate is much lower than the 5 per cent PayPal is charging.7 Square’s association with the iPhone will also help it in Japan, where Apple’s smartphone is still beating out Android devices. The iPhone makes up 66 per cent of sales there, compared with Android’s 32 per cent share.8 It’s worth noting that Square supports a wide variety of Apple and Android smartphones and tablets, which means potential for faster expansion. Go East, Young Man China is an incredibly fascinating market – I had a chance to dip my toes in while at Hailo. A great friend of mine, Hugo Barra, is quickly becoming an expert. He left his post as head of product at Google’s Android in 2013 to move there and work for Xiaomi,9 a young but already billion-dollar mobile handset manufacturer led by CEO Lei Jun, affectionately known as the ‘Steve Jobs of China’. Hugo paints a fantastically interesting picture of China.10 • There are more than 618 million Internet users in the country – and that number has grown by an amazing 50 per cent from 2010 to 2013.11 • Chinese Internet companies boast massive user numbers (QQ – the chat service – has 500 million; QZone – the social-networking arm of QQ – has 600 million monthly active users; WeChat – a messaging app like WhatsApp – has about 270 million; MoMo – a social dating app where you talk to strangers who are near you – has 100 million users)

If you still need to fund growth, then you’re going to be able to raise it on attractive terms. Chapter 36 Unicorns do Exist Everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you, and you can change it, you can influence it, you can build your own things that other people can use. Steve Jobs uttered these poignant words in 1995 during an interview with the Santa Clara Valley Historical Association. Jobs’s personal journey was particularly trying. At the time, Apple was in turmoil, and Jobs would only return to Apple a year later in 1996. What Jobs says next in the interview is particularly powerful: … shake off this erroneous notion that life is there and you’re just going to live in it versus make your mark upon it. Once you learn that, you will never be the same again. That’s one of the key messages in this book.

pages: 349 words: 95,972

Messy: The Power of Disorder to Transform Our Lives by Tim Harford


affirmative action, Air France Flight 447, Airbnb, airport security, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, assortative mating, Atul Gawande, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, Barry Marshall: ulcers, Basel III, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Broken windows theory, call centre, Cass Sunstein, Chris Urmson, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, crowdsourcing, deindustrialization, Donald Trump, Erdős number, experimental subject, Ferguson, Missouri, Filter Bubble, Frank Gehry, game design, global supply chain, Googley, Guggenheim Bilbao, high net worth, Inbox Zero, income inequality, industrial cluster, Internet of things, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, Loebner Prize, Louis Pasteur, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Merlin Mann, microbiome, out of africa, Paul Erdős, Richard Thaler, Rosa Parks, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, telemarketer, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Turing test, urban decay, William Langewiesche

One of the saddest and most eloquent anecdotes in Walter Isaacson’s biography of Jobs describes him, semiconscious after receiving a liver transplant, ripping off his oxygen mask because it was ugly, and demanding that the medical team bring him five alternative designs so that he could pick the best.3 In happier days Jobs focused this fierce love for design on Pixar’s headquarters. In the wake of the smash hit Toy Story 2, he commanded a bigger budget than Le Corbusier. There was no need to save money using thin concrete walls. The Steve Jobs Building, named after Jobs’s death, is crafted of steel and glass, wood and brick, and Jobs obsessed over every detail. (It is easy to forget that the building also had an architect: Peter Bohlin, who designed the Apple stores.) Huge, beautiful steels were chosen after Jobs had pored over samples from across the country and selected a particular steel mill in Arkansas. He insisted that the girders were bolted rather than welded.4 And like all good designers, Steve Jobs cared about function as well as form. “Steve had this firm belief that the right kind of building can do great things for a culture,” says Ed Catmull, Pixar’s president.

They added old-fashioned shutters and windows; they erected pitched roofs over the flat ones; they put up flowery wallpaper over the uninterrupted monochrome walls, and marked out little blocks of garden with wooden picket fences. Their gardens were decorated with gnomes. • • • Steve Jobs, one suspects, would not have approved of the gnomes. Jobs, like Le Corbusier, loved simplicity and clean modern lines—although unlike Le Corbusier, Steve Jobs had a gift for making things that people loved. Jobs is most famous for his work on computers, phones, and tablets, galvanizing outstanding designers for three decades to produce some of the most beautifully crafted technology in the world. But Jobs also designed a building—the headquarters of Pixar, the animation studio that produced films from Toy Story to Inside Out. Jobs was Pixar’s majority shareholder.2 There can be no doubt that Steve Jobs was just as committed to the ideals of beauty as Le Corbusier had been, and he could be just as controlling.

WORKPLACES 1. Alain de Botton, The Architecture of Happiness (London: Penguin, 2007), pp. 163–166, 178. 2. Ed Catmull with Amy Wallace, Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration (London: Bantam, 2014), chap. 2. 3. Walter Isaacson, Steve Jobs (London: Little, Brown, 2011), p. 486. 4. Ibid., pp. 430–432. 5. The first Ed Catmull quotation is from Isaacson, Steve Jobs, p. 430. The second is from Catmull with Wallace, Creativity, Inc., p. ix. 6. Isaacson, Steve Jobs, pp. 430–432. 7. Julie Jargon, “Neatness Counts at Kyocera and at Others in the 5S Club: Sort, Straighten, Shine, Standardize, Sustain; Getting Mr. Scovie to Go Through His Boxes,” The Wall Street Journal, October 27, 2008, 8.

pages: 238 words: 73,824

Makers by Chris Anderson


3D printing, Airbnb, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Apple II, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Buckminster Fuller, Build a better mousetrap, business process, commoditize, Computer Numeric Control, crowdsourcing, dark matter, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, death of newspapers, dematerialisation, Elon Musk, factory automation, Firefox, future of work, global supply chain, global village, industrial robot, interchangeable parts, Internet of things, inventory management, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, Menlo Park, Network effects, profit maximization, QR code, race to the bottom, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Ronald Coase, Rubik’s Cube, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, slashdot, South of Market, San Francisco, spinning jenny, Startup school, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, supply-chain management, The Nature of the Firm, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transaction costs, trickle-down economics, Whole Earth Catalog, X Prize, Y Combinator

Take even the best company you can think of, say Apple, and consider how it hires. First, it’s based in the United States, and most of its employees are in Cupertino, California. So there’s a bias toward those who are already in the United States, or can legally work in the country, as well as toward those who live in the San Francisco Bay Area or are willing to move there. (It’s lovely in Cupertino, but if your spouse doesn’t want to leave her family in Rome or Chang Mai, that may matter more.) Like all companies, Apple favors people with experience in the industry it’s hiring for, and it likes to see degrees from good universities as an indication of intelligence and work ethic. Even though Steve Jobs was a genius teenage dropout, there aren’t many others like him at Apple. The company may “think different,” but these days it hires pretty much like every other good company: based on professional qualifications.

Today the Maker Movement is where the personal computer revolution was in 1985—a garage phenomenon bringing a bottom-up challenge to the ruling order of the time. As then, the sudden liberation of industrial technology inspires exuberant imagination and some sweeping predictions (including here). The leaders of the Maker Movement echo the fervor of Steve Jobs, who saw in the personal computer not just the opportunity to start a company but also a force that would change the world. But don’t forget: he was right. Indeed, Jobs himself was inspired by his Maker upbringing. Writing in Wired,12 Steven Levy explained the connection, which led to the original Apple II in 1977: His dad, Paul—a machinist who had never completed high school—had set aside a section of his workbench for Steve, and taught him how to build things, disassemble them, and put them together. From neighbors who worked in the electronics firm in the Valley, he learned about that field—and also understood that things like television sets were not magical things that just showed up in one’s house, but designed objects that human beings had painstakingly created.

“It gave a tremendous sense of self-confidence, that through exploration and learning one could understand seemingly very complex things in one’s environment,” he told [an] interviewer. Later, when Jobs and his Apple cofounder, Steve Wozniak, were members of the Homebrew Computer Club, they saw the potential of desktop tools—in this case the personal computer—to change not just people’s lives, but also the world. In this, they were inspired by Stewart Brand, who had emerged from the psychedelic culture of the 1960s to work with the early Silicon Valley visionaries to promote technology as a form of “computer liberation,” which would free both the minds and the talents of people in a way that drugs had not. In his biography of Steve Jobs, Walter Isaacson describes Brand’s role in the origins of what is today the Maker Movement: Brand ran the Whole Earth Truck Store, which began as a roving truck that sold useful tools and educational materials, and in 1968 he decided to extend its reach with The Whole Earth Catalog.

pages: 202 words: 59,883

Age of Context: Mobile, Sensors, Data and the Future of Privacy by Robert Scoble, Shel Israel


Albert Einstein, Apple II, augmented reality, call centre, Chelsea Manning, cloud computing, connected car, Edward Snowden, Edward Thorp, Elon Musk, factory automation, Filter Bubble, Google Earth, Google Glasses, Internet of things, job automation, John Markoff, Kickstarter, lifelogging, Marc Andreessen, Mars Rover, Menlo Park, Metcalfe’s law, New Urbanism, PageRank, pattern recognition, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Metcalfe, Saturday Night Live, self-driving car, sensor fusion, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart grid, social graph, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Tesla Model S, Tim Cook: Apple, urban planning, Zipcar

Some pointed to a bitter and public divorce between Apple and Google. Steve Jobs had considered Google Android to be a direct rip-off of Apple’s iOS operating system. Could Apple Maps have simply been a crudely devised and poorly executed act of revenge against a powerful former ally? We think not. In our view, Apple made a huge mistake, but it was strategically motivated and not part of a petty Silicon Valley vendetta. Although Google and Apple historically had lots of good reasons to be allies, they were destined to become the rivals they now are. In the past, tech companies were pretty much divided between hardware and software, so an alliance between world leaders in each of the two categories was formidable, to say the least. Apple was clearly the pacesetter in world-changing mobile hardware.

It was hard to use and most of those great innovations just weren’t ready yet. By 1998, the Newton—and most other PDAs—were either dead or irrelevant. The term itself was quietly erased from the marketing vocabularies of those who had so vigorously embraced it. Newton today is remembered as Apple’s most titanic flop. It makes the more recent Maps gaffe seem like a mere speed bump. The device, named for the man who discovered gravity, almost took Apple down. Steve Jobs, of course, returned to Apple, and in less than a decade took it from near-death to become the world’s most valuable company. Arguably, his defining moment was the introduction of the iPhone in 2007. What people barely noticed was that Newton’s core technologies were used in the iPhone, and the device was in fact a greatly refined PDA.

Some years will pass before people look back and try to understand how they ever could have lived without such a device. Scoble tells audiences it’s like seeing the first Apple IIs as they rolled off the assembly line in 1977: They were like nothing people had seen before, but you couldn’t do much with them. Decision makers at HP and Atari weren’t interested in cutting a deal with Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs for rights to market their new computer—the new, highly personalized devices were obviously too radically different to sell in significant quantity. Yet, it turned out a lot of people wanted them and the Apple II kicked off a 20-year explosion of invention and productivity that we now remember as the PC revolution. Google Glass will do the same. How long will it take? We’re not sure.

pages: 237 words: 50,758

Obliquity: Why Our Goals Are Best Achieved Indirectly by John Kay


Andrew Wiles, Asian financial crisis, Berlin Wall, bonus culture, British Empire, business process, Cass Sunstein, computer age, corporate raider, credit crunch, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, discounted cash flows, discovery of penicillin, diversification, Donald Trump, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial innovation, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, invention of the telephone, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, Long Term Capital Management, Louis Pasteur, market fundamentalism, Myron Scholes, Nash equilibrium, pattern recognition, Paul Samuelson, purchasing power parity, RAND corporation, regulatory arbitrage, shareholder value, Simon Singh, Steve Jobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Predators' Ball, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, ultimatum game, urban planning, value at risk

We can pay our agents bonuses and fire them when they fail to meet our targets. That is what Lenin, the modernist architects and the business process reengineers believed. But they were wrong. The Soviet Union collapsed, the Pruitt-Igoe project was demolished and the people who transformed the business world were not the men who employed armies of reengineering consultants. The people who did transform the business world were those, like Google’s Sergey Brin and Apple’s Steve Jobs, who adopted a more oblique approach to business transformation. They chose to invent new businesses rather than reengineer old ones, they adapted and improvised endlessly and they carried employees and customers along with them on a wave of enthusiasm. Direct approaches make a distinction between means and ends that often does not exist in reality. To live life well we surely experience satisfaction and well-being, and a sense of well-being entails moments of pleasure and joy.

Stalin attempted to define artistic merit in terms of socialist realism. The Nazis denounced art that was not directly representational as decadent. The attempt to define the quality of artistic endeavor by predetermined rules had the effect—and the intention—of freezing creative innovation. In consequence, little work of enduring merit emerged.14 What is true of art is also true of other areas of human endeavor. What made Henry Ford or Walt Disney or Steve Jobs great businessmen was that they modified the rules by which their success, and the success of others in their industry, were measured. They changed our appreciation of what is good and bad in personal transport, in children’s entertainment, and in computing. They sold us products we had not imagined. What we mean today by a good means of personal transport is very different from what we would have meant by the same phrase a hundred and fifty years ago, as a result of people who conceived vehicles quite different from those that had already existed.

No one will be buried with the epitaph “He maximized shareholder value,” not just because the objective is an unworthy intermediate goal rather than a high-level objective but because, even with hindsight, no one can tell whether the goal of maximum shareholder value was achieved. If shareholder value was indeed maximized at ICI or Boeing, it was maximized obliquely. The epitaph on men such as Henry Ford, or Bill Allen, or Walt Disney, or Steve Jobs reads instead: “He built a great business, which made money for shareholders, gave rewarding employment and stimulated the development of suppliers and distributors by meeting customers’ needs that they had not known they had before these men developed products to satisfy them.” Approaching high-level objectives in an oblique manner, they achieved many supporting goals. Chapter 9 INTERACTION—Why the Outcome of What We Do Depends on How We Do It The British department store chain Marks & Spencer was long famous for the breadth of its staff welfare program.

pages: 270 words: 75,803

Wall Street Meat by Andy Kessler


accounting loophole / creative accounting, Andy Kessler, automated trading system, banking crisis, Bob Noyce, George Gilder, index fund, Jeff Bezos, market bubble, Menlo Park,, Robert Metcalfe, rolodex, Sand Hill Road, Silicon Valley, Small Order Execution System, Steve Jobs, technology bubble, Y2K

My room had a cold draft that felt like a wind tunnel. First thing the next morning, we were up and at ’em, and off to an analyst meeting for Apple Computer. Arriving a few minutes early, we put our stuff down on seats in the back row of what was a rather small room. Within a few minutes, an entourage from Apple walked in and began mingling in the room. John Sculley, the ex-CEO of Pepsi whom Apple founder Steve Jobs had hired to turn around Apple, came over and talked to Bob and me. “Hi, I’m Bob Cornell and this is Andy Kessler.” I think we chatted about the stock market and Apple’s stock being down as well as IBM’s new PC AT machines. When the meeting started, John Sculley went over Apple’s outlook, their new products and financials. I ate it all up. It came time for Q&A, and there were some silly questions about tax rates, and a softball from an analyst named Michele Preston about software.

Bob shot me a smirk before asking in that deep booming voice out of his small body, “John, can you tell me about the management line-up at Apple?” Sculley looked a little agitated, then launched into a speech 16 Right 51% of the Time about some recent problems and turf wars in the company between various groups, and how he was brought in to run the company. He ended with the bombshell “I’ve got to run this company as I see fit and I need to lead this company and therefore, there is no place in Apple Computer for Steve Jobs.” That brought a hush to the crowd. There were a few more questions about future product direction and licensing the Mac operating system, which John Sculley deflected to Jean-Louis Gassee, who was the head of such things at Apple. Feigning ignorance of their strategy and even the English language, the Frenchman didn’t answer any questions.

The firm’s media bankers (not Frankie) took me in to see Disney, CBS, Paramount, and TimeWarner. Sumner Redstone of Viacom invited me to speak at an offsite seminar meeting for his company down at the Breakers in Florida. I met with Nintendo and Sony and Sharp in Japan. Rupert Murdoch and Barry Diller had read my 154 Something about Mary pieces. John Sculley wanted to meet me and talk about interactive media, so into Apple I went. I don’t think he remembered me from that “no place for Steve Jobs” analyst meeting years ago. Rob Hersov, a media banker in Europe, took me to see all his clients, from Carleton to Pearson to Kirsch. This sure beat the hell out of tracking DRAM memory prices, let alone digging ditches. Frank Quattrone called and told me “We’re not going to make a penny off any of this multimedia bullshit.” “Yeah, maybe,” I said. “Andy, these semiconductor companies are cash-guzzling machines.

pages: 327 words: 88,121

The Vanishing Neighbor: The Transformation of American Community by Marc J. Dunkelman


Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, assortative mating, Berlin Wall, big-box store, blue-collar work, Bretton Woods, Broken windows theory, call centre, clean water, cuban missile crisis, dark matter, David Brooks, delayed gratification, double helix, Downton Abbey, Edward Glaeser, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, George Santayana, Gini coefficient, glass ceiling, global supply chain, global village, helicopter parent, if you build it, they will come, impulse control, income inequality, invention of movable type, Jane Jacobs, John Markoff, Khyber Pass, Louis Pasteur, Marshall McLuhan, Martin Wolf, McMansion, Nate Silver, Nicholas Carr, obamacare, Occupy movement, Peter Thiel, post-industrial society, Richard Florida, rolodex, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs, telemarketer, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the medium is the message, Thomas L Friedman, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, urban decay, urban planning, Walter Mischel, War on Poverty, women in the workforce, World Values Survey, zero-sum game

When we think about the economy, for example, we’re conventionally plied with statistics—potential demographic shifts or changing interest rates—that invariably affect the business cycle. Alternatively, we seek out individual stories—how Steve Jobs managed to lead Apple to the top of the tech heap, for example—and ask how they apply to the broader economy. From these two strategies, we try to develop a more comprehensive understanding of how the economy works. And in some cases that strategy works. But without a sense of what’s happening in the middle, we’re often left without the whole picture. Was Apple’s success the result of Jobs’s legendary understanding of consumer desires or of the fact that Apple’s engineers and marketing departments were so thoroughly integrated into the design process? Did the tech boom emerge in America because the Clinton administration got interest rates under control (a macro-level explanation) or because Bill Gates and Andy Grove were better technologists (a micro-level reason), or was there a more complex alchemy at work?

Man’s knowledge of the changes of the tides and the phases of the moon is as old as his observation that apples fall to earth in the ripeness of time. Yet the combination of these and other equally familiar data in Newton’s theory of gravity changed mankind’s outlook on the world.6 The same process applies to the great inventions of the last few years—even though we may be inclined to give credit to the apparent genius of one person. The iPhone didn’t emerge sui generis out of Steve Jobs’s head. No team at Apple could have invented such a device in 1975, if only because the constituent ideas that merged to place a graphically integrated handheld device into the adjacent possible hadn’t yet been invented. A whole series of individual ideas—mobile phones, graphical interfaces, satellite connectivity—had to be blended and perfected simply to conceive of a phone like the one Apple eventually created.

The need to “be yourself”—frequently uttered interchangeably with “just follow your heart” and “don’t pay attention to what other people think”—has emerged as the preeminent way to endorse what many might term personal authenticity. Americans now celebrate, more than nearly anything else, an individual’s capacity to resist the pressure to put on airs. You might be poor or lonely; you may have lost your job or your marriage. But what’s important is that you not lose yourself. That’s reflected in the personalities who have become our role models: Steve Jobs for steering Apple in its own direction; Paul Farmer for taking the road less traveled in Haiti; Aung San Suu Kyi for standing up to dictators in Burma. Our heroes remain steadfast in what they believe despite overwhelming pressure to change or back down. That’s why the struggle to “be yourself” resonates with television audiences. Amid the tension that develops between reality-show cast members, viewers are eager to see how people from different backgrounds will resolve their disagreements.

pages: 177 words: 54,421

Ego Is the Enemy by Ryan Holiday


activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Airbnb, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Burning Man, delayed gratification, Google Glasses, Jeff Bezos, Lao Tzu, Paul Graham, Ponzi scheme, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, side project, South Sea Bubble, Steve Jobs, Upton Sinclair

Take Steve Jobs. He was 100 percent responsible for his firing from Apple. Due to his later success, Apple’s decision to fire him seems like an example of poor leadership, but he was, at the time, unmanageable. His ego was unequivocally out of control. If you were John Sculley and CEO of Apple, you’d have fired that version of Steve Jobs too—and been right to do so. Now Steve Jobs’s response to his firing was understandable. He cried. He fought. When he lost, he sold all but a single share of his stock in Apple and swore never to think of the place again. But then he started a new company and threw his whole life into it. He tried to learn as best he could from the management mistakes at the root of his first failure. He started another company after that too, called Pixar. Steve Jobs, the famous egomaniac who parked in handicap parking spaces just because he could, responded in this critical moment in a surprising way.

And how quickly it accumulates and becomes utterly unmanageable. A few days after being fired by the American Apparel board of directors, Dov Charney called me at 3 A.M. He was alternately despondent and angry—genuinely believing himself to be totally blameless for his situation. I asked him, “Dov, what are you going to do? Are you going to pull a Steve Jobs and start a new company? Are you going to make a comeback?” He got quiet and said to me with an earnestness I could feel through the phone and in my bones, “Ryan, Steve Jobs died.” To him, in this addled state, this failure, this blow was somehow the same as death. That was one of the last times we ever spoke. I watched with horror in the months that followed as he wreaked havoc on the company he had put everything into building. It was a sad moment and one that has stayed with me.

It was their sense of reality and awareness—one that the author and strategist Robert Greene once said we must take to like a spider in its web—that was at the core of their great art, great writing, great design, great business, great marketing, and great leadership. What we find when we study these individuals is that they were grounded, circumspect, and unflinchingly real. Not that any of them were wholly without ego. But they knew how to suppress it, channel it, subsume it when it counted. They were great yet humble. Wait, but so-and-so had a huge ego and was successful. But what about Steve Jobs? What about Kanye West? We can seek to rationalize the worst behavior by pointing to outliers. But no one is truly successful because they are delusional, self-absorbed, or disconnected. Even if these traits are correlated or associated with certain well-known individuals, so are a few others: addiction, abuse (of themselves and others), depression, mania. In fact, what we see when we study these people is that they did their best work in the moments when they fought back against these impulses, disorders, and flaws.

pages: 391 words: 97,018

Better, Stronger, Faster: The Myth of American Decline . . . And the Rise of a New Economy by Daniel Gross


2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, asset-backed security, Bakken shale, banking crisis, BRICs, British Empire, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, Carmen Reinhart, clean water, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, creative destruction, credit crunch, currency manipulation / currency intervention, demand response, Donald Trump, Frederick Winslow Taylor, high net worth, housing crisis, hydraulic fracturing, If something cannot go on forever, it will stop - Herbert Stein's Law, illegal immigration, index fund, intangible asset, intermodal, inventory management, Kenneth Rogoff, labor-force participation, LNG terminal, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, Maui Hawaii, McMansion, money market fund, mortgage debt, Network effects, new economy, obamacare, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, Plutocrats, plutocrats, price stability, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, reserve currency, reshoring, Richard Florida, rising living standards, risk tolerance, risk/return, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, Skype, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Jobs, superstar cities, the High Line, transit-oriented development, Wall-E, Yogi Berra, zero-sum game, Zipcar

And unlike earlier titans such as Ford and IBM, the new champions simply don’t employ that many people. In late 2011 Apple had 60,400 direct employees, Google had 31,353 employees around the world, and Facebook had a mere 3,000. Even Apple, a manufacturing company, hasn’t done all that much to promote employment growth. As Timothy Noah wrote in the New Republic after the death of Steve Jobs, “His surname to the contrary, he did not create a lot of American jobs.” Noah cited data from the University of California Irvine Personal Computing Industry Center, which showed “the number of people worldwide involved in making and selling Apple’s iPod (which includes Apple employees and non-Apple employees) totaled a mere 41,170. Of those, only 13,920 were employed within the United States.” The idea that massive value can be created for owners and investors without creating significant wages for workers helps contribute to the widespread pessimism.1 This line of reasoning is 90 percent right and 100 percent wrong.

The beauty of the Internet, from an economic perspective, is not that it created jobs for those who built it, but that it functions as a powerful platform on which all sorts of new businesses, and ways of doing business, can be rolled out. A lot of the value of these companies derives from what they allow other consumers and businesses to do. Apple’s well-told story—the comeback of Steve Jobs, the iMac, and then the iterations of the iPod, the iPhone, and the iPad—is perhaps the best ever case study in corporate turnaround and reinvention. The ability to create new economic ecosystems lies at the root of the tale. Apple launched the iTunes Store in April 2003 with a single product: songs selling for 99 cents. In seven years the iTunes ecosystem has evolved into a business far larger than the 10 billion songs that have been downloaded and has extended to audiobooks, movies, ringtones, apps, and e-books.

Data on Airbnb’s growth, size, and fundraising was taken from press release at the company’s media site: Chapter 13. Supersize Nation: Scale, Scope, and Systems 1. Data on the number of Apple, Google, and Facebook employees come from the companies’ SEC filings. See also Greg Linden, Jason Dedrick, and Kenneth L. Kraemer, “Innovation and Job Creation in a Global Economy: The Case of Apple’s iPod,” JobCreationiPod.pdf. Timothy Noah’s comments can be seen at 2. Data on’s revenues can be seen at; information on LivingSocial and HomeAway’s expansion can be found at the companies’ websites; Lynn Cowan, “HomeAway IPO Opens at 34% after Pricing Well,” Wall Street Journal, June 29, 2011, 3.

pages: 394 words: 118,929

Dreaming in Code: Two Dozen Programmers, Three Years, 4,732 Bugs, and One Quest for Transcendent Software by Scott Rosenberg


A Pattern Language, Benevolent Dictator For Life (BDFL), Berlin Wall,, call centre, collaborative editing, conceptual framework, continuous integration, Donald Knuth, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Hofstadter, Dynabook,, Firefox, Ford paid five dollars a day, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, George Santayana, Grace Hopper, Guido van Rossum, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Howard Rheingold, index card, Internet Archive, inventory management, Jaron Lanier, John Markoff, John von Neumann, knowledge worker, Larry Wall, life extension, Loma Prieta earthquake, Menlo Park, Merlin Mann, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Norbert Wiener, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, Potemkin village, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Stallman, Ronald Reagan, Ruby on Rails, semantic web, side project, Silicon Valley, Singularitarianism, slashdot, software studies, source of truth, South of Market, San Francisco, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, Therac-25, thinkpad, Turing test, VA Linux, Vannevar Bush, Vernor Vinge, web application, Whole Earth Catalog, Y2K

Totic and Montulli joined OSAF as volunteers around the same time that Kapor began to hire for other jobs, filling out the organization’s roster as it moved into the spotlight. The team was heavy with Apple alumni, who perhaps found in Kapor’s vision an echo of Steve Jobs’s change-the-world fervor. Taking on the job of Chandler’s product manager was Chi-Chao Lam, a veteran but still boyish Silicon Valley entrepreneur who had worked at Kaleida Labs, the ill-fated mid-1990s joint venture between IBM and Apple, then founded a pioneering Web-based advertising network. Pieter Hartsook, a longtime Macintosh trade journalist and industry analyst, signed on to handle OSAF’s marketing and PR. And two more programmers joined the coding crew: Jed Burgess, a recent Stanford computer science graduate, would work closely with John Anderson on the GUI. David McCusker, a programmer who had done stints at Apple and Netscape, was hired to work on Chandler’s approach to storing data.

OSAF certainly benefited from this timing: It was a bright light on a dark plain, and it beckoned to programmers looking for projects. Mitch Kapor had always figured that the organization would depend on both paid employees and altruistic volunteers, and in Andy Hertzfeld it already had one high-profile example of the latter. The flurry of OSAF news coverage that followed Gillmor’s column filled Kapor’s inbox with encouragement and offers of help. Steve Jobs called Kapor—it was the two men’s first conversation in a decade—inviting the OSAF team down to Apple to talk about how they might collaborate. Kapor took special note when Lou Montulli’s name turned up in the signature of an email to OSAF’s just-opened “dev” mailing list—a message suggesting that OSAF look again at Mozilla’s toolkit for building its user interface. Montulli and his pal Aleks Totic had seen the Slashdot article about OSAF; soon after, they got in touch with Kapor to talk about volunteering on Chandler.

David Surovell, an Apple veteran, would work on improving aspects of wxWidgets for Chandler, particularly on the Mac side. And Lisa Dusseault, a leader in the world of open source calendar standards, would share managing the growing crew of programmers with Katie Parlante. The number of meetings at which Kapor’s presence was required grew, and his audible exhalations at those meetings grew louder and more frequent. He would make a “T” for “time-out” sign with his hands. “Sorry. I’m experiencing buffer overflow,” he would confess, and every geek in the room understood what he meant: There’s more coming at me than I can handle. He wasn’t the sort of boss to lose his temper; that set him apart from most other tech industry titans (Bill Gates’s tantrums are the stuff of legend, and so are Steve Jobs’s). In my three years at OSAF, I heard him raise his voice only a handful of times, always followed by a swift apology.

pages: 315 words: 93,522

How Music Got Free: The End of an Industry, the Turn of the Century, and the Patient Zero of Piracy by Stephen Witt


4chan, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, big-box store, cloud computing, collaborative economy, crowdsourcing, game design, Internet Archive, invention of movable type, inventory management, iterative process, Jason Scott:, job automation, late fees, mental accounting, moral panic, packet switching, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, pirate software, Ronald Reagan, security theater, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, software patent, Steve Jobs, zero day

Although the group behind Ogg denied infringing on Brandenburg’s patents, with a few careful words Fraunhofer made their feelings known to the device manufacturers, and the format sunk into obscurity. The second was Apple. Like Brandenburg, Steve Jobs disapproved of file-sharing, and was seeking to create a legal paid alternative. He was building a music application called iTunes, whose calm, white interface and slick, expensive iconography promised to cleanse the world of sin. The design flaws of Winamp would be swept away, the file-sharers of Napster would be given moral instruction in the virtues of paid distribution, and—Apple’s representatives were insistent on this point—the mp3 format would be abandoned. Jobs wanted everyone to use AAC. In discussions, he correctly made the point that AAC was a second-generation technology, one designed by Brandenburg himself to replace a format that was inefficient, compromised, and obsolete. In fact, Apple pushed so aggressively for AAC that many users wrongly came to believe that the company had invented it, a misconception that would persist for years.

Soon, Vice Chairman Edgar Bronfman, Jr., was out as well. The brain trust was replaced by Jean-Bernard Lévy, a respected, sober-minded businessman tasked with stopping the bleeding. Needing an immediate influx of cash, Lévy organized the sale of Vivendi’s water utility and environmental engineering assets, and began looking for other things of value to sell. Word got around. In 2003, Apple CEO Steve Jobs made an unsolicited bid to take Universal off of Vivendi’s hands. He wanted their back catalog. He wanted his own music label. Most of all he wanted Morris. Morris was interested, but the decision wasn’t his to make. Vivendi rebuffed the offer. Even with their creditors demanding liquidity, and even with music industry revenues beginning to decline sharply, they saw UMG and Morris as key, irreplaceable assets.

His decade at Vivendi had been tumultuous, perhaps from some perspectives even catastrophic, but he could say this much: in ten years of declining revenues and massive layoffs and economic upheaval, not once had Universal ever had a losing year. In fact, Morris’ aggregate return on invested capital during the first decade of the 2000s was splendid, and when you added it all up, B still looked a lot better than A. No one at the other major labels could say the same. Perhaps it was for this reason that, as word began to spread of his upcoming force-out, Steve Jobs began to call more frequently. Soon there was an offer on the table. Leave Vivendi, said Jobs. Come to Apple. We’ll start our own iTunes imprint. We’ll go after artists aggressively, and you’ll run the greatest music label the world has ever seen. Jobs was looking to rewrite the economics of the business from a blank slate. Historically, recording industry deals were determined by major labels bidding against one another for the right to represent the artists.

Simple and Usable Web, Mobile, and Interaction Design by Giles Colborne

call centre, Firefox, HyperCard, Menlo Park, slashdot, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy

But the really great person will keep on going and find the key, the underlying principle of the problem—and come up with an elegant, really beautiful solution that works.” —Steve Jobs (quoted in Insanely Great: The Life and Times of Macintosh, the Computer that Changed Everything by Steven Levy) As Luke Wroblewski, former Chief Design Architect at Yahoo!, says, ”Your first design may seem like a solution, but it is usually just an early definition of the problem you are trying to solve.” In my experience, roughly the first third of any project is spent trying to figure out what’s really important. It’s a nerve-wracking time, as complexity seems to spiral and there’s no solution in sight. Sticking with it is the first and most important step in achieving simplicity. Don’t rush into design. Understanding what’s core takes time. vision Download from . —Steve Jobs Download from Share it In 2002, Alan Colville was a product manager at Telewest, a British cable TV company.

I just try to explain the main features at the same level of detail. If I can summarize the main points without leaving out important details, then I know I’ve made it complete. For the Flip camera, the description is ”take and share video.” For a newspaper home page, it’s ”a summary of the most important events right now.” Even a complicated device like the iPhone can be described by its core components: Steve Jobs introduced it as ”a widescreen iPod…, a revolutionary mobile phone, and a breakthrough Internet communications device.” When I’ve done that, I make sure I set some constraints on the actions to focus me on making them as simple as possible. So for the Flip, that would be ”take video instantly and share it effortlessly.” It normally takes a few iterations to get it right, but it always pays off because it helps me focus on what’s important.

emove Download from Download from Removing too much In the Apple Store in Tokyo you’ll find a remarkable glass elevator, finished in Apple’s trademark brushed aluminum. What makes this elevator unlike almost any other in the world is that there are no buttons: none to call the elevator, and none inside. The lift shuttles between the four floors of the store, stopping at each one it passes. Apple has reduced the elevator to its core: a platform for taking people between levels. But instead of feeling simple, it feels wrong. The elevator leaves you feeling unsettled, frustrated, and anxious. Will it stop at the floor I want? Why is it stopping when no one is getting on or off? Apple has removed a crucial ingredient: control. Without the sense of control (calling and directing the elevator) or the sense that a visible person is in control (the guy in front who just pushed a button for your floor) and the feedback that it’s working (the button that illuminates when you push it), all you can do is hand yourself over to the machine and hope.

pages: 274 words: 75,846

The Filter Bubble: What the Internet Is Hiding From You by Eli Pariser


A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, A Pattern Language, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, back-to-the-land, Black Swan, borderless world, Build a better mousetrap, Cass Sunstein, citizen journalism, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, data acquisition, disintermediation, don't be evil, Filter Bubble, Flash crash, fundamental attribution error, global village, Haight Ashbury, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, megacity, Metcalfe’s law, Netflix Prize, new economy, PageRank, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, recommendation engine, RFID, Robert Metcalfe, sentiment analysis, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, social graph, social software, social web, speech recognition, Startup school, statistical model, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, the scientific method, urban planning, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, Y Combinator

Each person who visited saw a different set of links in the box—the Washington Post links their friends had shared on Facebook. The Post was letting Facebook edit its most valuable online asset: its front page. The New York Times soon followed suit. The new feature was one piece of a much bigger rollout, which Facebook called “Facebook Everywhere” and announced at its annual conference, f8 (“fate”). Ever since Steve Jobs sold the Apple by calling it “insanely great,” a measure of grandiosity has been part of the Silicon Valley tradition. But when Zuckerberg walked onto the stage on April 21, 2010, his words seemed plausible. “This is the most transformative thing we’ve ever done for the web,” he announced. The aim of Facebook Everywhere was simple: make the whole Web “social” and bring Facebook-style personalization to millions of sites that currently lack it.

Google Reader, another product from Google that helps people manage streams of posts from blogs, now has a feature called Sort by Magic, which does precisely this. This leads to the final way in which the future of media is likely to be different than we expected. Since its early days, Internet evangelists have argued that it was an inherently active medium. “We think basically you watch television to turn your brain off, and you work on your computer when you want to turn your brain on,” Apple founder Steve Jobs told Macworld in 2004. Among techies, these two paradigms came to be known as push technology and pull technology. A Web browser is an example of pull technology: You put in an address, and your computer pulls information from that server. Television and the mail, on the other hand, are push technologies: The information shows up on the tube or at your doorstop without any action on your end.

It’s less like surfing the Web and more like watching TV—a personalized experience that lets the user do less and less. Like the music service Pandora, LeanBack viewers can easily skip videos and give the viewer feedback for picking the next videos—thumbs up for this one, thumbs down for these three. LeanBack would learn. Over time, the vision is for LeanBack to be like your own personal TV channel, stringing together content you’re interested in while requiring less and less engagement from you. Steve Jobs’s proclamation that computers are for turning your brain on may have been a bit too optimistic. In reality, as personalized filtering gets better and better, the amount of energy we’ll have to devote to choosing what we’d like to see will continue to decrease. And while personalization is changing our experience of news, it’s also changing the economics that determine what stories get produced.

pages: 602 words: 177,874

Thank You for Being Late: An Optimist's Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations by Thomas L. Friedman


3D printing, additive manufacturing, affirmative action, Airbnb, AltaVista, Amazon Web Services, autonomous vehicles, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, Bob Noyce, business process, call centre, centre right, Chris Wanstrath, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, demand response, demographic dividend, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, Erik Brynjolfsson, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Ferguson, Missouri, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, Flash crash, game design, gig economy, global supply chain, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, indoor plumbing, intangible asset, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, invention of the steam engine, inventory management, Irwin Jacobs: Qualcomm, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, land tenure, linear programming, Live Aid, low skilled workers, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, Maui Hawaii, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, pattern recognition, planetary scale, pull request, Ralph Waldo Emerson, ransomware, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, South China Sea, Steve Jobs, supercomputer in your pocket, TaskRabbit, Thomas L Friedman, transaction costs, Transnistria, urban decay, urban planning, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce, Y2K, Yogi Berra, zero-sum game

The idea was to try to create a device that combined the Palm Pilot—at that time basically a combination calendar, Filofax, address book, and day planner, with note-taking capabilities and a wireless Web-based text browser—with a 3G cell phone. That way when you called up a phone number in the Palm Pilot address book, you could just click on it and the cell phone would dial it. And with the same device you could surf the Internet. Jacobs approached Apple to see if they were interested in partnering with Qualcomm on this, using the Apple Newton, their Palm competitor. But Apple—this was just before Steve Jobs came back—turned them down and eventually killed the Newton. So Jacobs went to Palm and together they ended up making the first “smartphone”—the Qualcomm pdQ 1900—in 1998. It was the first phone designed not just to relay text messages, but to combine digital wireless mobile broadband connectivity to the Internet with a touchscreen and an open operating system that eventually ran downloadable apps.

But Jacobs is quick to add that they were ahead of their time—and behind it. The early device they created was rather clunky: it had none of the easy user interfaces and beautiful design that Steve Jobs’s Apple iPhone would eventually offer in 2007, and it came out before there was the Internet bandwidth to do many things. So Qualcomm went back to concentrating on making everything inside the smartphone. Qualcomm gets its improvements by using software and hardware techniques to more densely pack and compress bits, and Jacobs believes it can improve further—maybe another thousandfold—before it reaches its limit. Most people think that they can watch Game of Thrones on their cell phone because Apple came out with a better phone. No, Apple gave you a larger screen and better display, but the reason it is not buffering is because Qualcomm and AT&T and others invested billions of dollars in making the wireless network and phones more efficient.

Otherwise, everyone who bought an iPhone was going to start experiencing dropped calls. AT&T’s reputation was on the line—and Jobs would not have been a happy camper if his beautiful phone kept dropping calls. To handle the problem, Stephenson turned to his chief of strategy, John Donovan, and Donovan enlisted Krish Prabhu, now president of AT&T Labs. Donovan picks up the story: “It’s 2006, and Apple is negotiating the service contracts for the iPhone. No one had even seen one. We decided to bet on Steve Jobs. When the phone first came out [in 2007] it had only Apple apps, and it was on a 2G network. So it had a very small straw, but it worked because people only wanted to do a few apps that came with the phone.” But then Jobs decided to open up the iPhone, as the venture capitalist John Doerr had suggested, to app developers everywhere. Hello, AT&T! Can you hear me now? “In 2008 and 2009, as the app store came on stream, the demand for data and voice just exploded—and we had the exclusive contract” to provide the bandwidth, said Donovan, “and no one anticipated the scale.

pages: 347 words: 97,721

Only Humans Need Apply: Winners and Losers in the Age of Smart Machines by Thomas H. Davenport, Julia Kirby


AI winter, Andy Kessler, artificial general intelligence, asset allocation, Automated Insights, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, business intelligence, business process, call centre, carbon-based life, Clayton Christensen, clockwork universe, commoditize, conceptual framework, dark matter, David Brooks, deliberate practice, deskilling, digital map, Douglas Engelbart, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, estate planning, fixed income, follow your passion, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, Freestyle chess, game design, general-purpose programming language, Google Glasses, Hans Lippershey, haute cuisine, income inequality, index fund, industrial robot, information retrieval, intermodal, Internet of things, inventory management, Isaac Newton, job automation, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Khan Academy, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, lifelogging, loss aversion, Mark Zuckerberg, Narrative Science, natural language processing, Norbert Wiener, nuclear winter, pattern recognition, performance metric, Peter Thiel, precariat, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, risk tolerance, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Rodney Brooks, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Skype, speech recognition, spinning jenny, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, strong AI, superintelligent machines, supply-chain management, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Works Progress Administration, Zipcar

He notes, “The doctor must be particularly alert for the famous ‘last minute’ of an appointment when the patient, on his way out the door, looks over his shoulder and says ‘By the way, my wife says I should tell you about this pain I have in my stomach.’”6 Levy’s MIT colleagues Erik Brynjolfsson and Andy McAfee agree with pattern recognition and complex communication as uniquely human traits, and they add a third: ideation. “Scientists come up with new hypotheses,” they write. “Chefs add a new dish to the menu. Engineers on a factory floor figure out why a machine is no longer working properly. Steve Jobs and his colleagues at Apple figure out what kind of tablet computer we actually want. Many of these activities are supported and accelerated by computers, but none are driven by them.” There is a common thread in all these thinkers’ categories, and it has everything to do with the codification mentioned earlier. The moment a realm of intellectual activity is codifiable, it ceases to be uniquely human. The human strengths they point to all involve tacit knowledge and judgment calls that can’t be specified in an algorithm—at least, not yet.

Augmentation means starting with what minds and machines do individually today and figuring out how that work could be deepened rather than diminished by a collaboration between the two. The intent is never to have less work for those expensive, high-maintenance humans. It is always to allow them to do more valuable work. Wheels for the Mind We are not the first to think that machines should be designed and built to make people more capable, not to make them redundant. For example, when he was a young man, Steve Jobs shared some of the philosophy behind his work at Apple, starting with the observation that what “really separates us from the high primates is that we’re tool builders.” Jobs had seen a study that compared various species in terms of their efficiency of locomotion; it showed, for example, that the condor used the least energy to move a kilometer. Humans, about a third of the way down the ranking, weren’t nearly so impressive.

Personal shoppers, who help people too busy or fashion-challenged to pull together their own outfits, can earn upwards of $300,000 a year. Meanwhile, employment of interior designers is projected (by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics) to expand by 19 percent from 2008 to 2018, faster than most other jobs. Before we leave the subject of taste, we shouldn’t neglect to mention Steve Jobs again. It might strike you as odd that, in a book about the encroachment of computers into knowledge work, the name of Apple’s iconic founder would come up in the chapter devoted to stepping aside. But note that whenever Jobs’s genius is mentioned, the emphasis is on his sensibilities—his taste. No one denies he had strong technical knowledge, but according to his cofounder, Steve Wozniak, “Steve didn’t ever code. He wasn’t an engineer and he didn’t do any original design, but he was technical enough to alter and change and add to other designs.”4 As an undergrad at Reed College, Jobs studied physics, but also literature, poetry, and calligraphy.

pages: 295 words: 89,280

The Narcissist Next Door by Jeffrey Kluger


Albert Einstein, always be closing, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, Bernie Madoff, Columbine, delayed gratification, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, impulse control, Jony Ive, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Nader, Ronald Reagan, Schrödinger's Cat, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, the scientific method, theory of mind, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, Walter Mischel, zero-sum game

Still, there’s a subtler, more pervasive kind of institutional narcissism that creeps into the members of the company itself, and that can, over time, lead not just to arrogance but to the collapse or at least corrosion of the very qualities the group celebrates in itself. Steve Jobs was famous for his lack of concern for what consumers were thinking at the same time he was making them products they couldn’t resist. “A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them,” the late Apple chief said. Some of that was true: A decade ago you probably couldn’t have envisioned the iPad, but once you saw one you’d practically kill to own it. But that same institutional arrogance led Jobs and Apple to make we-know-better choices that hurt them in the long run: sealing the iPhone and iPod case so that batteries couldn’t be replaced, requiring customers to use AT&T exclusively in the first few years of the iPhone’s release, force-feeding users the much-reviled first version of the Apple Maps app and deleting Google’s far better one when they upgraded.

the ostensible people-person once screamed at a subcontractor who had disappointed him, according to Walter Isaacson’s bestselling book Steve Jobs. “You guys don’t know what you’re doing.” “Your commercials suck,” he told one of his iPad ad directors flatly. “The iPad is revolutionizing the world, and we need something big. You’ve given me small shit.” “Shit,” actually, was a go-to word for Jobs: “This is shit!” he declared loudly, storming into the cubicle of someone who worked on the staff of one of his chief designers. “You’ve baked a really lovely cake, but then you’ve used dog shit for frosting” was how he critiqued the work of one of his employees at NeXT, the computer company he founded during his decade away from Apple. “Everything you’ve done in your life is shit, so why don’t you come work for me?” was his come-hither pitch to a Xerox designer he was recruiting.

But it was the race to be first—to be the man who would be celebrated for beating the disease—that helped impel their work. Dwight Eisenhower led the Allies to victory during World War II, and for that he was rightly celebrated. But if you don’t think he quietly enjoyed wearing an explosively beribboned uniform and a title like Supreme Allied Commander, you don’t know much about human nature. It is the same confidence—sometimes arrogance—that has allowed inventors and industrialists like Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and Elon Musk to press on in improbable ventures against extraordinary odds and create things that improve the world in big and meaningful ways, even if they make few friends doing it. Still, the heroic narcissist, the ingenious narcissist, the courageous narcissist are not the most common breeds. It’s the everyday, self-obsessed, pay-attention-to-me narcissist who is. Almost anywhere you look in your world, you have an ever bigger chance of finding one of them: in your office, in your social circle, in your arms—in yourself.

pages: 326 words: 103,170

The Seventh Sense: Power, Fortune, and Survival in the Age of Networks by Joshua Cooper Ramo


Airbnb, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, British Empire, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, defense in depth, Deng Xiaoping, drone strike, Edward Snowden, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Firefox, Google Chrome, income inequality, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, job automation, market bubble, Menlo Park, Metcalfe’s law, natural language processing, Network effects, Norbert Wiener, Oculus Rift, packet switching, Paul Graham, price stability, quantitative easing, RAND corporation, recommendation engine, Republic of Letters, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, road to serfdom, Robert Metcalfe, Sand Hill Road, secular stagnation, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, social web, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, Stuxnet, superintelligent machines, technological singularity, The Coming Technological Singularity, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, Vernor Vinge, zero day

You might ask: What drew tens of millions of people to watch as Steve Jobs, live, unveiled some new Apple device? Of course, partly it was the cool technology, the warm charisma of the man. But something else was at work, I think. What Jobs was unveiling atop those black stages over the years as we waited for him was nothing less than whole new worlds, connected landscapes that emerged entirely from ideas Apple was secretly developing. He wasn’t merely introducing a phone; he was changing how we were going to experience life. “Every once in a while, a revolutionary product comes along that changes everything,” Jobs began in his famous speech introducing the first iPhone, in 2007. “In 1984 we introduced the Macintosh. It didn’t just change Apple. It changed the whole computer industry. In 2001 we introduced the first iPod.

“Language,” Boole wrote, “is an instrument of human reason, and not merely a medium for the expression of thought.” Hillis has a magnetic intellectual charisma, as you may have guessed by now. An afternoon with him resembles nothing so much as lingering in a mental theme park: roller coasters of big ideas (a ten-thousand-year clock!) mixed with smaller, sugary treats (how to design a better fence post). No wonder he fit in at Disney. Critics accused Steve Jobs of having a “reality distortion field” in which the Apple founder’s charisma bludgeoned the boundaries of the practical. Hillis, by contrast, has a sort of “reality enhancement field” in which much of the world as seen through his eyes is filled with possibility. From an early age, Hillis had been interested in the dream of a thinking robot. Maybe it was that the constant uprooting of his childhood left him with a giddy sense that it was easier to assemble your own friends than to try to meet them at each new stop.

Tricking the phone and hearing the system’s clicks gave a sense of secret access, a feeling of control in the largest network on earth. At one point, a phreaker named John Draper figured out that the little plastic whistles stuffed as children’s toys inside boxes of sugary Cap’n Crunch cereal produced the 2,600-hertz tone nearly perfectly. The hack made him a legend, and he became known, inevitably, as Cap’n Crunch. An article about Draper in Esquire in 1971 had inspired two teenagers named Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak to start their first company in order to build and sell little blue phreaking boxes. Woz later recalled nervously meeting the Cap’n one day in California. He was a strange, slightly smelly, and extremely intense nomadic engineer. “I do it for one reason and one reason only,” the Cap’n huffed to the writer of that Esquire article, who was a bit baffled as to why a grown man would find whistling into phones so appealing.

pages: 271 words: 77,448

Humans Are Underrated: What High Achievers Know That Brilliant Machines Never Will by Geoff Colvin


Ada Lovelace, autonomous vehicles, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Black Swan, call centre, capital asset pricing model, commoditize, computer age, corporate governance, creative destruction, deskilling,, Freestyle chess, future of work, Google Glasses, Grace Hopper, industrial cluster, industrial robot, interchangeable parts, job automation, knowledge worker, low skilled workers, Marc Andreessen, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Narrative Science, new economy, rising living standards, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, theory of mind, Tim Cook: Apple, transaction costs

Exhibit A was Apple’s top team under Steve Jobs. The conventional view of Apple’s success is that it derived from Jobs’s genius and dictatorial management, but Jobs knew that wasn’t nearly enough. He worked extraordinarily hard to assemble and keep a highly effective top team, which is an extremely difficult feat in a successful company. As the company prospers, other firms try to lure away its executives, usually with higher-level, higher-paying, more highly visible roles, and the temptation can be overwhelming. Nonetheless, by the time Jobs stepped down as CEO in August 2011, the six-executive inner circle he had assembled had been working as a team for thirteen years, meeting together for hours every week. This is virtually unheard of and appears to be unique among companies of Apple’s size and success.

It may seem ironic that few people have ever understood that fact better than one of the greatest digital geniuses, Steve Jobs. “Despite being a denizen of the digital world, or maybe because he knew all too well its isolating potential, Jobs was a strong believer in face-to-face meetings,” reports Walter Isaacson in his Jobs biography. He quotes Jobs: “‘There’s a temptation in our networked age to think that ideas can be developed by e-mail and iChat. That’s crazy. Creativity comes from spontaneous meetings, from random discussions. You run into someone, you ask what they’re doing, you say ‘Wow,’ and soon you’re cooking up all sorts of ideas.’” It all has to happen in person. That’s why Jobs famously designed the Pixar headquarters the way he did. Pixar is the animation studio that Jobs initially funded and eventually ran in the years before he returned to Apple and for several years thereafter.

Yet in the emerging world of work, the abilities that the humanities nurture are precisely those that the economy will increasingly value. It isn’t just because an appreciation of the humanities will help technologists create better, friendlier, more appealing technology, though that is emphatically true. It was one of Steve Jobs’s favorite themes—that his education at Reed College, a rigorous liberal arts school in Portland, Oregon, led directly to the superior look, feel, and experience of Apple products. He named his son Reed. But now we see also how the humanities bestow another advantage. Far more than engineering or computer science, the humanities strengthen the deep human abilities that will be critical to the success of most people, regardless of whether they work directly in technology. Consultants Christian Madsbjerg and Mikkel B.

pages: 598 words: 183,531

Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution - 25th Anniversary Edition by Steven Levy


air freight, Apple II, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, Buckminster Fuller, Byte Shop, computer age, computer vision, corporate governance, Donald Knuth, El Camino Real, game design, Hacker Ethic, hacker house, Haight Ashbury, John Conway, John Markoff, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, non-fiction novel, Norman Mailer, Paul Graham, popular electronics, RAND corporation, reversible computing, Richard Stallman, Silicon Valley, software patent, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, Whole Earth Catalog, Y Combinator

Wozniak was thrilled: “I didn’t think somebody else could come up and show me—‘Look!’—and get excited and show other people and say, ‘Look, this is easy, you just put this command in and you do this.’” Here was this high school kid, running programs on this little computer Wozniak had built. Steve Jobs’ reaction was more pragmatic—he hired Chris Espinosa as one of the company’s first employees. Like the other teen-age software specialist, Randy Wigginton, he would earn three dollars an hour. Steve Jobs was concentrating full-time on building up the Apple company to get ready to deliver the Apple II the following year and make a big splash in the marketplace. Jobs was a brilliant talker who, according to Alan Baum, “worked his tail off . . . he told me about the prices he was getting for parts, and they were favorable to the prices HP was paying.”

Woz and his friends were preparing a different kind of computer than the previous bestsellers, the Altair, Sol, and IMSAI. Steve Jobs and Mike Markkula felt that the Apple’s market went well beyond hobbyists, and to make the machine look friendlier. Jobs hired an industrial designer to construct a sleek, low-profile plastic case in a warm beige earth color. He made sure that Woz’s layout would be appealing once the lid of the case was lifted. The Apple bus, like the S-100 bus, was capable of accepting extra circuit boards to make it do interesting things, but Woz had taken some advice from his friend Alan Baum and made it so that the eight “expansion slots” inside the Apple were especially easy for manufacturers to make compatible circuit boards for. They would be helped, of course, by the “open” architecture of the machine; true to the Hacker Ethic, Woz made sure the Apple had no secrets to prevent people from creating on it.

I didn’t want to leave, and I said no.” Steve Jobs heard the decision, and called Wozniak’s friends and relatives, begging them to persuade Woz to quit HP and work for Apple full-time. Some of them did, and as Woz heard the arguments he reconsidered. Why not work to let the Apple II go out into the world? But even as he agreed to quit HP and work with Jobs full-time, he told himself that what he was doing was no longer pure hacking. The truth was that starting a company had nothing to do with hacking or creative design. It was about making money. It was “stepping over the boundary,” as Wozniak later put it. Not in any kind of rip-off—Wozniak believed in his computer and had confidence in the team that would produce and sell it—but “there’s no way I would associate Apple with doing good computer design in my head.

pages: 184 words: 53,625

Future Perfect: The Case for Progress in a Networked Age by Steven Johnson


Airbus A320, airport security, algorithmic trading, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, call centre, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, Cass Sunstein, cognitive dissonance, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, dark matter, Dava Sobel, David Brooks, Donald Davies, future of journalism, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, HyperCard, Jane Jacobs, John Gruber, John Harrison: Longitude, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, lone genius, Mark Zuckerberg, mega-rich, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Naomi Klein, Nate Silver, Occupy movement, packet switching, peer-to-peer, Peter Thiel, planetary scale, pre–internet, RAND corporation, risk tolerance, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, social graph, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Tim Cook: Apple, urban planning, US Airways Flight 1549, WikiLeaks, William Langewiesche, working poor, X Prize, your tax dollars at work

Tech critics such as Scott Rosenberg and Andrew Leonard at Salon wrote tens of thousands of words on the latest developments at Apple. (I wrote a few thousand myself at the online magazine I had founded, FEED.) Sometime around then, Apple launched its first official website; now I could get breaking news about the company directly from the source, the second they announced it. If my nineteen-year-old self could time-travel to the present day, he would no doubt be amazed by all the Apple technology—the iPhones and MacBook Airs—but I think he would be just as amazed by the sheer volume and diversity of the information about Apple available now. In the old days, it might have taken months for details from a John Sculley keynote to make it to the College Hill Bookstore; now the lag is seconds, with dozens of people live-blogging every passing phrase from a Steve Jobs or Tim Cook speech. There are 8,000-word dissections of each new release of OS X at the technological site Ars Technica, written with attention to detail and technical sophistication that far exceed anything a traditional newspaper would ever attempt.

I made my monthly pilgrimages to College Hill because I was interested in the Mac, which was, it should be said, a niche interest in 1987, though not that much of a niche. Apple was one of the world’s largest creators of personal computers, and by far the most innovative. But if you wanted to find out news about the Mac—new machines from Apple, the latest word on the upcoming System 7 or HyperCard, or any new releases from the thousands of software developers or peripheral manufacturers—if you wanted to keep up with any of this, there was just about one channel available to you, as a college student in Providence, Rhode Island. You read Macworld. Even then, even if you staked out the College Hill Bookstore, waiting for issues hot off the press, you were still getting the news a month or two late, given the long lead times of a print magazine back then. Yes, if Apple had a major product announcement, or fired Steve Jobs, it would make it into The New York Times or The Wall Street Journal the next day.

And as far as corporations go, Facebook is astonishingly top-heavy: the S-1 revealed that Zuckerberg personally controls 57 percent of Facebook’s voting stock, giving him control over the company’s destiny that far exceeds anything Bill Gates or Steve Jobs ever had. The cognitive dissonance could drown out a Sonic Youth concert: Facebook believes in peer-to-peer networks for the world, but within its own walls, the company prefers top-down control centralized in a charismatic leader. If Facebook is any indication, it would seem that top-down control is a habit that will be hard to shake. From Henry Ford to Jack Welch to Steve Jobs to Zuckerberg himself, we have long associated corporate success with visionary and inspiring executives. But the empirical track record of the conscious capitalists and employee-owned businesses suggests that we might have been focusing on the wrong elements all along.

pages: 361 words: 81,068

The Internet Is Not the Answer by Andrew Keen


3D printing, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Airbnb, AltaVista, Andrew Keen, augmented reality, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, Black Swan, Bob Geldof, Burning Man, Cass Sunstein, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, collective bargaining, Colonization of Mars, computer age, connected car, creative destruction, cuban missile crisis, David Brooks, disintermediation, Donald Davies, Downton Abbey, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frank Gehry, Frederick Winslow Taylor, frictionless, full employment, future of work, gig economy, global village, Google bus, Google Glasses, Hacker Ethic, happiness index / gross national happiness, income inequality, index card, informal economy, information trail, Innovator's Dilemma, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Kodak vs Instagram, Lean Startup, libertarian paternalism, lifelogging, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Martin Wolf, Metcalfe’s law, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Nate Silver, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, nonsequential writing, Norbert Wiener, Norman Mailer, Occupy movement, packet switching, PageRank, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer rental, Peter Thiel, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Potemkin village, precariat, pre–internet, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Metcalfe, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Skype, smart cities, Snapchat, social web, South of Market, San Francisco, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, TaskRabbit, Ted Nelson, telemarketer, The Future of Employment, the medium is the message, the new new thing, Thomas L Friedman, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Uber for X, urban planning, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, working poor, Y Combinator

See also “The Square People, Part Two,” New York Times, May 17, 2014. 2 Edward Luce, “America Must Dump Its Disrupters in 2014,” Financial Times, December 22, 2014. 3 Nick Cohen, “Beware the Lure of Mark Zuckerberg’s Cool Capitalism,” Observer, March 30, 2013. 4 Fred Turner, From Counterculture to Cyberculture (University of Chicago Press, 2008). 5 For more on Apple, Steve Jobs, and Foxconn, see my TechCrunchTV interview with Mike Daisey, who starred in the Broadway hit The Agony and Ecstasy of Steve Jobs: “Apple and Foxconn, TechCrunchTV, February 1, 2011. 6 Lyn Stuart Parramore, “What Does Apple Really Owe Taxpayers? A Lot, Actually,” Reuters, June 18, 2013. 7 Jo Confino, “How Technology Has Stopped Evolution and Is Destroying the World,” Guardian, July 11, 2013. 8 Alexis C. Madrigal, “Camp Grounded, ‘Digital Detox,’ and the Age of Techno-Anxiety,” Atlantic, July 2013. 9 Oliver Burkman, “Conscious Computing: How to Take Control of Our Life Online,” Guardian, May 10, 2013. 10 Jemima Kiss, “An Online Magna Carta: Berners-Lee Calls for Bill of Rights for Web,” Guardian, March 11, 2014. 11 “Bitcloud Developers Plan to Decentralize Internet,” BBC Technology News, January 23, 2014. 12 Suzanne Labarre, “Why We’re Shutting Off Our Comments,” Popular Science, September 24, 2013; Elizabeth Landers, “Huffington Post to Ban Anonymous Comments,” CNN, August 22, 2013. 13 “Data Protection: Angela Merkel Proposes Europe Network,” BBC News, February 15, 2014. 14 Philip Oltermann, “Germany ‘May Revert to Typewriters’ to Counter Hi-Tech Espionage,” Guardian, July 15, 2014. 15 Lanier, Who Owns the Future?

It’s a sixties nostalgia fantasy hosted by space cadets like Birch who appear to have seceded from both time and space. To borrow some of Apple’s most familiar marketing language, everybody now is supposed to “think different.” Unorthodoxy is the new orthodoxy in a world where the supposedly most different kind of thinkers—those who have escaped their traditional silo—are branded as the new rock stars. The only convention is to be unconventional and work for uncompanies, join unclubs, or attend unconferences. But today’s technology hipsters aren’t quite as cool as they imagine. Steve Jobs, the founding father of Silicon Valley’s “reality distortion field” and the original tech hipster, who idolized Bob Dylan and spent a summer in an ashram, also outsourced the manufacturing of Apple products in Foxconn’s notorious 430,000-person Shenzhen factory.5 And Jobs ran an astonishingly profitable company that, according to the US senator Carl Levin, has been cleverly avoiding paying the American government a million dollars of tax revenue per hour.6 Rather than “Think Different,” “Think Irresponsibly” might have been the mantra of the Apple accountants who organized this unethical and possibly even illegal scheme to avoid paying American tax.

Silicon Valley is transforming itself into a medieval tableau—a jarring landscape of dreadfully impoverished and high-crime communities like East Palo Alto, littered with unemployed people on food stamps, interspersed with fantastically wealthy and entirely self-reliant tech-cities designed by world-famous architects such as Norman Foster and Frank Gehry. Apple, a company that has been accused of cheating the US government out of $44 billion in tax revenue between 2009 and 2012,82 is building a Norman Foster–designed $5 billion Silicon Valley headquarters that will feature a 2.8-million-square-foot circular, four-story building containing a 1,000-seat auditorium, a 3,000-seat café, and office space for 13,000 employees.83 Before he died, Steve Jobs described Foster’s design for the new building as looking a “little like a spaceship.” Elon Musk should take note. After all, what’s the point of colonizing Mars when Martian architecture is already colonizing the Bay Area?

pages: 268 words: 74,724

Who Needs the Fed?: What Taylor Swift, Uber, and Robots Tell Us About Money, Credit, and Why We Should Abolish America's Central Bank by John Tamny


Airbnb, bank run, banks create money, Bernie Madoff, bitcoin, Bretton Woods, Carmen Reinhart, corporate raider, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, fiat currency, financial innovation, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, George Gilder, Home mortgage interest deduction, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, Kickstarter, liquidity trap, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, money market fund, moral hazard, mortgage tax deduction, NetJets, offshore financial centre, oil shock, peak oil, Peter Thiel, price stability, profit motive, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Steve Jobs, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, Uber for X, War on Poverty, yield curve

In modern times, Edison is most often compared to the late Steve Jobs. Most readers know Jobs as the person who not only founded Apple Computer but who, upon his return to Apple in 1997, oversaw the creation of jaw-dropping innovations such as the iMac, iPod, iPhone, and iPad. What often goes unappreciated is that Jobs, like Edison, experienced plenty of failure on the way to success. When Jobs stepped down in 2011 as CEO of Apple in order to fight an unsuccessful battle against cancer, Nick Schulz penned a brilliant article, “Steve Jobs: America’s Greatest Failure.” Schulz wrote: Jobs was the architect of Lisa, introduced in the early 1980s. You remember Lisa, don’t you? Of course you don’t. But this computer—which cost tens of millions of dollars to develop—was another epic fail. Shortly after Lisa, Apple had a success with its Macintosh computer.

Tim Harford, Adapt: Why Success Always Starts with Failure (New York: Farrar Strauss and Giroux, 2011), 236. 8. George Gilder, Knowledge and Power (Washington, D.C.: Regnery, 2013), 5. 9. Thomas Kessner, Capital City: New York City and the Men behind America’s Rise to Economic Dominance, 1860–1900 (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2004), 216. 10. Nick Schulz, “Steve Jobs: America’s Greatest Failure,” National Review online, August 25, 2011. 11. Dawn Kawamoto, Ben Heskett, and Mike Ricciuti, “Microsoft to invest $150 million in Apple,” CNET, August 6, 1997. 12. Walter Isaacson, The Innovators (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2014), 184. 13. Robert L. Bartley, The Seven Fat Years (New York: Free Press, 1992), 142. 14. Isaacson, The Innovators, 185. 15. Ibid., 187. 16. Harford, Adapt, 12. CHAPTER FIVE 1. Daniel Fischel, Payback: The Conspiracy to Destroy Michael Milken and His Financial Revolution (New York: Harper Collins, 1995), 3. 2.

It was transferred to them by others thanks to the power of the federal government over the U.S. economy. The Clintons are maybe who President Obama was talking about when he famously uttered, “You didn’t build that.”6 The Clintons are extraordinarily rich not because Bill discovered a cure for cancer, or because Hillary has a knack for resuscitating companies that are on the proverbial deathbed, or because both excel as Ford, Rockefeller, and Steve Jobs did at mass-producing former baubles of the rich. No, the Clintons are rich for having been lucky enough to make a profession of politics in the richest, most innovative country on earth. Without a hint of hyperbole, the wealth they enjoy is the result of the federal government confiscating it from its actual creators. The Clintons are posh and supercilious, but their grand lifestyle is directly attributable to the ability of the political class to plunder America’s truly productive.

pages: 243 words: 74,452

Do Over: Rescue Monday, Reinvent Your Work, and Never Get Stuck by Jon Acuff


Albert Einstein, fear of failure, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Mark Zuckerberg, Ruby on Rails, Skype, Steve Jobs, Tony Hsieh

For some people, rock bottom is a trampoline. It springs them up from the depths, back into the light, fueled by a decision never to experience that low again. Or to help make sure other people don’t end up there either. Is there anyone who doubts that being fired from his own company didn’t fuel Steve Jobs? Having lost his baby, having been pushed out by his own board in 1985, is there anyone who doesn’t think he licked his wounds and started planning a triumphant return? Would Apple have been Apple without Steve’s underdog moment that came full circle when he came back to Apple in 1996?1 Hard to say, but his Career Bump did impact him and the company. What’s fascinating is that even the bumps that aren’t work related can lead to new career adventures. Jeremy Rochford’s bump moment was getting kicked off a roller coaster. One day he was at an amusement park with a group of friends.

Heidi Grant Halvorson, Succeed: How We Can Reach Our Goals with the Nine Things Successful People Do Differently (New York: Plume, 2012), 43. 3. Jamie Chavez Blog, “Be Regular and Orderly in Your Life so That You May Be Violent and Original in Your Work” (September 15, 2011), 4. Jacquelyn Smith, “Steve Jobs Always Dressed Exactly the Same. Here’s Who Else Does,” Forbes (October 4, 2012), 5. Michael Lewis, “Obama’s Way,” Vanity Fair (October 2012), Chapter 15 1. The Shawshank Redemption, Directed by Frank Darabont (USA Castle Rock Entertainment, 1994), DVD. 2.

We don’t ask for help because we think we’re the only ones who need it. We compare the manicured Instagram feeds of our friends to the messy reality of our own lives and come up lacking. We think everyone else has it all figured out so we pretend to as well. If we ever investigated the lives of anyone successful we’d realize they never accomplished what they have all alone. Star quarterbacks have linemen. Steve Jobs didn’t design the iPhone by himself. Oprah doesn’t run the cameras. We all need people to help us and the only way they can, especially casual relationships, is if we give them information. Not all of the information. The best way to end a casual relationship is to turn a fire hose on it. But just tell them the truth. If you’re looking for a new job, tell them that. If you need a connection to someone else, tell them that.

pages: 307 words: 17,123

Behind the cloud: the untold story of how went from idea to billion-dollar company--and revolutionized an industry by Marc Benioff, Carlye Adler


Albert Einstein, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, barriers to entry, Bay Area Rapid Transit, business continuity plan, call centre, carbon footprint, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, corporate social responsibility, crowdsourcing, iterative process, Maui Hawaii, Nicholas Carr, platform as a service, Silicon Valley, software as a service, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs

That summer, I discovered that it was possible for an entrepreneur to encourage revolutionary ideas and foster a distinctive culture. xix INTRODUCTION That lesson became even more obvious when I returned to Apple for a second summer internship as a technical sales support person with an Apple partner. Although only one year had passed, Apple was an extraordinarily different place. Steve Jobs had been fired, and everything I enjoyed about Apple’s visionary culture had evaporated. While the environment was not as invigorating, I learned another critical lesson that would guide the rest of my career: the power of each customer exchange. If the exchange was executed as well as possible—if we made the customer truly successful—we had the opportunity to transform him or her into an Apple loyalist and evangelist. This opened my eyes to the importance of customer success. At heart I was still a shy computer programming geek addicted to building technology, but right before graduation, two of my entrepreneurship professors, Tom O’Malia and Mac Davis, offered some direct advice that significantly altered my path.

I focused my studies at the University of Southern California on building companies and creating new technologies, and ran Liberty Software out of my dorm room. The lessons I learned as an entrepreneur were pivotal, as were those I learned working for somebody else. In 1984, I had a summer job at Apple writing some of the first native assembly language for the Macintosh. I had the opportunity to work on the most exciting and important project at Apple, and it was like getting paid to go to Disneyland. There were fruit smoothies in the refrigerators, a motorcycle in the lobby, and shiatsu massages. The very best part was being able to witness Steve Jobs walking around, motivating the developers. Steve’s leadership created the energy and spirit in the office. Apple encouraged the ‘‘think different’’ mind-set throughout its entire organization. We even had a pirate flag on the roof. That summer, I discovered that it was possible for an entrepreneur to encourage revolutionary ideas and foster a distinctive culture. xix INTRODUCTION That lesson became even more obvious when I returned to Apple for a second summer internship as a technical sales support person with an Apple partner.

Yet this practice was completely counterintuitive to the way the software industry worked. Don’t be afraid to ignore rules of your industry that have become obsolete or that defy common sense. Creating an attractive user interface that people enjoy using is the key to building a truly great product. This seems so obvious, but it wasn’t the way in which software design was customarily approached. Steve Jobs is the master of building computer products that create customer excitement and loyalty. It’s also no coincidence that his products look like nothing else out there. Think differently in everything you do. Play #11: Have—and Listen to—a Trusted Mentor When we first started building, I was still working at Oracle, where I was creating a new software product called Internet File System and developing the company’s philanthropy program.

pages: 481 words: 120,693

Plutocrats: The Rise of the New Global Super-Rich and the Fall of Everyone Else by Chrystia Freeland


activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, assortative mating, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Basel III, battle of ideas, Bernie Madoff, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Black Swan, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, BRICs, business climate, call centre, carried interest, Cass Sunstein, Clayton Christensen, collapse of Lehman Brothers, commoditize, conceptual framework, corporate governance, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, Deng Xiaoping, don't be evil, double helix, energy security, estate planning, experimental subject, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Flash crash, Frank Gehry, Gini coefficient, global village, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Gordon Gekko, Guggenheim Bilbao, haute couture, high net worth, income inequality, invention of the steam engine, job automation, John Markoff, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, liberation theology, light touch regulation, linear programming, London Whale, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, Mikhail Gorbachev, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, NetJets, new economy, Occupy movement, open economy, Peter Thiel, place-making, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Plutonomy: Buying Luxury, Explaining Global Imbalances, postindustrial economy, Potemkin village, profit motive, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, rent-seeking, Rod Stewart played at Stephen Schwarzman birthday party, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, short selling, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Simon Kuznets, Solar eclipse in 1919, sovereign wealth fund, stem cell, Steve Jobs, the new new thing, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tony Hsieh, too big to fail, trade route, trickle-down economics, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, wage slave, Washington Consensus, winner-take-all economy, zero-sum game

Another 4,750 are in the Philippines, which, with a population of just 92 million compared to China’s 1.3 billion, has in relative terms been a much bigger beneficiary of Steve Jobs’s genius. This is a point worth underscoring, because some American pundits and politicians like to blame their country’s economic woes on China’s undervalued currency and its strategy of export-led growth. In the case of the Apple economy, that is less than half the story. Now come what might be the surprises. The first is that even though most of the iPod jobs are outside the United States, the lion’s share of the iPod salaries are in the United States. Those 13,920 American workers earned nearly $750 million. By contrast, the 27,250 non-American Apple employees took home less than $320 million. That disparity is even more significant when you look at the composition of America’s iPod workforce.

But the super-elite also bask in a culture that, at least until the 2008 financial crisis, was happy to regard them as the heroes of our age. Their virtue need not manifest itself in any of the traditional Judeo-Christian values—Steve Jobs, who currently dominates the iconostasis, was an egotistical jerk who often treated employees, family (including his daughter), and ordinary mortals who dared to e-mail him with cruelty or disdain. But we do need them to succeed in business because of their sheer superiority to everyone else—part of the appeal of the Jobs story is his second coming at Apple, when he showed up the mediocrities who had ousted him. Most important of all, the plutocrats, and their chorus in the popular culture, are keen to believe they are not engaged on an entirely selfish mission. Carnegie asserted that knights of capitalism like himself “and the law of competition between these” were “not only beneficial, but essential to the future progress of the race.”

On the other hand, what fraction of families in the United States or Canada would have the wherewithal to get for their child a Mandarin tutor three days a week for four years? How do you think about that? And were we perpetuating privilege? Or were we recognizing merit?” Getting into the “right” college is just a start. As the baby boomers aged into the commencement address generation, their standard advice to graduates was, as Steve Jobs memorably enjoined, to “have the courage to follow your heart and intuition,” to “love what you do,” and never to “settle.” Drew Faust, in her third commencement address as president of Harvard University, urged the graduating students to adopt her “parking space theory of life”: “Don’t park ten blocks away from your destination because you think you’ll never find a closer space. Go where you want to be.

pages: 351 words: 93,982

Leading From the Emerging Future: From Ego-System to Eco-System Economies by Otto Scharmer, Katrin Kaufer

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, Asian financial crisis, Basel III, Berlin Wall, Branko Milanovic, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, collapse of Lehman Brothers, colonial rule, Community Supported Agriculture, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, dematerialisation, Deng Xiaoping,, European colonialism, Fractional reserve banking, global supply chain, happiness index / gross national happiness, high net worth, housing crisis, income inequality, income per capita, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Joseph Schumpeter, market bubble, mass immigration, Mikhail Gorbachev, Mohammed Bouazizi, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, new economy, offshore financial centre, peak oil, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, smart grid, Steve Jobs, technology bubble, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, Washington Consensus, working poor, Zipcar

The difference between 3.0 and 4.0 companies is intention: 3.0 companies are driven to dominate their eco-system, while 4.0 companies try to serve the well-being and shared ownership of all. The 3.0 and 4.0 corporations are a new breed of hybrid companies that have two main characteristics: They function as a business, and they are inspired and energized by a social mission (in 4.0 companies, the mission is more strongly embodied). This is not just a marginal feature of the business community. Think about what inspired visionary founders like Steve Jobs at Apple; Eileen at Eileen Fisher Inc.; Luiz, Guilherme, and Pedro at Natura; Judy and Michelle at BALLE; and Hal at the Sustainable Food Lab. These ventures are exemplars of an emerging “new essence” of what it means to run a successful enterprise. In this emerging business paradigm, success is defined not only by profit, but also by its relevance to the larger eco-system and its practical contributions toward bridging the ecological, social, and spiritual divides.

ILO, “World of Work Report 2008—Global Income Inequality Gap Is Vast and Growing.” See also World Bank, “Jobs Are a Cornerstone of Development, Says World Development Report 2013,” press release, October 1, 2012, ment-says-world-development-report (accessed December 9, 2012). 19. Daniel H. Pink, Drive: The Surprising Truth about What Motivates Us (New York: Riverhead Books, 2009). 20. Steve Jobs, Apple founder and late CEO, commencement speech, Stanford University, 2005, (accessed December 9, 2012). 21. Communities in Vermont operated with such a shared bond after the storm-caused flooding in 2011. See Nina Keck, “Neighbors Help Each Other Deal with Vermont’s Flood,” NPR, September 14, 2011, (accessed December 9, 2012). 22.

The third attack happens in the workplace in the form of management incentives, tying bonus payments to targets, and other best practices that are taught in business schools and that, as research tell us, kill creativity in the organization.19 These practices poison all real creativity because they disconnect what we do for a living (our work) from what we really care about (our Work or passion). All great inventors, creators, and entrepreneurs, all great social activists, share the same inner journey and source of satisfaction: loving what you do and doing what you love. That, according to the late Steve Jobs, arguably a good example of a Working entrepreneur, “is the only way to do great work.”20 It is recognizing the connection to this deep source of knowing that can help us in moments when all other navigation instruments fail. 4. Relinking work and entrepreneurship. The essence of 4.0 is to provide an institutional context that allows us to relink work (jobs) with Work (purpose). The evolution of work from 1.0 (slavery) to 4.0 (Work) is a journey that has been gradually shifting the locus of control from outside (dependence) to inside the networked individual (networked independence).

pages: 238 words: 68,914

Where Does It Hurt?: An Entrepreneur's Guide to Fixing Health Care by Jonathan Bush, Stephen Baker


Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Atul Gawande, barriers to entry, Clayton Christensen, commoditize, informal economy, inventory management, job automation, knowledge economy, lifelogging, obamacare, personalized medicine, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, web application, women in the workforce, working poor

And if a research hospital with a niche specialty can lay claim even to 0.05 percent of them, that would be more than fifteen hundred patients, all of them with great needs that bring in loads of revenue. Even more important, the people at the hospital would be carrying out great and heroic work, rescuing lives. That’s what attracted them to medicine in the first place. It has to be a lot more fulfilling than shuttling through patients for overpriced MRIs and colonoscopies. This specialization is already happening. Consider the case of Steve Jobs, the iconic co-founder of Apple Inc. In 2009, he was fighting pancreatic cancer and desperately needed a liver transplant. A billionaire, Jobs had the wherewithal to shop. Traveling on a private jet, he visited hospitals around the country and got himself on various liver transplant waiting lists. Then one day in June of that year, he got the call that Methodist University Hospital in Memphis had access to the liver of a young car-crash victim.

They don’t attend the black-tie fund-raisers at the Kennedy Center. These people are rough-hewn and break the old rules. And they’re engaged in radical and unusual behavior. They’re busy making money in health care by building something new and appealing to shoppers. For me, they’re much like the wildcatters who stormed to fortunes in oil, and the hackers, like the Steve Jobs, who outraced the staid leaders of technology and helped to build a new information economy. These people, to quote Apple’s iconic 1984 commercial, are the “crazy ones.” These crazy ones are committed to health and their patients, of course, but I’ve noticed that most of them don’t mind talking about money. It’s a subject that is broached only in hushed tones and inscrutable bills in the great research hospitals. But the entrepreneurs I’m talking about celebrate their earnings.

“I went to everyone I’ve met since I was sixteen years old to fund this thing, and we can’t let it collapse.” I reached the conclusion not long ago that anger, either white hot or smoldering, is a fundamental fuel for entrepreneurs. They don’t have to be angry all of the time, of course; that would be no fun for anyone. But it helps if deep down they nurse some wound, grievance, or perhaps a sense of injustice. The anger gets them stoked. I think Steve Jobs was often angry. I often see myself as friendly and humorous. Sometimes I am, but in thinking through phases of my life for this book, I realized that during many of my most productive stretches, I was seething, and also terrified of impending failure. This combination of fear and anger, along with a good bit of luck, served me well during those difficult months. In the end, Todd didn’t quit.

Bootstrapping: Douglas Engelbart, Coevolution, and the Origins of Personal Computing (Writing Science) by Thierry Bardini


Apple II, augmented reality, Bill Duvall, conceptual framework, Donald Davies, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, experimental subject, Grace Hopper, hiring and firing, hypertext link, index card, information retrieval, invention of hypertext, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Rulifson, John von Neumann, knowledge worker, Leonard Kleinrock, Menlo Park, Mother of all demos, new economy, Norbert Wiener, Norman Mailer, packet switching, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, RFC: Request For Comment, Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, Silicon Valley, Steve Crocker, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, stochastic process, Ted Nelson, the medium is the message, theory of mind, Turing test, unbiased observer, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog

It wasn't until Apple picked it up. . . . I mean, it was the real change from there, Steve Jobs saw the technology at PARC and pIcked it up right away. The mouse attracted Steve Jobs's attention during Larry Tesler's demon- stration of the Alto at PARC, and when Tesler moved to Apple a few months later, the mouse moved with him. This last move, at the end of the bootstrap- ping process, was the one that made a star out of the mouse, to the extent that many still believe that Apple invented the mouse. Although Apple never claimed such an invention, some of its employees still occasionally say that "we're the ones who perfected the mouse by getting rid of these extra buttons" (Bruce Tagliazini, quoted in Card and Moran 1988, 524). Indeed, the "but- tons controversy" got reopened at Apple and led to the disappearance of all the extra buttons: the Lisa and the Macintosh mice were to have one (visible) button.

The final stages of product development and marketing of the interface for the per- sonal computer, however, occurred at Apple, not at Xerox. Apple and The End of the Bootstrapping Process The fairy-tale story of the founding of Apple Computer by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, beginning with the Apple I and the meetings of computer hobbyists at the Home Brew Computer Club in a Palo Alto burger joint, is often told and need not be repeated here. It is necessary, however, to trace the path followed by Douglas Engelbart's innovations as they reached their terminus in the form in which they now are employed, a form very different from the one Engelbart had envisioned for them. And the incorporation of those innovations into the Apple computer via their further development at Xerox PARC forms the con- clusion of that story. It also registers the ultimate translation of the conception of the user. At Apple, the user finally became "everybody," conceived this time as indeed everybody-as consumers of a commercial product, not candidates for coevolutionary change or as "Sally."

(Irby 1992) This involvement with publishing organized Tesler's contribution to personal computing and put him in the position of spanning boundaries between the community of hackers as early as the late 1960's and the more formal R&D environment of computer science at Xerox PARCo Then, at Apple Computer, Tesler got the opportunity to set the agenda for the design of the Lisa and then the Macintosh in an institution that by then had become a perfect, if improbable hybrid of the two communities. Jobs foresaw the potential of such a technology for a marketable product. Two major factors influenced the success of the technology transfer of the graphic user interface from Xerox PARC to Apple. Jobs and Wozniak were connected to the hobbyist movement of the early 1970'S, and by 1979, Apple had successfully moved from this hobbyist market to the office market, thanks to Visicalc, the first spreadsheet program developed for the Apple II. "The two Steves-Jobs and Wozniak-they understood their market. The way they un- derstood their market was twofold: I) they were it, and that's the best way to understand a market, and 2) they just liked to go to the Homebrew Computer Club and having the neatest thing. . . The neatest thing available to that com- munity" (Belleville 1992).

pages: 209 words: 54,638

Team Geek by Brian W. Fitzpatrick, Ben Collins-Sussman


anti-pattern, barriers to entry, cognitive dissonance, Dean Kamen,, fear of failure, Guido van Rossum, Paul Graham, publish or perish, Richard Stallman, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, web application

Whatever the case, this is likely the first time you’ve ever communicated with this person. In this situation, almost everyone makes the same rookie mistake: they ramble, rant, and rave. Fitz (while working at Apple) bought his mom a lemon of an iMac more than 10 years ago, and on the advice of a coworker sent a “short” email to Steve Jobs.[54] This email served as a rough prototype of how to effectively ask an executive for help: Date: Thu, 1 Feb 2001 To: Subject: Terrible customer experience with our hardware—what can I do? I would deeply appreciate if you could advise me on what I can do to address this problem. This is embarrassing—both for Apple and for myself. I purchased an iMac for my mother last Mother’s Day—she is the Vice-Principal of a Montessori school in New Orleans and uses an old Macintosh at school.

Linus’s real achievement was to lead these people and coordinate their work; Linux is the shining result of their collective labor. (And Unix itself was written by a small group of smart people at Bell Labs, not entirely by Ken Thompson and Dennis Richie.) On that same note, did Stallman personally write all of the Free Software Foundation’s software? He wrote the first generation of Emacs. But hundreds of others were responsible for bash, the GCC tool chain, and all the rest of the software that runs on Linux. Steve Jobs led an entire team that built the Macintosh, and while Bill Gates is known for writing a BASIC interpreter for early home computers, his bigger achievement was building a successful company around MS-DOS. Yet they all became leaders and symbols of their collective achievements. And how about Michael Jordan? It’s the same story. We idolize him, but the fact is that he didn’t win every basketball game by himself.

We’ve found that having lunch with your team can be an effective way to stay socially connected to them without making them uncomfortable—this gives you a chance to have informal conversations outside the normal work environment. Sometimes it can be tricky to move into a management role over someone who has been a good friend and a peer. If the friend who is being managed is not self-managing and is not a hard worker, it can be stressful for everyone. We recommend that you avoid getting into this situation whenever possible. Antipattern: Compromise the Hiring Bar Steve Jobs once said: “A people hire other A people; B people hire C people.” It’s incredibly easy to fall victim to this adage, and even more so when trying to hire quickly. A common approach we’ve seen is that a team needs to hire five engineers, so they sift through their pile of applications, interview 40 or 50 people, and pick the best five regardless of whether they meet the hiring bar. This is one of the fastest ways to build a mediocre team.

pages: 231 words: 71,248

Shipping Greatness by Chris Vander Mey


corporate raider, don't be evil,, fudge factor, Google Chrome, Google Hangouts, Gordon Gekko, Jeff Bezos, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, minimum viable product, performance metric, recommendation engine, Skype, slashdot, sorting algorithm, source of truth, Steve Jobs, Superbowl ad, web application

As you go through your demo, don’t worry about the details of what you are trying to show. If some small thing goes wrong, skip over it and use the distraction as an opportunity to reiterate your core message. While you can certainly skip over small defects in your presentation, the best cure for problems is to not have them. The best demos take weeks of preparation. Steve Jobs was notorious for demanding in-depth rehearsals, and it shows in the output of Apple’s keynotes. In addition, Apple always thinks about how it can reduce the points of failure in a demo. Microsoft product managers think the same way and routinely have three laptops: their personal laptop, their demo laptop, and their backup demo laptop. This approach gives them multiple backup strategies and ensures a stable demo environment. Personally, when I need to show something online, I bring hotspots from two different wireless providers and always try to use a wired connection when I can.

How to Build and Give a Great Presentation If you are trying to ship great software, you will deliver a lot of presentations. For example, you may deliver a presentation to get funding. You may build decks to provide product updates. You might even pitch to convince people to work with your team. Clearly, building great decks and delivering a great presentation is a critical skill, but it is one that can take years to master. Steve Jobs–level presentations are the gold standard, but they are incredibly time-consuming to build, probably have more compelling content than you do, and are generally beyond the reach of most of us. The good news is, if you spend a lot of time going to presentation classes, studying speaking, getting coaching, and so on, you’ll find that there are some basic things you can do to help ensure that your presentation is great, and then you can continue the business of shipping.

What if you could, with one button push on your smartphone, share this experience? We can do that—and with that one button click, we’ll attach the name of the restaurant, your name, your wife’s name, and a picture. I bet you can see the slide right now. You would show a picture of your happy wife eating lobster and tell the story over it. You might even be able to expense your lobster dinner. You’ve created a story worthy of Steve Jobs, and you told it in less time than your audience would take processing the first sentence of the original pitch. In addition to eliminating buzzwords and acronyms, you accomplished five other things with this story: You made it personal and engaged with your audience. Dining at a restaurant is something most of us can understand. You asked the audience to come with you. By saying “Imagine…” and “What if?”

pages: 268 words: 75,850

The Formula: How Algorithms Solve All Our Problems-And Create More by Luke Dormehl


3D printing, algorithmic trading, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, augmented reality, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, call centre, Cass Sunstein, Clayton Christensen, commoditize, computer age, death of newspapers, deferred acceptance, Edward Lorenz: Chaos theory, Erik Brynjolfsson, Filter Bubble, Flash crash, Florence Nightingale: pie chart, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, Google Earth, Google Glasses, High speed trading, Internet Archive, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Kodak vs Instagram, lifelogging, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Nate Silver, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, pattern recognition, price discrimination, recommendation engine, Richard Thaler, Rosa Parks, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Slavoj Žižek, social graph, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, the scientific method, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, upwardly mobile, Wall-E, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Y Combinator

“Specific” events, on the other hand, would be life-changing events like a person’s wedding, or the offer of a new job, and would frequently be the subject of a large amount of activity taking place over a short time span. Unsurprisingly, it was this last “private-specific” event that was of most interest when it came to generating a mini-biography. As anyone who has ever read a popular biography will know, more space is typically given to the unique events in a person’s life that are specific to them rather than a broader contextual look at where they fit within the wider society. Walter Isaacson’s Steve Jobs, for example, focuses far more on Jobs’s work creating the iPhone than it does on what he saw on his drive to and from his Palo Alto home each day.21 But assuming that “public” or “general” observations are simply noise to be filtered out risks grossly simplifying a person’s life by viewing them as existing in a context-free void. Wherever you are on the political spectrum, it is impossible to deny that public events like general elections or overseas conflicts have a bearing on the lives of the typical individual.

The calculation, far from convincing us of the rational arguments, only backed up the mythical interpretation of our fall into love. If the chances behind an event are enormously remote, yet the event occurs nevertheless, may one not be forgiven for invoking a fatalistic explanation? . . . [A] probability of one in 5840.82 [makes it seem] impossible, from within love at least, that [our meeting] could have been anything but fate.26 Of course, as the late Steve Jobs might have said about fate: “There’s an app for that.” Serendipity’s creators proudly state, “Technology is changing the way we date. For the shy and single, it has been the biggest aid to romance since the creation of the red rose.” Wear Your Heart on Your Sleeve MIT’s Serendipity project is not the first investigation of its kind. In the late 1990s, a proximity matchmaking device called Lovegety briefly became all the rage in Japan, selling more than 1.3 million units at an approximate price of $21.

Statistical Inquiries into the Efficacy of Prayer (Melbourne: H. Thomas, Printer, between 1872 and 1880). 19 Gould, Stephen Jay. The Mismeasure of Man (New York: Norton, 1981). 20 Dormehl, Luke. “This Algorithm Can Tell Your Life Story Through Twitter.” Fast Company, November 4, 2013. 21 Isaacson, Walter. Steve Jobs (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2011). 22 Kosinskia, Michal, David Stillwella, and Thore Graepelb. “Private Traits and Attributes Are Predictable from Digital Records of Human Behavior.” PNAS, vol. 110, no. 15, April 9, 2013. 23 Larsen, Noah. “Bloggers Reveal Personalities with Word, Phrase Choice.” Colorado Arts & Sciences Magazine, January 2011. 24 Markham, Annette.

pages: 478 words: 126,416

Other People's Money: Masters of the Universe or Servants of the People? by John Kay


Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, Basel III, Bernie Madoff, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, bitcoin, Black Swan, Bonfire of the Vanities, bonus culture, Bretton Woods, call centre, capital asset pricing model, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, cognitive dissonance, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, cross-subsidies, dematerialisation, diversification, diversified portfolio, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, Elon Musk, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, eurozone crisis, financial innovation, financial intermediation, financial thriller, fixed income, Flash crash, forward guidance, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, George Akerlof, German hyperinflation, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Growth in a Time of Debt, income inequality, index fund, inflation targeting, information asymmetry, intangible asset, interest rate derivative, interest rate swap, invention of the wheel, Irish property bubble, Isaac Newton, John Meriwether, light touch regulation, London Whale, Long Term Capital Management, loose coupling, low cost carrier, M-Pesa, market design, millennium bug, mittelstand, money market fund, moral hazard, mortgage debt, Myron Scholes, new economy, Nick Leeson, Northern Rock, obamacare, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, oil shock, passive investing, Paul Samuelson, peer-to-peer lending, performance metric, Peter Thiel, Piper Alpha, Ponzi scheme, price mechanism, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, railway mania, Ralph Waldo Emerson, random walk, regulatory arbitrage, Renaissance Technologies, rent control, Richard Feynman, risk tolerance, road to serfdom, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, Schrödinger's Cat, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, Spread Networks laid a new fibre optics cable between New York and Chicago, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, The Great Moderation, The Market for Lemons, the market place, The Myth of the Rational Market, the payments system, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Tobin tax, too big to fail, transaction costs, tulip mania, Upton Sinclair, Vanguard fund, Washington Consensus, We are the 99%, Yom Kippur War

We need mechanisms for transferring wealth over time, and trade in securities is one such mechanism: I will describe the full variety in Chapter 9. We can buy a share in Exxon Mobil’s business and oil reserves now, and sell it when we age, and we can do this without disturbing Exxon Mobil’s investment plans. We can create financial assets such as Apple shares, based on future earnings, and trade them in a similar way, with similar effect. By this means we can thank Steve Jobs for his efforts by giving him a share of Apple’s future profits as well as its current ones. The institutions that traditionally dominated the investment channel were: the investment bank, which searched for those in need of capital; the financial adviser – stockbroker, bank manager, insurance agent – who provided both search (fresh opportunities) and stewardship (continuing guidance) on behalf of individual savers; and investment institutions – principally insurance companies and pension funds and some other pooled investment funds – which engaged in stewardship as they gathered and placed substantial sums through the investment channel.

Apple shares have been listed on NASDAQ since 1980, when the corporation raised $100 million from investors. Even then, the purpose of the issue was not to obtain money to grow the business. As with most flotations of technology companies, the reason for bringing the company to market was to give early investors and employees of the business an opportunity to realise value. Forty members of Apple staff became (paper) millionaires that day, and Steve Jobs’s wealth was estimated at over $200 million. Mike Mark-kula, who had invested $80,000 to enable Jobs and his partner Steve Wozniak to start making computers, was similarly enriched. Stock markets are not a way of putting money into companies, but a means of taking it out. The opportunity to realise a return on investment is essential to an early-stage investor such as Markkula. The ability to attach value to their shareholdings provides an incentive to Jobs and his colleagues and successors.

But trading in financial markets, and innovation in business, are directed to the search for profit opportunities that have not been taken. The efficient market hypothesis at once captures an important aspect of reality – the absence of easy profits – and neglects an equally fundamental one: that the search for profits that are not easy is the dynamic of a capitalist system. Henry Ford, Walt Disney and Steve Jobs were not attempting to exploit arbitrage opportunities but trying to change the world (as were many less successful entrepreneurs). The wise investor will think twice before rejecting the efficient market hypothesis. Yet the volume of trading we observe in securities markets today would be wholly inexplicable if the hypothesis that all information relevant to security valuation is already in the price were true.

pages: 606 words: 157,120

To Save Everything, Click Here: The Folly of Technological Solutionism by Evgeny Morozov


3D printing, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andrew Keen, augmented reality, Automated Insights, Berlin Wall, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, citizen journalism, cloud computing, cognitive bias, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, data acquisition, Dava Sobel, disintermediation, East Village,, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, frictionless, future of journalism, game design, Gary Taubes, Google Glasses, illegal immigration, income inequality, invention of the printing press, Jane Jacobs, Jean Tirole, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, license plate recognition, lifelogging, lone genius, Louis Pasteur, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, moral panic, Narrative Science, Nicholas Carr, packet switching, PageRank, Parag Khanna, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer, Peter Singer: altruism, Peter Thiel,, placebo effect, pre–internet, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Richard Thaler, Ronald Coase, Rosa Parks, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Slavoj Žižek, smart meter, social graph, social web, stakhanovite, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stuxnet, technoutopianism, the built environment, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the medium is the message, The Nature of the Firm, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas L Friedman, transaction costs, urban decay, urban planning, urban sprawl, Vannevar Bush, WikiLeaks

In fact, the attempts to reign in digital technologies are the consequence of a much longer trend—perhaps they fall under the very culture of control theorized by David Garland—but that trend did not start in Silicon Valley. So the worry that Apple and its tethered devices—Zittrain’s bugbear-in-chief—might be giving us a world in which we have no choice but to do the right thing is both too late and too misguided. We already inhabit that world, and challenging its logic would require challenging it everywhere, not just in the iTunes store. We find Apple’s model so appealing not because Steve Jobs hypnotized us—although that’s part of it—but because Apple has embraced a model that we already encounter almost everywhere in our daily lives. We are gaining very little by continuing to imagine “the Internet”—or “cyberspace”—as some unique conceptual territory that develops and operates in accordance with its own trends and inclinations.

Wu’s argument in The Master Switch goes like this: There’s something peculiar about information industries, for they tend to be dominated (and intellectually ravaged) by “information emperors”—Steve Jobs–like personalities who strive for absolute control. The dictatorial rule of such emperors and several structural qualities of their information empires usually lead to what Wu calls “the Cycle,” which is the inevitable closing of the once open and innovative industries. It happens either because the information emperors are clever but ruthless businessmen or because they co-opt the government into giving them protection from competition. This is how we got Hollywood’s studio system, which exercised unprecedented control over what films to make and what issues to censor; a closed telephone network, where AT&T banned users from plugging in their own devices, thereby potentially delaying the advent of “the Internet”; and, more recently, Apple’s world of apps, in which a politburo sitting somewhere in Cupertino reviews and approves the apps it likes and deletes those it doesn’t.

., its ability to preserve texts that might otherwise get lost or badly damaged), ease of dissemination, and the tendency toward standardization. According to Eisenstein, the very technology of print endows texts with these new qualities—and the rupture is so significant that she elevates those qualities to the status of “print culture.” The latter gives us the Reformation, the scientific revolution, the Big Mac, Steve Jobs, and LOLCats. Many scholars have noted the limitations of Eisenstein’s approach, which are extremely pertinent to the contemporary Internet debate. The first to ring alarm bells—in 1980, just a year after the book was published—was intellectual historian Anthony Grafton, who berated Eisenstein for pulling “from her sources those facts and statements that seemed to meet her immediate polemical needs.”

pages: 677 words: 206,548

Future Crimes: Everything Is Connected, Everyone Is Vulnerable and What We Can Do About It by Marc Goodman


23andMe, 3D printing, active measures, additive manufacturing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, airport security, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, artificial general intelligence, Asilomar, Asilomar Conference on Recombinant DNA, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Bill Joy: nanobots, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, borderless world, Brian Krebs, business process, butterfly effect, call centre, Chelsea Manning, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, computer vision, connected car, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, data acquisition, data is the new oil, Dean Kamen, disintermediation, don't be evil, double helix, Downton Abbey, drone strike, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Flash crash, future of work, game design, Google Chrome, Google Earth, Google Glasses, Gordon Gekko, high net worth, High speed trading, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, hypertext link, illegal immigration, impulse control, industrial robot, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Harrison: Longitude, John Markoff, Jony Ive, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Kuwabatake Sanjuro: assassination market, Law of Accelerating Returns, Lean Startup, license plate recognition, lifelogging, litecoin, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, Metcalfe’s law, mobile money, more computing power than Apollo, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Nate Silver, national security letter, natural language processing, obamacare, Occupy movement, Oculus Rift, off grid, offshore financial centre, optical character recognition, Parag Khanna, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, personalized medicine, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Thiel, pre–internet, RAND corporation, ransomware, Ray Kurzweil, refrigerator car, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rodney Brooks, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, security theater, self-driving car, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, smart meter, Snapchat, social graph, software as a service, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, strong AI, Stuxnet, supply-chain management, technological singularity, telepresence, telepresence robot, Tesla Model S, The Future of Employment, The Wisdom of Crowds, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, uranium enrichment, Wall-E, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Wave and Pay, We are Anonymous. We are Legion, web application, Westphalian system, WikiLeaks, Y Combinator, zero day

By finally creating its own mobile app for users, Facebook devised not only a better user experience but also a new tool for grabbing voluminous amounts of data from a user’s mobile device. Pilfering Your Data? There’s an App for That An Apple iPhone commercial in 2009 famously introduced us to the phrase “there’s an app for that” as a means of demonstrating there is an iPhone application for every possible human need. A bold statement at the time, but perhaps Steve Jobs was right. Since its launch in 2008, there have been more than sixty-five billion downloads from Apple’s App Store, generating revenues of over $10 billion in 2013 alone. To compete with Apple, Google launched its own app store known as Google Play, and each company hosts more than a million separate applications available for download. The growth rate of these small software programs known as apps has been phenomenal, but what motivates tens of thousands of developers around the world to create apps?

Think of the design of an iPhone 6, an Eames lounge chair, a Ferrari 458 Italia, or a Leica T camera—products that are meant to delight. Not only are these tools functional, but they are beautiful, created by people who had a close and deep understanding of their customers and their needs. When one watched Steve Jobs onstage describe his latest products, there was no doubt that each and every one was imbued with the love of its creators. So where’s the Steve Jobs of security? What might Apple’s chief designer, Jony Ive, bring to the problem of our growing cyber insecurity? What would his firewall or antivirus program look like? Thus far, we have no idea, and that is a huge problem. It is a problem because when security features are not designed well, people simply don’t use them. Moreover, poor design can lead the human users down pathways that actually make them less secure.

In the early days of hacking, it was the telephone system that was the target of hackers’ attention as so-called phone phreaks manipulated the network to avoid the sky-high costs of long-distance calls. Let’s not forget two hackers who spent part of their youth back in 1971 building “blue boxes,” devices capable of hacking the phone network and making free calls: Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs. The pair sold blue boxes to students at UC Berkeley as a means of making money that would effectively help fund their other small start-up, the Apple computer company. As time passed, other notable hackers emerged, such as Kevin Mitnick and Kevin Poulsen. Mitnick famously broke into the Digital Equipment Corporation’s computers at the age of sixteen and went on to a string of such cyber intrusions, earning him the FBI’s ire and the distinction of being “America’s most wanted hacker.”

pages: 240 words: 109,474

Masters of Doom: How Two Guys Created an Empire and Transformed Pop Culture by David Kushner


Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, book scanning, Columbine, corporate governance, game design, glass ceiling, Hacker Ethic, informal economy, Marc Andreessen, market design, Marshall McLuhan, Saturday Night Live, side project, Silicon Valley, slashdot, software patent, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, X Prize

One day on the way home from the college, Romero’s bike hit a bump in the road. Two hundred cards went flying into the air and scattered across the wet ground. Romero decided it was time to move on. He soon found his next love: the Apple II computer. Apple had become the darling of the indie hacker set ever since the machine was introduced at a 1976 meeting of the Homebrew Computer Club, a ragtag group of California techies. As the first accessible home computers, Apples were ideally suited tor making and playing games. This was thanks in no small part to the roots of the company’s cofounders, Steve Jobs and Stephen Wozniak–or, as they became known, the Two Steves. Jobs, a college dropout with a passion for Buddhism and philosophy, took his first job at a start-up video game company called Atari in the mid11 seventies. Atari was legendary because its founder, Nolan Bushnell, had produced the 1972 arcade hit, Pong, a tennislike game that challenged players to maneuver white strip paddles on either side of the screen while hitting a dot back and forth.

These were not people who fit neatly into the stereotypes of outlaws or geeks. They came from and evolved into all walks of life: Bill Gates, a Harvard dropout who would write the first BASIC programming code for the pioneering Altair personal computer and form the most powerful software company in the world; game makers like Slug Russell, Ken and Roberta Williams, Richard “Ultima” Garriott; the Two Steves–Jobs and Wozniak–who turned their passion for gaming into the Apple II. They were all hackers. “Though some in the field used the term hacker as a form of a derision,” Lew wrote in the preface, “implying that hackers were either nerdy social outcasts or ‘unprofessional’ programmers who wrote dirty, ‘nonstandard’ computer code, I found them quite different. Beneath their often unimposing exteriors, they were adventurers, visionaries, risk-takers, artists … and the ones who most clearly saw why the computer was a truly revolutionary tool.”

The town was blanketed in the stuff, cars caked in frost, trees dangling ice. Carmack endured the chill because he had no car; he’d sold the MGB long before. It was easy enough for him to shut out the weather, just like he could, when necessary, shut Tom and Romero’s antics out of his mind. He was on a mission. Carmack stepped into the local bank and requested a cashier’s check for $11,000. The money was for a NeXT computer, the latest machine from Steve Jobs, cocreator ol Apple. The NeXT, a stealth black cube, surpassed the promise of Jobs’s earlier machines by incorporating NeXTSTEP, a powerful system tailor-made for custom software development. The market for PCs and games was exploding, and this was the perfect tool to create more dynamic titles for the increasingly viable gaming platform. It was the ultimate Christmas present tor the ultimate in young graphics programmers, Carmack.

pages: 666 words: 181,495

In the Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives by Steven Levy


23andMe, AltaVista, Anne Wojcicki, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, autonomous vehicles, book scanning, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, business process, clean water, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, Dean Kamen, discounted cash flows, don't be evil, Donald Knuth, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, El Camino Real, fault tolerance, Firefox, Gerard Salton, Gerard Salton, Google bus, Google Chrome, Google Earth, Googley, HyperCard, hypertext link, IBM and the Holocaust, informal economy, information retrieval, Internet Archive, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, one-China policy, optical character recognition, PageRank, Paul Buchheit, Potemkin village, prediction markets, recommendation engine, risk tolerance, Rubik’s Cube, Sand Hill Road, Saturday Night Live, search inside the book, second-price auction, selection bias, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, Skype, slashdot, social graph, social software, social web, spectrum auction, speech recognition, statistical model, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Ted Nelson, telemarketer, trade route, traveling salesman, turn-by-turn navigation, Vannevar Bush, web application, WikiLeaks, Y Combinator

He offered Larry and Sergey a deal: They would meet with these leaders and report back, and “after that,” he told them, “if you think we should do a search, we will. And if you don’t want to, then I’ll make a decision about that.” Page and Brin agreed to Doerr’s Magical Mystery Tour of high-tech royalty: Apple’s Steve Jobs, Intel’s Andy Grove, Intuit’s Scott Cook, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, and others. Then they came back to Doerr. “This may surprise you,” they told him, “but we agree with you.” They were ready to hire a CEO. One person, and one only, had met their standards: Steve Jobs. This was ludicrous for a googolplex of reasons. Jobs was already the CEO of two public companies. In addition, he was Steve Jobs. You would sooner get the Dalai Lama to join an Internet start-up. Doerr and Mortiz kept pressing, and the founders reluctantly agreed to keep considering. An Intel executive came close but didn’t win them over.

That person was Steve Jobs, the Apple CEO. Since Jobs’s original meeting with Page and Brin—the one where the Google kids had decided that he would meet their CEO requirements—the relationship between the two companies had blossomed. The Google founders were entranced by Jobs’s vision and decisiveness, and Jobs was excited by the opportunity to hook up with a business whose activities were entirely complementary to Apple’s—there seemed to be no competitive overlap. The two firms embarked on a potentially glorious, industry-changing alliance in which the veteran Jobs would lend his expertise and wisdom to the smarty-pants Internet kids and the two firms together would take down Microsoft. All sorts of concepts were discussed. How about a free version of the Mac OS, supported by Apple ads? What about a Google-ized version of Apple’s Safari browser?

Though Kamangar had done a good job with the business plan, Brin and Page knew that they needed an experienced hand to run Google’s business operations, ideally someone with a reputation that would bring credibility to the company. From Kleiner Perkins came a recommendation for a thirty-five-year-old Iran-born executive named Omid Kordestani. He was working for Netscape, which had recently been purchased by AOL, and was looking for a new job. As the engine rooms of the tech boom hadn’t yet begun taking water, Kordestani had plenty of choices. One of the most enticing was Apple, newly revitalized with the return of Steve Jobs. Kordestani took a breakfast meeting with Jobs, who gave him a dizzying, messianic pitch. But Kordestani preferred a start-up. He was sufficiently experienced in Silicon Valley ways to know that scruffy former grad students recommended by top VCs were more likely to deliver treasures than even the wizard of Cupertino. So one evening after work—still wearing the jacket and tie he wore to work at Netscape—he dropped into Google’s Palo Alto office over the bike shop.

pages: 176 words: 55,819

The Start-Up of You by Reid Hoffman


Airbnb, Andy Kessler, Black Swan, business intelligence, Cal Newport, Clayton Christensen, commoditize, David Brooks, Donald Trump,, fear of failure, follow your passion, future of work, game design, Jeff Bezos, job automation, late fees, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, out of africa, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, recommendation engine, Richard Bolles, risk tolerance, rolodex, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, social web, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Tony Hsieh, transaction costs

To succeed professionally in today’s world, you need to adopt these same entrepreneurial strategies. They are valuable no matter your career stage. They are urgent whether you’re just out of college, a decade into the workforce and angling for that next big move, or launching a brand-new career later in life. Companies act small to retain an innovative edge no matter how large they grow. Steve Jobs called Apple the “biggest start-up on the planet.” In the same way, you need to stay young and agile; you need to forever be a start-up. WHY US? I (Reid) cofounded LinkedIn in 2003 with the mission of connecting the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful. More than 100 million members (at the time of the LinkedIn IPO in May 2011) and nine years later, I’ve learned a tremendous amount about how professionals in every industry manage their careers: how they connect with trusted business contacts, find jobs, share information, and present their online identities.

You may not be able to achieve all your aspirations or build a life that incorporates all your values. And they will certainly change over time. But you should at least orient yourself in the direction of a pole star, even if it changes. Jack Dorsey is cofounder and executive chairman of Twitter and cofounder and CEO of Square, a mobile credit card payments start-up. He’s known in Silicon Valley as a product visionary who prizes design and who takes inspiration from sources as varied as Steve Jobs and the Golden Gate Bridge. Both his companies have grown to towering heights (and multibillion-dollar valuations) while keeping Jack’s values and priorities intact. Twitter is still minimalistic and clean; the Square device is still elegant. His aspiration to make complex things simple and his value of design are part of the reason his companies have been so successful: they clarify product priorities, ensure a consistent customer experience, and make it easier to recruit employees who are attracted to similar ideas.

World-class professionals build networks to help them navigate the world. No matter how brilliant your mind or strategy, if you’re playing a solo game, you’ll always lose out to a team. Athletes need coaches and trainers, child prodigies need parents and teachers, directors need producers and actors, politicians need donors and strategists, scientists need lab partners and mentors. Penn needed Teller. Ben needed Jerry. Steve Jobs needed Steve Wozniak. Indeed, teamwork is eminently on display in the start-up world. Very few start-ups are started by only one person. Everyone in the entrepreneurial community agrees that assembling a talented team is as important as it gets. Venture capitalists invest in people as much as in ideas. VCs will frequently back stellar founders with a so-so idea over mediocre founders with a good idea, on the belief that smart and adaptable people will maneuver their way to something that works.

pages: 431 words: 129,071

Selfie: How We Became So Self-Obsessed and What It's Doing to Us by Will Storr

Albert Einstein, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, bitcoin, book scanning, computer age, correlation does not imply causation, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Elon Musk,, gig economy, greed is good, invisible hand, job automation, John Markoff, Lyft, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mont Pelerin Society, mortgage debt, Mother of all demos, Nixon shock, Peter Thiel, QWERTY keyboard, rising living standards, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, The Future of Employment, Tim Cook: Apple, Uber and Lyft, War on Poverty, Whole Earth Catalog

In 1979, they’d demonstrate their work in a now notorious private demo for an ambitious tech entrepreneur called Steve Jobs – who raced back to his company, Apple Computer, and ordered his people to begin copying it. But it would be a while until the rest of the planet, including Jobs, caught up with Engelbart’s genius completely. The mouse wouldn’t become available to the wider public until 1983 and his astonishing vision of the internet would take even longer to actualize. After seeing computers networked together at the Xerox demo, Jobs had largely shrugged off this function, so taken had he been with the user interface. Engelbart recalled meeting Jobs in the 1980s. According to his account, he told Jobs his Apple computer was ‘terribly limited. It has no access to anyone else’s documents, to email, to common repositories of information.’

‘There is an impression that Doug goes off in a corner and hatches ideas’ . . . etc.: Bootstrapping, Thierry Bardini (Stanford University Press, 2000), pp. 198–200. Engelbart was treating his people like ‘laboratory animals’: ‘Chronicle of the Death of a Laboratory: Douglas Engelbart and the Failure of the Knowledge Workshop’, Thierry Bardini and Michael Friedewald, History of Technology (2003), 23, pp. 191–212, at p. 206. who raced back to his company, Apple Computer: Steve Jobs, Walter Isaacson (Abacus, 2015), pp. 96–7. Engelbart recalled meeting Jobs in the 1980s: ‘Douglas Engelbart’s lasting legacy’, Tia O’Brien, Mercury News, 3 March 2013. Fred Turner, would archly note that: ‘Stewart Brand’s Whole Earth Catalog, the book that changed the world’, Carole Cadwalladr, Guardian, 5 May 2013. In 1995, Brand told Time Magazine: As quoted in the exhibition ‘You Say You Want a Revolution?

., PLOS ONE (July 2012), 7(7); ‘Fitting In or Standing Out: Trends in American Parents’ Choices for Children’s Names, 1880–2007’, Jean M. Twenge et al., Social Psychological and Personality Science (2010), 1(1), pp. 19–25. They write of the largest place of worship in America, Lakewood Church in Houston: The Narcissism Epidemic, Jean M. Twenge and W. Keith Campbell (Free Press, 2010), pp. 248, 249. Steve Jobs . . . Travis Kalanick: Wozniak on Steve Job’s Resignation, Bloomberg, 24 August 2011, video, from 08:46 [Wozniak: ‘He must have read some books that really were his guide in life and I think Atlas Shrugged might have been one that he mentioned back then.’]­videos/b/­d93c1b72-31e2-41de-ba4a-65a6cb4f4929. ‘Silicon Valley’s Most Disturbing Obsession’, Nick Bilton, Vanity Fair, November 2016. many working-class Democrats deserted . . . etc.: ‘The Decline of the White Working Class and the Rise of a Mass Upper Middle Class’, Ruy Teixeira and Alan Abramowitz, Brookings Working Paper, April 2008.

pages: 299 words: 91,839

What Would Google Do? by Jeff Jarvis


23andMe, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, Anne Wojcicki, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, business process, call centre, cashless society, citizen journalism, clean water, commoditize, connected car, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, disintermediation, diversified portfolio, don't be evil, fear of failure, Firefox, future of journalism, Google Earth, Googley, Howard Rheingold, informal economy, inventory management, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, Mark Zuckerberg, moral hazard, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, old-boy network, PageRank, peer-to-peer lending, post scarcity, prediction markets, pre–internet, Ronald Coase, search inside the book, Silicon Valley, Skype, social graph, social software, social web, spectrum auction, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, the medium is the message, The Nature of the Firm, the payments system, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, web of trust, Y Combinator, Zipcar

Apple has no problem with them. iTunes drives customers to buy more Apple hardware. Free as a business model? The gift economy? Apple is not generous. It charges a premium for its quality. Apple follows just a few Google rules. Lord knows, it innovates. And nobody’s better at simplifying tasks and design. How does Apple do it? How does it get away with operating this way even as every other company and industry is forced to redefine itself? It’s just that good. Its vision is that strong and its products even better. I left Apple once, in the 1990s, before Steve Jobs returned to the company, when I suffered through a string of bad laptops. But when I’d had it with Dell, I returned to Apple and now everyone in my family has a Mac (plus one new Dell); we have three iPhones; we have lots of iPods; I lobbied successfully to make Macs the standard in the journalism school where I teach.

Is there an anti-Google, one institution that has become successful by violating the rules in this book? I could think of one: Apple. Consider: Apple flouts Jarvis’ First Law. Hand over control to the customer? You must be joking. Steve Jobs controls all—and we want him to. It is thanks to his brilliant and single-minded vision and grumpy passion for perfection that his products work so well. Microsoft’s products, by contrast, operate as if they were designed by warring committees. Google’s products, though far more functional than Microsoft’s and built with considerable input from users, appear to have been designed by a computer (I await the aesthetic algorithm). Apple is the opposite of collaborative. It’s not that it doesn’t care what we think. After a product comes out, Apple has learned to fix its mistakes—quietly. The first iPhone’s headphone jack was recessed in the case to make it look prettier, but that also made it incompatible with all plugs but Apple’s own.

With Google, it is harder to hide behind spin, to control information, or to hope that people will forget what you said yesterday or the mistakes you make today. The truth is a click away. Institutions are learning to acknowledge their mistakes and apologize. When he took office following predecessor Eliot Spitzer’s sex scandal, New York Governor David Paterson preemptively admitted having an affair, among other peccadilloes. Apple had a near-disaster in the launch of its service and Steve Jobs admitted it publicly. This is honest talk, which comes in a human voice. Even in the machine age—the Google age—that voice will emerge and succeed over a filtered, packaged, institutional tone. The Cluetrain Manifesto (which you can read for free at teaches this lesson in its 95 theses, which begin: Markets are conversations. Markets consist of human beings, not demographic sectors.

pages: 559 words: 155,372

Chaos Monkeys: Obscene Fortune and Random Failure in Silicon Valley by Antonio Garcia Martinez


Airbnb, airport security, always be closing, Amazon Web Services, Burning Man, Celtic Tiger, centralized clearinghouse, cognitive dissonance, collective bargaining, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, drone strike, El Camino Real, Elon Musk, Emanuel Derman, financial independence, global supply chain, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, hive mind, income inequality, information asymmetry, interest rate swap, intermodal, Jeff Bezos, Malcom McLean invented shipping containers, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Maui Hawaii, means of production, Menlo Park, minimum viable product, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, Paul Graham, performance metric, Peter Thiel, Ponzi scheme, pre–internet, Ralph Waldo Emerson, random walk, Ruby on Rails, Sand Hill Road, Scientific racism, second-price auction, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Snapchat, social graph, social web, Socratic dialogue, source of truth, Steve Jobs, telemarketer, urban renewal, Y Combinator, zero-sum game, éminence grise

This is actually counterintuitive if you know how mobile data is stored: on mobile, every device has a unique ID that’s associated with the physical hardware you’re holding in your hand.* In theory, marketers could sell all that data, associating it with your device ID, and then use it to target you on Facebook or on mobile ad exchanges. That doesn’t happen, for two reasons: First, companies like Apple have monopolistic control of their platforms, and as part of the app-approval process that allows a new app into Apple’s App Store, Apple can limit the use of this magical device ID.† In general, Apple has shown itself very protective of users (Steve Jobs was famously indifferent, to not say antagonistic, to advertising), and very keen on foiling any secondary market in targeting data. Second, app developers themselves jealously guard their data as their own, are reluctant to share it, and would rather monetize its power themselves rather than pursue the short-term upside of selling it, potentially to competitors.

Bushnell announced a $700 prize for anyone who could design a hardware-software combo that would power the game, with a $1,000 bonus for every chip that was saved in manufacturing the circuit (chips used to be expensive). Jobs convinced his eventual Apple cofounder, Steve “Woz” Wozniak, to take on the project, stipulating it had to be done in four days to fit his social schedule (he had to go pick apples at a utopian commune). Woz worked like hell, with Jobs doing the manual labor of testing the designed circuits, and they made the deadline. Jobs, however, never told Woz about the bonuses, having mentioned only the base prize. He gave Woz $350, shortchanging his collaborator, who had made the entire thing possible, and used the stolen cash to finance his lifestyle. Steve Jobs was all smoldering ambition, ruthless will to power, and narcissistic amour propre; by all accounts of people who actually worked with him, he was a mediocre engineer who had good taste and knew how to recognize in others talents he didn’t posses, and got them to work like hell for him, while fending off competitors in the meantime.

Facebook’s good graces were always conditional, and it was a foolish company indeed that took them for granted. Amazon clearly fell into the former category. Jeff Bezos was a maniacal leader who would stop at nothing until his vision of the world was realized, and who had inspired, cajoled, or intimidated an army to implement that vision. Zuck looked over at Bezos in Seattle, or Larry Page from Google in Mountain View, or (in the past) Steve Jobs from Apple in Cupertino, and he saw more than just a tech company and a chief executive. He saw a reflection of himself among those men, and that was terrifying. Other players in the tech or media worlds could be outwitted, out-engineered, or otherwise co-opted or bought off, but not these alpha companies. With Amazon or Google, the Facebook army had to close ranks and present a phalanx, and possibly battle an equal foe whose CEO was just as much of a kamikaze as Zuck was (Carthage must be destroyed!).

pages: 113 words: 37,885

Why Wall Street Matters by William D. Cohan

Apple II, asset-backed security, bank run, Bernie Sanders, bonus culture, break the buck, buttonwood tree, corporate governance, corporate raider, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, Donald Trump, Exxon Valdez, financial innovation, financial repression, Fractional reserve banking, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, income inequality, Joseph Schumpeter, London Interbank Offered Rate, margin call, money market fund, moral hazard, Potemkin village, quantitative easing, secular stagnation, Snapchat, South Sea Bubble, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, too big to fail, WikiLeaks

This is a good thing. Objectively speaking, we learn from the Apple prospectus that there would be no Apple, at least in its present form, without Wall Street. The prospectus explains that Apple had a relatively large group of early investors who supported the company from its inception in 1976, when Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, the two founders, “designed, developed and assembled the Apple I, a microprocessor-based computer consisting of a single printed circuit board.” On January 3, 1977, Apple incorporated; three months later, it introduced the Apple II, which was similar to the Apple I but with a keyboard and a plastic cover. For the nine months leading up to the end of September 1977, Apple had a profit of almost $45,000. But Apple had big ambitions, as the prospectus makes clear, and achieving those ambitions required capital.

The thought process that led Venrock and Arthur Rock to invest in Apple is the same one that leads to any investment being made, even ones in Wall Street firms. That’s the way capitalism tends to work: Investors are willing to take exceptional risks—and backing Apple financially in 1977 was an exceptional risk because it was all big dreams and little accomplishment—in the hope of achieving an exceptional return on that investment. And the Apple IPO certainly made the earliest investors in Apple wealthy. Many of them paid less than ten cents a share for their stock. Considering that the IPO was priced at $22 per share, the return on that initial investment was astounding. (Had these investors held on until the present day, the wealth creation would have been nearly beyond comprehension. Indeed, Laurene Powell Jobs, the widow of Steve Jobs, is said to be worth around $19 billion.)

Most important, at first, were the venture capitalists, such as Venrock Associates, in New York City, which had a 7.6 percent stake in Apple at the time of its IPO, and Arthur Rock, a former banker at Hambrecht & Quist, a small technology-oriented investment bank in San Francisco. Rock had a 1.3 percent stake in Apple. There were other venture capitalists, too, and together they owned another 8.7 percent of Apple before its IPO. As for Jobs, then twenty-five years old, and Wozniak, then thirty years old, they had stakes in Apple of 15 percent and 7.9 percent, respectively. A. C. Markkula Jr., Apple’s chief marketing executive since May 1977 and also the chairman of the board of directors, had a 14 percent stake. Michael Scott, Apple’s short-lived first CEO, bought his stake of nearly 1.3 million shares for a penny a share when he joined Apple in May 1977. The venture capitalists backing Apple did so for one reason: They were hoping to make money.

pages: 293 words: 81,183

Doing Good Better: How Effective Altruism Can Help You Make a Difference by William MacAskill


barriers to entry, basic income, Black Swan, Branko Milanovic, Cal Newport, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, clean water, corporate social responsibility, correlation does not imply causation, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Brooks, effective altruism,, end world poverty, experimental subject, follow your passion, food miles, immigration reform, income inequality, index fund, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Isaac Newton, job automation, job satisfaction, labour mobility, Lean Startup, M-Pesa, mass immigration, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microcredit, Nate Silver, Peter Singer: altruism, purchasing power parity, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, randomized controlled trial, self-driving car, Skype, Stanislav Petrov, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, The Future of Employment, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, universal basic income, women in the workforce

Rather, passion grows out of work that has the right features. This was even true of Steve Jobs. When he was young, he was passionate about Zen Buddhism. He traveled in India, took plenty of LSD, shaved his head, wore robes, and seriously considered moving to Japan to become a monk. He first got into electronics only reluctantly, as a way to earn cash on the side, helping his tech-savvy friend Steve Wozniak handle business deals while also spending time at the All-One Farm. Even Apple Computer’s very existence was fortuitous: while Jobs and Wozniak were trying to sell circuit boards to hobbyists, the owner of one local computer store said he would buy fully assembled computers, and they jumped at the chance to make more money. It was only once they started to gain traction and success that Jobs’s passion for Apple and computing really bloomed. What about following your heart, your gut, or your itch to find work you love?

There are other factors that also matter to your job satisfaction: See the information and references cited in “Predictors of Job Satisfaction,” 80,000 Hours, August 28, 2014, He traveled in India: See Walter Isaacson, Steve Jobs (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2011), 39–50. while Jobs and Wozniak were trying to sell circuit boards to hobbyists: Jeffrey S. Young and William L. Simon, iCon Steve Jobs: The Greatest Second Act in the History of Business (Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, 2005), 35–36. it’s been found that professors: Daniel T. Gilbert et al., “Immune Neglect: A Source of Durability Bias in Affective Forecasting,” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 75, no. 3 (September 1998), 617–38.

People often want job satisfaction as an end in itself, but it’s also a crucial factor when thinking about impact: if you’re not happy at work, you’ll be less productive and more likely to burn out, resulting in less impact in the long-term. However, we need to be careful when thinking about how to find a job you’ll love. There’s a lot of feel-good misinformation out there, and the real route to job satisfaction is somewhat counterintuitive. On June 12, 2005, Steve Jobs stood in front of the graduating class at Stanford and gave them his advice on what they should do with their lives: You have to trust in something—your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever—because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leads you off the well-worn path, and that will make all the difference. You’ve got to find what you love, and that is as true for work as it is for your lovers.

pages: 253 words: 65,834

Mastering the VC Game: A Venture Capital Insider Reveals How to Get From Start-Up to IPO on Your Terms by Jeffrey Bussgang

business process, carried interest, digital map, discounted cash flows, hiring and firing, Jeff Bezos, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, moveable type in China, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, performance metric, Peter Thiel,, risk tolerance, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Sand Hill Road, selection bias, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Skype, software as a service, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Jobs, technology bubble, The Wisdom of Crowds

It comes down to an essential character trait that I observed in myself: the entrepreneurial itch. When you have it, you just have to scratch it. You really can’t help yourself. Being an entrepreneur may be something deep in the genes. John Doerr, the venture capitalist, described some of the greatest entrepreneurs he had invested in—including Sergey Brin and Larry Page (Google), Jeff Bezos (, and Steve Jobs (Apple)—as “geeks who couldn’t get dates.” Although I don’t know if that is actually true about those four guys, the spirit of the comment resonates. The world of the entrepreneur, even when they are teenagers, is typically not defined by being cool and fitting in but rather by their passion for technology, innovation, change, and a particular idea. Genetic or not, there are certain classic characteristics of the entrepreneur.

You want to find someone you think you can work with and someone you believe you can trust. Tim Bucher has learned the importance of chemistry in spades over the years. Tim is one of Silicon Valley’s most accomplished serial entrepreneurs. A former Sun engineer, co-founder of WebTV (sold to Microsoft), a former Apple executive (ran all of Macintosh engineering), and founder of Zing Systems (sold to Dell), Tim may be the only entrepreneur on the planet who has worked closely with Scott McNealy, Michael Dell, Bill Gates, and Steve Jobs. My partner Jon Karlen led an investment in Tim’s Zing Systems, which developed a mobile music software platform to compete with the iPhone, and we had the pleasure of working closely with him and learning some of the secrets to his repeated entrepreneurial success. Having worked with numerous VCs, good and bad, Tim points to chemistry as a key success factor.

And to help them along with advice and capital, many entrepreneurs turn to the venture capitalist. 2 INSIDE THE VC CLUB: THE ONE THOUSAND DECIDERS No kid dreams of growing up to become a venture capitalist. I certainly didn’t when I was a student, and that’s still true of students today. When they are asked what they want to be when they graduate from college, a large percentage of students reply, “Entrepreneur.” To have a dream and build it into a success is indeed fundamental to the American system of capitalist free enterprise. Some of our greatest cultural icons—from Thomas Edison to Steve Jobs—have been entrepreneurs. Few, if any, students mention the goal of becoming a venture capitalist. Although the VC industry has gained prominence since my college days, most students I’ve talked to still don’t know what a venture capitalist is or how a VC firm operates. There are no Thomas Edisons among the VC ranks. Even John Doerr—legendary for helping to launch Netscape, Google, and—is hardly a household name.

pages: 132 words: 31,976

Getting Real by Jason Fried, David Heinemeier Hansson, Matthew Linderman, 37 Signals


call centre, collaborative editing, David Heinemeier Hansson, iterative process, John Gruber, knowledge worker, Merlin Mann, Metcalfe's law, performance metric, premature optimization, Ruby on Rails, slashdot, Steve Jobs, web application

Sometimes the biggest favor you can do for customers is to leave something out. Innovation Comes From Saying No [Innovation] comes from saying no to 1,000 things to make sure we don't get on the wrong track or try to do too much. We're always thinking about new markets we could enter, but it's only by saying no that you can concentrate on the things that are really important. —Steve Jobs, CEO, Apple (from The Seed of Apple's Innovation) Table of contents | Essay list for this chapter | Next essay Race to Running Software Get something real up and running quickly Running software is the best way to build momentum, rally your team, and flush out ideas that don't work. It should be your number one priority from day one. It's ok to do less, skip details, and take shortcuts in your process if it'll lead to running software faster.

Then, and only then, do we start considering the feature for real. And what do you say to people who complain when you won't adopt their feature idea? Remind them why they like the app in the first place. "You like it because we say no. You like it because it doesn't do 100 other things. You like it because it doesn't try to please everyone all the time." "We Don't Want a Thousand Features" Steve Jobs gave a small private presentation about the iTunes Music Store to some independent record label people. My favorite line of the day was when people kept raising their hand saying, "Does it do [x]?", "Do you plan to add [y]?". Finally Jobs said, "Wait wait — put your hands down. Listen: I know you have a thousand ideas for all the cool features iTunes could have. So do we. But we don't want a thousand features.

How will this screen look once it's full? Set expectations and help reduce frustration, intimidation, and overall confusion. First impressions are crucial. If you fail to design a thoughtful blank slate, you'll create a negative (and false) impression of your application or service. You Never Get A Second Chance... Another aspect of the Mac OS x ui that I think has been tremendously influenced by [Steve] Jobs is the setup and first-run experience. I think Jobs is keenly aware of the importance of first impressions...I think Jobs looks at the first-run experience and thinks, it may only be one-thousandth of a user's overall experience with the machine, but it's the most important onethousandth, because it's the first one-thousandth, and it sets their expectations and initial impression. —John Gruber, author and web developer (from Interview with John Gruber) Table of contents | Essay list for this chapter | Next essay Get Defensive Design for when things go wrong Let's admit it: Things will go wrong online.

pages: 651 words: 180,162

Antifragile: Things That Gain From Disorder by Nassim Nicholas Taleb


Air France Flight 447, Andrei Shleifer, banking crisis, Benoit Mandelbrot, Berlin Wall, Black Swan, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable, commoditize, creative destruction, credit crunch, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, discrete time, double entry bookkeeping, Emanuel Derman, epigenetics, financial independence, Flash crash, Gary Taubes, George Santayana, Gini coefficient, Henri Poincaré, high net worth, hygiene hypothesis, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, informal economy, invention of the wheel, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Hargreaves, Jane Jacobs, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, knowledge economy, Lao Tzu, Long Term Capital Management, loss aversion, Louis Pasteur, mandelbrot fractal, Marc Andreessen, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microbiome, money market fund, moral hazard, mouse model, Myron Scholes, Norbert Wiener, pattern recognition, Paul Samuelson, placebo effect, Ponzi scheme, principal–agent problem, purchasing power parity, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, Ralph Nader, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, rent control, Republic of Letters, Ronald Reagan, Rory Sutherland, selection bias, Silicon Valley, six sigma, spinning jenny, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, stochastic process, stochastic volatility, The Great Moderation, the new new thing, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Bayes, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, transaction costs, urban planning, Vilfredo Pareto, Yogi Berra, Zipf's Law

Rohan Silva once remarked that Steve Jobs wanted the inside of the Apple products to look aesthetically appealing, although they are designed to remain unseen by the customer. This is something only a true artisan would do—carpenters with personal pride feel fake when treating the inside of cabinets differently from the outside. Again, this is a form of redundancy, one with an aesthetic and ethical payoff. But Steve Jobs was one of the rare exceptions in the Highly Talked About Completely Misunderstood Said to Be Efficient Corporate Global Economy. Artisans, Marketing, and the Cheapest to Deliver Another attribute of the artisanal. There is no product that I particularly like that I have discovered through advertising and marketing: cheeses, wine, meats, eggs, tomatoes, basil leaves, apples, restaurants, barbers, art, books, hotels, shoes, shirts, eyeglasses, pants (my father and I have used three generations of Armenian tailors in Beirut), olives, olive oil, etc.

The northern Levant was since ancient times dominated by traders, largely owing to its position as a central spot on the Silk Road, and by agricultural lords, as the province supplied wheat to much of the Mediterranean world, particularly Rome. The area supplied a few Roman emperors, a few Catholic popes before the schisms, and more than thirty Greek language writers and philosophers (which includes many of the heads of Plato’s academy), in addition to the ancestors of the American visionary and computer entrepreneur Steve Jobs, who brought us the Apple computer, on one of which I am recopying these lines (and the iPad tablet, on which you may be reading them). We know of the autonomy of the province from the records during Roman days, as it was then managed by the local elites, a decentralized method of ruling through locals that the Ottoman retained. Cities minted their own coins. Then two events took place. First, after the Great War, one part of the northern Levant was integrated into the newly created nation of Syria, separated from its other section, now part of Lebanon.

Interdicts in religion: Fourest and Venner (2010) presents a list across all persuasions. Steve Jobs: Beahm (2011). Gladwell: “If you totted up all his hospital bills for the ten years that he had been on the streets—as well as substance-abuse-treatment costs, doctors’ fees, and other expenses—Murray Barr probably ran up a medical bill as large as anyone in the state of Nevada. ‘It cost us one million dollars not to do something about Murray,’ O’Bryan said.” Gladwell (2009). Falsification and problems of induction: See references in The Black Swan. Smoking and overall medical effect: Burch (2009). Fractality: Mandelbrot (1983). Edgerton’s shock of the old: Edgerton (2007). Less Is More in Decision Theory Simplicity and Steve Jobs: “That’s been one of my mantras—focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple.

pages: 598 words: 172,137

Who Stole the American Dream? by Hedrick Smith


Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbus A320, airline deregulation, anti-communist, asset allocation, banking crisis, Bonfire of the Vanities, British Empire, business process, clean water, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, commoditize, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, currency manipulation / currency intervention, David Brooks, Deng Xiaoping, desegregation, Double Irish / Dutch Sandwich, family office, full employment, global supply chain, Gordon Gekko, guest worker program, hiring and firing, housing crisis, Howard Zinn, income inequality, index fund, industrial cluster, informal economy, invisible hand, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, Kitchen Debate, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, laissez-faire capitalism, late fees, Long Term Capital Management, low cost carrier, manufacturing employment, market fundamentalism, Maui Hawaii, mega-rich, mortgage debt, negative equity, new economy, Occupy movement, Own Your Own Home, Paul Samuelson, Peter Thiel, Plutonomy: Buying Luxury, Explaining Global Imbalances, Ponzi scheme, Powell Memorandum, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, Renaissance Technologies, reshoring, rising living standards, Robert Bork, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Steve Jobs, The Chicago School, The Spirit Level, too big to fail, transaction costs, transcontinental railway, union organizing, Unsafe at Any Speed, Vanguard fund, We are the 99%, women in the workforce, working poor, Y2K

The highest-profile case of stock option payola involved the late Apple CEO Steve Jobs. After ducking media inquiries about whether Apple’s board had improperly changed the dates of its stock option grants, Apple finally admitted to the SEC that between 1997 and 2002, there were 6,428 separate instances where the dates of Apple stock options had been altered. Steve Jobs had been personally involved in picking “favorable” dates for backdating options, Apple confessed. Nonetheless, Apple’s internal report cleared Jobs of wrongdoing. Initially, Apple said Jobs had not profited personally, but it later turned out that Jobs had made a whopping profit, getting $295.7 million from selling half the shares that he’d been allowed to buy for $75 million. Worse, Apple disclosed to the SEC that it had fabricated—that is, totally made up—a fictional meeting of the board of directors in October 2003 that supposedly approved 7.5 million options for Jobs.

-China Trade Deficit: $2 Trillion Wal-Mart may have been the prime mover in pushing the China trade and driving American jobs to China, but almost everyone was in the game: Target, Costco, Best Buy, an army of mass retail chains, plus big manufacturers such as Boeing, which has contracted with the Chinese and Japanese to make parts for the new 787 Dreamliner jet, as well as other U.S. multinationals such as Apple with its iPhones and iPads made in China or Hewlett-Packard and Cisco importing components for laptops, printers, cellphones, and Internet switching gear. Apple’s longtime CEO, Steve Jobs, won praise for creating jobs in America from Republican leaders like Indiana governor Mitch Daniels, but in fact, Apple under Steve Jobs had only forty-three thousand employees in the United States, while it indirectly employed seven hundred thousand at its overseas suppliers, mainly in China. As The New York Times reported, Apple overlooked sweatshop conditions and fatal explosions at supplier plants in China, not just because Chinese labor was cheap, but because state-subsidized Chinese suppliers jumped to meet Apple’s tight deadlines by rousting workers out of bed at midnight and reportedly working them fifteen hours a day.

Worse, Apple disclosed to the SEC that it had fabricated—that is, totally made up—a fictional meeting of the board of directors in October 2003 that supposedly approved 7.5 million options for Jobs. That meeting never took place, Apple admitted; in fact, the options had been approved on December 18, 2001, when they would have cost Jobs more. Apple’s whitewash of Steve Jobs met with catcalls of corporate hypocrisy. “They pretty much admitted he was directly involved in the fraud,” asserted New York University finance professor David Yermack. “You are torturing the English language to say he did not benefit from the options,” echoed Patrick McGurn of Institutional Shareholder Services. Even with Apple shareholders grumbling, there was no legal prosecution. Strange as it may sound, while backdating options is obviously fraudulent, it is not against the law. Nationwide, the scale of stock option cheating was staggering.

pages: 239 words: 73,178

The Narcissist You Know by Joseph Burgo


Albert Einstein, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey,, financial independence, Jeff Bezos, Julian Assange, Paul Graham, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, traveling salesman, WikiLeaks

By insisting that they always know best, they broadcast their winner self-image and make everyone else into comparative losers. Utterly lacking in humility, they announce again and again that they are the smartest, most insightful, most creative person in the room. And sometimes they actually are. THINK DIFFERENT People who worked closely with Steve Jobs had a special name for his uncanny ability to impose his vision upon others. With reference to an early Star Trek episode, his colleagues at Apple called it the reality distortion field. Andy Hertzfeld, a member of the Macintosh team, describes it as “a confounding mélange of a charismatic rhetorical style, indomitable will, and an eagerness to bend any fact to fit the purpose at hand.”6 According to biographer Walter Isaacson, Jobs “would assert something—be it a fact about world history or a recounting of who suggested an idea at a meeting—without even considering the truth.

“I HAVE SO MUCH TO TELL YOU”: THE KNOW-IT-ALL NARCISSIST 1. Martha Stout, The Sociopath Next Door: The Ruthless versus the Rest of Us (New York: Broadway Books, 2005), 60. 2. Ibid., 92. 3. 4. Ibid. 5. Ibid. 6. Walter Isaacson, Steve Jobs (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2011), 118. 7. Ibid. 8. Ibid., 120. 9. Ibid., 119. 10. Ibid. 11. 12. Isaacson, Steve Jobs, 121. 13. Ibid., 12. 14. Ibid., 246. 15. Ibid., 264–265. 16. Ibid., 266. 17. Ibid., 5. 18. Ibid., 257. 19. Ibid. 20. Nancy Newton Verrier, The Primal Wound: Understanding the Adopted Child (Baltimore: Gateway Press, 2003), 1. 21. O. Kernberg, “Pathological narcissism and narcissistic personality disorder: Theoretical background and diagnostic classification,” in E.

When this natural evolution is interrupted by a postnatal separation from the biological mother, the resultant experience of abandonment and loss is indelibly imprinted upon the unconscious minds of these children, causing that which I call the “primal wound.”20 This “primal wound” inflicted upon the budding psyche lies at the heart of core shame. Early trauma leaves the growing child with a sense that something has gone terribly wrong with his or her development, often leading to the kind of defensive character structure epitomized by Steve Jobs. It comes as no surprise that psychoanalyst Otto Kernberg identifies adopted children as one of five groups at especially high risk of developing Narcissistic Personality Disorder.21 Despite his well-known obnoxious personality and problematic relationship with the truth, Steve Jobs has remained a hero to millions following his death. Bikram Choudhury continues to attract a following of devoted students who revere him while the lawsuits work their way through the courts. One was a creative genius who largely shaped our relationship with modern technology, the other is a guru whose methods seem to have helped thousands of people turn their lives around.

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A Curious Mind: The Secret to a Bigger Life by Brian Grazer, Charles Fishman


4chan, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Apple II, Asperger Syndrome, Bonfire of the Vanities,, game design, Google Chrome, Howard Zinn, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, Kickstarter, Norman Mailer, out of africa, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, the scientific method, Tim Cook: Apple

News & World Report, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting Jack Healey: human rights activist, former executive director of Amnesty International USA Thomas Heaton: seismologist, professor at California Institute of Technology, contributed to the development of earthquake early warning systems Peter Herbst: journalist, former editor of Premiere and New York magazines Danette Herman: talent executive for Academy Awards Seymour Hersh: investigative reporter, author, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for uncovering the My Lai massacre and its cover-up during the Vietnam War Dave Hickey: art and cultural critic who has written for Harper’s, Rolling Stone, and Vanity Fair Jim Hightower: progressive political activist, radio talk-show host Tommy Hilfiger: fashion designer, founder of lifestyle brand Christopher Hitchens: journalist and author who was a critic of politics and religion David Hockney: artist and major contributor to the Pop art movement in the 1960s Nancy Irwin: hypnotherapist Chris Isaak: musician, actor Michael Jackson: singer, songwriter, his 1982 album Thriller is the bestselling album of all time LeBron James: NBA basketball player Mort Janklow: literary agent, founder and chairman of the literary agency Janklow & Nesbit Associates Jay Z: musician, music producer, fashion designer, entrepreneur Wyclef Jean: musician, actor James Jebbia: CEO of the Supreme clothing brand Harry J. Jerison: paleoneurologist, professor emeritus at UCLA Steve Jobs: cofounder and former CEO of Apple Inc., cofounder and former CEO of Pixar Betsey Johnson: fashion designer Jamie Johnson: documentary filmmaker who directed Born Rich, heir to Johnson & Johnson fortune Larry C. Johnson: former analyst for the CIA, security and terrorism consultant Robert L. Johnson: businessman, media magnate, cofounder and former chairman of BET Sheila Johnson: cofounder of BET, first African American woman to be an owner/partner in three professional sports teams Steve Johnson: media theorist, popular science author, cocreated online magazine FEED Jackie Joyner-Kersee: Olympic gold medalist, track star Paul Kagame: president of Rwanda Michiko Kakutani: book critic for the New York Times, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for criticism Sam Hall Kaplan: former architecture critic for the Los Angeles Times Masoud Karkehabadi: wunderkind who graduated from college at age thirteen Patrick Keefe: author, staff writer for the New Yorker Gershon Kekst: founder of the corporate communications company Kekst and Co.

I keep asking questions until something interesting happens. My talent is to know enough to ask the questions, and to know when something interesting happens. What I think is so exciting about curiosity is that it doesn’t matter who you are, it doesn’t matter what your job is, or what your passion is. Curiosity works the same way for all of us—if we use it well. You don’t have to be Thomas Edison. You don’t have to be Steve Jobs. You don’t have to be Steven Spielberg. But you can be “creative” and “innovative” and “compelling” and “original”—because you can be curious. Curiosity doesn’t only help you solve problems—no matter what those problems are. There’s a bonus: curiosity is free. You don’t need a training course. You don’t need special equipment or expensive clothing, you don’t need a smartphone or a high-speed Internet connection, you don’t need the full set of the Encyclopædia Britannica (which I was always a little sad I didn’t have).

In fact, the very best doctors, detectives, generals, coaches, and diplomats all share the skill of being able to think about the world from the perspective of their rivals. You can’t simply design your own strategy, then execute it and wait to see what happens so you can respond. You have to anticipate what’s going to happen—by first disrupting your own point of view. The same skill, in a completely different context, is what creates products that delight us. The specific genius of Steve Jobs lay in designing a computer operating system, and a music player, and a phone that anticipate how we’ll want to compute, and listen to music, and communicate—and providing what we want before we know it. The same is true of an easy-to-use dishwasher or TV remote control. You can always tell when you settle into the driver’s seat of a car you haven’t driven before whether the people who designed the dashboard and controls were the least bit curious about how their customers use their cars.

pages: 324 words: 92,805

The Impulse Society: America in the Age of Instant Gratification by Paul Roberts


2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 3D printing, accounting loophole / creative accounting, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, asset allocation, business process, Cass Sunstein, centre right, choice architecture, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, computerized trading, corporate governance, corporate raider, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, crony capitalism, David Brooks, delayed gratification, double helix, factory automation, financial deregulation, financial innovation, fixed income, full employment, game design, greed is good, If something cannot go on forever, it will stop - Herbert Stein's Law, impulse control, income inequality, inflation targeting, invisible hand, job automation, John Markoff, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge worker, late fees, Long Term Capital Management, loss aversion, low skilled workers, mass immigration, new economy, Nicholas Carr, obamacare, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, performance metric, postindustrial economy, profit maximization, Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, reshoring, Richard Thaler, rising living standards, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Rodney Brooks, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, technoutopianism, the built environment, The Predators' Ball, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, total factor productivity, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Walter Mischel, winner-take-all economy

The average CEO now outearned the median employee by a factor of one hundred to one—up from twenty to one two decades earlier.30 The Gilded Age was back, but with none of the reformers. Yet even before we could seriously question the durability of our new strategies and the sustainability of our new consumer culture, our attention was diverted by yet another surge of personal power that would push the self-centered economy to an even more commanding height. The iconic image of this next wave is that of a baby-faced Steve Jobs, dapper in his Beatles haircut and black tux, unveiling his Apple Macintosh before a hushed crowd of Apple shareholders in January 1984. Personal computers had been around since the late 1970s, but the Macintosh was the first machine that actually catered to the dimensions and desires of the average person, and its success would change everything. Watching the Macintosh event now (on YouTube, of course) you can still feel the shock of the new: the Macintosh is small, with a tiny, flickering black-and-white display, but the effect on the crowd is electrifying.

Bright young women and men who traditionally took positions in essential fields such as engineering or medicine or research are increasingly likely to opt for the faster returns of the financial sector.26 “Finance literally bids rocket scientists away from the satellite industry,” write Stephen Cecchetti and Enisse Kharroubi, economists at the Bank of International Settlements and experts in the effects of financial sector expansion.27 “People who might have become scientists, who in another age dreamt of curing cancer or flying to Mars, today dream of becoming hedge fund managers.” Even many conservative economists who are generally content to let markets allocate talent worry about the financial sector’s warping effects on the job market. “The last thing we need is for the next Steve Jobs to forgo Silicon Valley in order to join the high-frequency traders on Wall Street,” writes Harvard economist Greg Mankiw. “That is, we shouldn’t be concerned about the next Steve Jobs striking it rich, but we want to make sure he strikes it rich in a socially productive way.”28 Mankiw’s point about striking it rich in “a socially productive way” is central here. In a truly efficient market, people and companies earn only as much as is necessary to induce them to deliver a particular service or product.

Where once we had accepted the delays and inconveniences of the purely physical marketplace—in fact, we had once made a virtue of that acceptance—we now began to expect, and to feel entitled to, ever-faster gratification, not simply in the online world, but everywhere. Our entire sense of what was possible was being transformed by the rapid pace of technological change: if we were dissatisfied with the present, we could rest assured that some new product or experience or interaction—some new opportunity to narrow the gap between wanting and having, between desire and being—was only seconds away. The cheering for Steve Jobs and his toylike creation was utterly genuine and entirely understandable. We’d all been given a glimpse of the sort of power and freedom that would soon be available to the individual, and we could hardly wait to get started. Chapter 3 Power Corrupts In the early 1990s, just as the second wave of digital technologies was shoving the market into high gear, an aspiring behavioral scientist at the University of Chicago named Dilip Soman set out to study the effects of one of those technologies, consumer credit, on the human brain.

pages: 295 words: 89,430

Small Data: The Tiny Clues That Uncover Huge Trends by Martin Lindstrom


autonomous vehicles, Berlin Wall, big-box store, correlation does not imply causation, Edward Snowden, Fall of the Berlin Wall, land reform, Mikhail Gorbachev, Murano, Venice glass, Richard Florida, rolodex, self-driving car, Skype, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, too big to fail, urban sprawl

Hitchcock relied on both scripts, but the Green Script reminded him how he wanted moviegoers to feel, and at what point, as they watched Suspicion, or Shadow of a Doubt, or North By Northwest. Some of the most powerful brands in the world make unconscious use of a Blue Script and Green Script. Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger and Apple CEO Steve Jobs once had a conversation about retail, during which Jobs told Iger that retailers should always ask themselves one question: If a store could talk, what would it say to the people entering it? Disney Stores may have a functional layout, but from an emotional perspective, Disney’s Green Script intent is to create the 30 happiest minutes in a child’s life. Enter an Apple Store and its architecture, simple wood and sparse, jewel-like product selection intentionally evoke the layout of a contemporary art museum. What does Whole Foods “say” to customers? Whether it’s the fresh flowers on display as you enter the store, or the products on shaved ice (most of which have no need for refrigeration), or the hand-scrawled signs describing a product’s provenance, Whole Foods conveys freshness, purity and localness, while tacitly congratulating its customers for their discernment and even education level.

With increased transparency comes higher levels of envy and unhappiness, as well as the death of any hiding spaces. How do you reinvent yourself when the original version lives online forever? From my perspective, smartphones are squeezing creativity out of society, especially among younger generations. The Internet is analogous to junk food. It satisfies your appetite for 30 minutes, but an hour later you are hungry again. Even Apple CEO Steve Jobs once told a New York Times reporter that, “We limit how much technology our kids use at home,”8 an opinion seconded by Chris Anderson, the former editor of Wired magazine: “We have seen the dangers of technology firsthand. I’ve seen it in myself, I don’t want to see that happen to my kids.”9 Consider Russia, or China, where online media is controlled and monitored. The Russians and Chinese have no concept of a “perfect marriage,” nor can they easily access the films and television shows responsible for creating impossible expectations of happiness.

Moreover, many gay men are extremely opinionated; if they dislike a brand or store, find it corny or tacky, they will come right out and say so. Their opinion, in short, acts as a kind of quality control. If a young, observant gay male likes something, it’s probably all right, which is why the crowd flocking at Tally’s on opening night had a big percentage of young gay men in attendance, whom we hoped might serve as fashion arbiters for younger female consumers. Earlier, I brought up the question Steve Jobs asked Disney CEO Robert Iger: “If a store could talk, what would it say to the people entering it?” Tally Weijl 2.0—which was chic, trendy, colorful, and simultaneously child-like and sophisticated—had a lot to say. Instead of talking down to them, I wanted Tally to communicate directly to the girl who loved her teddy bear while also keeping her gaze trained on a future international catwalk.

pages: 296 words: 76,284

The End of the Suburbs: Where the American Dream Is Moving by Leigh Gallagher


Airbnb, big-box store, Burning Man, call centre, car-free, Celebration, Florida, clean water, collaborative consumption, Columbine, commoditize, crack epidemic, East Village, edge city, Edward Glaeser, extreme commuting, helicopter parent, Home mortgage interest deduction, housing crisis, Jane Jacobs, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, McMansion, Menlo Park, mortgage tax deduction, negative equity, New Urbanism, peak oil, Ponzi scheme, Richard Florida, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Sand Hill Road, Seaside, Florida, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Tony Hsieh, transit-oriented development, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban sprawl, Victor Gruen, walkable city, white flight, white picket fence, young professional, Zipcar

Seaside brought DPZ worldwide renown—it made the cover of The Atlantic; Time magazine selected it as one of the ten “Best of the Decade” achievements in design—and established Duany and Plater-Zyberk as leaders of the burgeoning New Urbanism movement. Even now, from its headquarters in Miami, DPZ is like the Apple or Harvard or Goldman Sachs of New Urbanism; it is the sterling name, the firm that draws the best and the brightest. If DPZ is akin to Apple, Duany is the movement’s Steve Jobs—a big-picture visionary whose bold ideas upended the status quo and whose conviction, not to mention oratory skills, have given him guru-like status within the architecture and New Urbanist worlds. Outspoken, passionate, and highly opinionated, Duany is prone to bold statements and ideas that hit him at any moment on matters both large and small.

“The whole corporate campus seems”: Eddie Baeb, “Crain’s Special Report: Corporate Campuses in Twilight,” Crain’s Chicago Business, May 30, 2011. In New York City, UBS: Charles V. Bagli, “Regretting Move, Bank May Return to Manhattan,” New York Times, June 8, 2011. Twitter, Zynga, Airbnb, Dropbox: A notable exception to the tech moguls’ fascination with cities is Steve Jobs, who lived and worked his whole life in the suburbs (he lived in a Tudor house in Palo Alto, and Apple’s headquarters were in nearby Cupertino). But when Apple-owned Pixar moved to a new headquarters in Emeryville, California, Jobs pushed the designers to emphasize central locations where employees could mingle with one another with the hope of fostering creativity. Another exception is Mark Zuckerberg, who has built Facebook’s headquarters into a massive campus in Menlo Park, but one that attempts to approximate urbanism, with a walkable commercial strip that includes a dry cleaner, gym, doctor’s office, and various eateries.

In 1980, 66 percent of all seventeen-year-olds had their driver’s license. In 2010, the figure was 47 percent, a sharp and perplexing decline that has been discussed and dissected by millennial watchers and carmakers alike. The notion of a teenager opting to not get his driver’s license, to those of us who grew up in a different time, may seem sacrilege. But watch them fawn over their Apple products and you will see that this generation, as Steve Jobs encouraged them to do, “thinks different.” They don’t want cars, and they don’t want cul-de-sacs—two of the pillars on which suburban life depends. The price of oil is still rising. As energy prices have climbed, so has the cost of the suburban commute. In 2008, the average suburban household spent double on gas what it did in 2003. Many suburban families now spend half their income on housing and transportation costs.

pages: 236 words: 77,098

I Live in the Future & Here's How It Works: Why Your World, Work, and Brain Are Being Creatively Disrupted by Nick Bilton


3D printing, 4chan, Albert Einstein, augmented reality, barriers to entry, book scanning, Cass Sunstein, death of newspapers,, Internet of things, John Gruber, John Markoff, Marshall McLuhan, Nicholas Carr, QR code, recommendation engine, RFID, Saturday Night Live, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand

But with tastes and technology evolving rapidly, the ones that hesitate may truly be lost and the ones that move aggressively may win the game. Look at Apple, the early computer company that has moved into music, music players, cell phones, and new electronic readers. In 2007 Steve Jobs, Apple’s chief executive officer, had to decide whether the company should introduce a new product that could drastically hurt the sales of a successful current product. For almost thirty years, Apple’s bread and butter was selling personal computers, related software, and peripherals. But in 2001 Apple introduced the iPod, a small music player that eventually would change the entire shape of the music industry. By 2006, the iPod accounted for the majority of its core business. In late 2006, Apple reported that it had sold an astounding 21 million iPods in the last quarter of the year.

I owned first- and second-generation Sony Readers, and getting books out of the proprietary Sony bookstore was utterly painful. Now Amazon, Sony, and other players may fall behind Apple’s iPad and a wave of e-readers built using Google’s mobile Android operating system, which both offer book reading as one of dozens of applications. Apple, mimicking its iPod experience, has aimed for the high end, assuming that a color screen, a very fast response time, and the “cool” factor will help it grab market share in books the way it has in music. The iPad, at least initially, sold for twice the price of a Kindle, and electronic books in Apple’s iBookstore sell mostly for $14.99, a price that pleases many publishers but sets up a duel with Amazon. When Steve Jobs, Apple’s chief executive officer, presented the iPad to an audience of six hundred geeks in January 2010, he talked about consistency, simplicity, and a uniform interface.

., Morgan, Leanne Citrone, Michael Citrone, Wuca & Pillow, Terry Bilton, Sandra and David Reston, Eboo Bilton and Weter, Betty and Len Bilton, Stephen, Amanda, Ben and Posh Jacobs, Daniel Jacobs, Ivan & Elsa Marin, Nathalie Marin, Chris Marin, Andy, Carm, George Jr., George Sr., Sonia, Joe, Chela, Tony, Jim, Andrea, Stephanie, Jessica, Lindsay, Diego and Yvonne, Cesar and Beatriz Southside, Sam H., Ariel Kaminer, Vint Cerf, Larry and Sergey, Tim Berners-Lee, Steve Jobs, and Bill Gates. Smallest, But Not Least Pixel, Hip Hop, & Magnolia. Kthxbye! notes and sources The following sources represent a portion of the research and interviews used for this book. Additional links, reference papers, and interview quotes can be found online at Introduction: cancel my subscription 1 Canceling my subscription: Ryan Singel, “Times Techie Envisions the Future of News,” Wired, March 2009,

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The End of Jobs: Money, Meaning and Freedom Without the 9-To-5 by Taylor Pearson


Airbnb, barriers to entry, Black Swan, call centre, cloud computing, commoditize, creative destruction, David Heinemeier Hansson, Elon Musk,, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, Google Hangouts, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, loss aversion, low skilled workers, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, market fragmentation, means of production, Oculus Rift, passive income, passive investing, Peter Thiel, remote working, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, software as a service, software is eating the world, Startup school, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, telemarketer, Thomas Malthus, Uber and Lyft, unpaid internship, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, web application, Whole Earth Catalog

He is engaged in a dialogue with his reality asking “why” and “why not” instead of “how” or “what.”52 The degree to which we’re able to design our reality is directly related to our quality of life, freedom, and wealth. Those that design reality have a higher quality of all factors in their life, and through designing their reality they enable others to do the same by creating more wealth. In designing my reality in the form of an iPhone, Steve Jobs and Apple created more power, freedom, and wealth for me than Rockefeller had. This leads to an upward spiral. As wealth is increasing, so is our ability to design our realities. PhD or Podcast? While it’s always been true that great work comes from those who freely choose it and that the ability to design our realities creates more freedom, it’s the changes we’ve seen over the past decade that made both of those radically more accessible and safer.

Notes Section 1 1. 2. Steve Jobs - 3. Source: 2015 report, slides 97-98 4. Chapter 1 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. Example borrowed from Antifragile by Nassim Taleb 11.

I couldn’t help but think of the curse: May you live in interesting times. We certainly do. Depending on who you listen to, between 5.1 and 7 trillion dollars in wealth evaporated by the end of 2008—the most ever in a single quarter.1 Protesters camped out in lower Manhattan asking why the federal government wasn’t imprisoning Wall Street bankers. While many viewed this as an isolated event, it is in fact one notable in a much longer trend. Yet, as Steve Jobs notes: “Everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you and you can change it, you can influence it, you can build your own things that other people can use. Once you learn that, you’ll never be the same again.” 2 The ability individuals have right now to deliberately design their lives and realities is greater than at any time in history. I didn’t believe it.

pages: 202 words: 62,199

Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown


Albert Einstein, Clayton Christensen, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, deliberate practice, double helix,, endowment effect, Isaac Newton, iterative process, Jeff Bezos, Lao Tzu, loss aversion, Mahatma Gandhi, microcredit, minimum viable product, North Sea oil, Peter Thiel, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Thaler, Rosa Parks, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Jobs, Vilfredo Pareto

Quoted in Howard Gardner, “Creators: Multiple Intelligences,” in The Origins of Creativity, ed. Karl H. Pfenninger and Valerie R. Shubik (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001), 132. 9. First referenced in a blog post I wrote for Harvard Business Review called “If You Don’t Prioritize Your Life, Someone Else Will,” June 28, 2012, 10. In 1993 Interview re: Paul Rand and Steve Jobs, dir. Doug Evans, uploaded January 7, 2007,, Steve Jobs shares how Paul Rand came up with the logo for NeXT. 11. Carol Hymowitz, “Kay Krill on Giving Ann Taylor a Makeover,” Business Week, August 9, 2012, 12. UNCOMMIT 1. “Concorde the Record Breaker,” n.d.,, accessed September 22, 2013; Peter Gillman, “Supersonic Bust,” Atlantic, January 1977, 2.

After all, when someone asks for something and doesn’t get it, his or her immediate reaction may be annoyance or disappointment or even anger. This downside is clear. The potential upside, however, is less obvious: when the initial annoyance or disappointment or anger wears off, the respect kicks in. When we push back effectively, it shows people that our time is highly valuable. It distinguishes the professional from the amateur. A case in point is the time the graphic designer Paul Rand had the guts to say no to Steve Jobs.10 When Jobs was looking for a logo for the company NeXT, he asked Rand, whose work included the logos for IBM, UPS, Enron, Westinghouse, and ABC, to come up with a few options. But Rand didn’t want to come up with “a few options.” He wanted to design just one option. So Rand said: “No. I will solve your problem for you. And you will pay me. And you don’t have to use the solution. If you want options go talk to other people.

Christian groups such as Quakers also maintained a staunchly Essentialist element to their faith: for example, they practiced “the Testimony of Simplicity,” in which they committed to a life of only what was essential. And of course Jesus lived as carpenter and then in his ministry lived without wealth, political position, or material belongings. We can see the philosophy of “less but better” reflected in the lives of other notable and diverse figures—both religious and secular—throughout history: to name a few, the Dalai Lama, Steve Jobs, Leo Tolstoy, Michael Jordan, Warren Buffett, Mother Teresa, and Henry David Thoreau (who wrote, “I do believe in simplicity. It is astonishing as well as sad, how many trivial affairs even the wisest thinks he must attend to in a day; … so simplify the problem of life, distinguish the necessary and the real”).5 Indeed, we can find Essentialists among the most successful people in every type of human endeavor.

pages: 510 words: 120,048