Apple used to know exactly what people wanted, then they made Apple Watch
Wednesday October 3, 2018. 05:10 PM , from Mac Daily News
“Steve Jobs was fond of pointing out the limits of market research. Customers ‘don’t know what they want until we’ve shown them,’ he would say, sometimes invoking a (probably apocryphal) adage from Henry Ford: If he had asked people what they wanted, ‘they would have said, ‘Faster horses,”” John Herrman writes for The New York Times. “Whether we understand this sentiment as an actual operating principle or as self-aggrandizing narrative, it does not quite account for what has become of Apple in the post-Jobs era.”
“The Apple Watch, a new version of which was announced at the event, was initially pitched, in 2014, as a salve for the excesses of your iPhone,” Herrman writes. “The Apple Watch — with its smaller screen and emphasis on checking rather than interacting — was pitched with marketing that evoked adventure, activity and, above all, escape, as much from work or home as from the iPhone itself.”
“As Apple continues its institutional struggle to conceive of what the Apple Watch is… Apple has already met with the insurance giant Aetna about ways in which the company might use Apple Watches to encourage healthier — and cheaper — behavior in its tens of millions of customers. John Hancock, one of the largest life insurers in America, said after Apple’s latest announcement that it would offer all its customers the option of an interactive policy, in which customers would get discounts for healthy habits, as evidenced by data from wearable devices,” Herrman writes. “Here we see the vague outlines of how the Apple Watch could become vital, or at least ubiquitous, as the handmaiden to another data-hungry industry.”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Gee, wonder what changed?
And, by the way, before we get into the following quotes, the Apple Watch has found its way – we, the users, were the Apple Watch alpha and beta testers, collectively standing in for Steve Jobs, doing much of what the singular genius would have done before release by brute force and sheer numbers after release. It took four generations of Apple Watch, but we’re here now and we wouldn’t trade the experience for anything!
As Apple CEO, Steve Jobs focused on two things – product design and marketing. He was a genius at both. His talents cannot be replaced with one person. In fact, his talents in either discipline cannot be replaced by one person. Jony Ive and Phil Schiller without Jobs cannot be expected to perform as if Jobs was still working with them.
A team of people – talented people who actually get it and who are all on the same page – is an absolute necessity for Apple’s success, but it creates a problem: Jobs was a single filter. A unified mind. The founder. A group of people simply cannot replicate that. This is not to say that they cannot do great work (we believe Apple does, and will continue, to do great work) just that Apple is fundamentally affected by the loss of Steve Jobs and has to figure out a new way to work. — MacDailyNews, April 8, 2014
Apple only really works when one person is in charge. The problem is that said overlord has to be multifaceted and multitalented and there was, of course, only one Steve Jobs. Obviously, Steve Jobs is missed and, yes, Apple does need a Jobsian product architect. Unfortunately, Steve was a unique genius and his shoes, so far, have been impossible to fill. — MacDailyNews, January 9, 2017
Steve Jobs would get it. Tim Cook? Well, he released it. Just like he released Apple Maps. If it’s not crystal clear by now, it should be: Cook can’t see it. He’s very good at some things; other things he simply cannot see. This is not a knock. The ability to be so detail-oritented, so absorbed in the end user experience to the exclusion of all else, is a rare ability.
“Tim’s not a product person, per se.” – Steve Jobs discussing Tim Cook, as quoted by Walter Isaacson in “Steve Jobs”
Cook needs to assign people to these projects who can do what he cannot, who can see what he cannot see, and make sure these people are as focused and obsessed as Steve Jobs. There may only be one person at Apple who can do this reliably: Jony Ive. Unfortunately, he may be too busy being chief designer of all things Apple (hardware and software) to also do what Jobs did so incredibly well: Focus on a wide range of products, experience each of them as the end user does, and not allow products out the door until they can perform as Apple products should perform. It’s highly likely there is not enough time in the day for all Ive would need to do (or even to do all that he’s supposed to be doing already). [It also might be impossible for anyone to be so involved in the hardware and software design to be able to step back far enough to experience it as the end user would and therefore be able see a product’s flaws from that, the most important, end user’s perspective.]
Cook needs to find people who are obsessive about the end user experience and assign them to these type of projects… To state the obvious: Steve Jobs was one-of-a-kind and truly amazing. No hyperbole. Cook needs to try to replicate Steve Jobs as much as possible with a group of people, each of whom can contribute various elements of Jobs’ wide range of skills. — MacDailyNews, November 11, 2013
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