Daring Fireball: On Succeeding Steve Jobs
Three new tabs with Twitter, Gmail, and Daring Fireball. of the joy of reading great sequential writing than you'll regularly find: (Though his weeks of posts after Steve Jobs's death were consistently great.) best, DF has reflected the intensity and honesty of John Gruber's loves. See more newsletters. Read Daring Fireball without the snarky/negative commentary. Available as You won't know what's happening in the Apple tech scene without it. John Gruber is a brilliant curator, but he can also be opinionated. Inspired by Steven Frank's elecciones2013.info, a great extension to use if inane comments on the web annoy you. In his biography of Apple founder Steve Jobs, Walter Isaacson reports . Update John Gruber wrote a nice piece about Dean on Daring Fireball. But I also know that if you're reading this, you are likely reading it on the web.
March 1,7 p. To the victor goes the pricing power By Joshua Benton jbenton March 1,7 p. He comes down on the side of justice. Which were probably around 2X, 2Y, and 2Z ten years ago. But regardless of whether you think newspapers deserve any sympathy for their plight good arguments on both sides! Kindle, and e-book platforms in general, are a different case. The Kindle does actually offer subscriptions, both to newspapers and blogs, like Daring Fireball itself.
Walter Isaacson’s ‘Steve Jobs’
Second, the problem facing traditional publishers today is that circulation is falling. Newsstand sales and subscriptions are falling, under pressure from free-of-charge websites and other forms of digital content. Does the iPad make people more likely to buy digital goods? To look at it from another angle, any developer will tell you that there are many more Mac users who buy shareware apps than Windows users. But Mac users are, by their self-selected nature, people who were willing to spend a little more to get a better computing experience — in other words, people who are predisposed toward paying.
A few minutes later, Jobs said: Now, you know, one of the pioneers of our industry, Alan Kay, has had a lot of great quotes throughout the years. And I ran across one of them recently that explains how we look at this. Explains why we go about doing things the way we do, because we love software. This design — getting rid of all those buttons and just making a giant screen — is today not only the ubiquitous standard for smartphones industry-wide, but also exactly describes another device you may have heard of, called the iPad.
Isaacson makes it seem as though Jobs was almost solely interested in hardware, and even there, only in what the hardware looked like.
Daring Fireball: Nice to Meet You, Too, Steve
But usually the distinctiveness of its designs — for the iMac, the iPod, the iPhone, and the iPad — would set Apple apart and lead to its triumphs in the years after Jobs returned.
Design is how it works. Instead, Isaacson includes an older quote: That was the fundamental principle Jobs and Ive shared. Design was not just about what a product looked like on the surface.
Design is the fundamental soul of a man-made creation that ends up expressing itself in successive outer layers. Design and engineering are, indeed, often in opposition — engineering constraints affect design; design goals affect engineering tradeoffs.
But they are not separate endeavors. The philosophical question is which one is a subset of the other. Post-Jobs, engineering became a component of the design process.
This shift made all the difference in the world. Isaacson does not understand this, and his telling of the Antennagate saga illustrates this perfectly. Again, the aforequoted bit from Chapter On occasion this could backfire, such as when Jobs and Ive insisted on using a solid piece of brushed aluminum for the edge of the iPhone 4 even when the engineers worried that it would compromise the antenna.
The edge of the iPhone 4 and now 4S is the antenna. The trade-off was that moving the antennas to the outside left more room on the inside — room for a bigger battery and other components, and allowed for the device to be thinner.
Isaacson paints Jobs and Ive as being concerned only with how it looked and felt, with engineers left to worry about how it worked. The truth is that the design was how it worked. At Apple, where Jobs pushed both design and engineering to the edge, that tension was even greater. Serious About Software Isaacson, it seems clear, mistrusted Jobs.
But rather than using that mistrust to push back, to ask insightful questions, he instead simply turned to others. The book does not suffer for this, because Hertzfeld is both honest and blessed with a seemingly extraordinary memory. But this history has been ably documented before — particularly well, no surprise, by Hertzfeld himself, with his Folklore website and the outstanding book compiled from that website, Revolution in the Valley.
On Succeeding Steve Jobs
As a counterpart to Jobs for those years, Isaacson repeatedly turned to Bill Gates. A search for the term in the iBooks edition returns 30 results, including the title of Chapter In that chapter, Isaacson writes: To some people, calling it a reality distortion field was just a clever way to say that Jobs tended to lie. But it was in fact a more complex form of dissembling.
He 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. That might even be true. Again, skepticism is good.
The Talk Show With John Gruber by Daring Fireball / John Gruber on Apple Podcasts
But Gates is an odd choice to trust, because he clearly has a conflict of interest. One example stands above all others. Licensing Windows NT was, according to Isaacson, what Amelio favored early on — which goes to show just how profoundly fucked Apple was at the time.
On pageIsaacson writes: Gates found it ridiculous, but perhaps not surprising, that Jobs had pulled off this coup. What the hell are you buying that garbage for? But Isaacson never points that out. But what Gates did say to Isaacson, in the present day, paints an even less accurate picture.
The next paragraph in the book reads: Years later, when I raised it with him, Gates did not recall being that upset.