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Weblog Archive Cutedge

by: Bernard Teo

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Bernard Teo
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Sat 14 May 2005

Thunderbolts from Mount Olympus

Category : Commentary/wynn.txt

Let's talk about another Steve - Steve Wynn, creator of well-known casino resorts, expressing his frustration with too much micro-management by "bureaucrats" overseeing the submission of bids for the integrated resorts to be built at Marina Bayfront and Sentosa, as reported in Saturday's Business Times. He says,

"There's an awful lot of control and direction in the documents ... It's control and direction by people who've never done this before ..."

If, instead of integrated resorts you read information systems, he could be talking about "systems architects" in IT departments.

I really like the following quotes :

"Everybody will make big promises and have fancy drawings. But you can't tell from a drawing or a rendering what moves the human spirit. You have to be in it to understand it."

"It took more than three years to create shows such as the sellout O show ... The creation of such shows involves intricate choreography, music and lighting effects and is often an organic process over a period of time and perfected after audience feedback."

And my favourite :

"Don't issue thunderbolts of wisdom from the top of Mount Olympus. You're talking about the people of the world and what makes them go ..."

For fancy drawings, read design methodology ("Is it Use-Case or Waterfall or Rational Rose?) For thunderbolts of wisdom, read "We only allow Wintel or Oracle". In contrast to "organic process", read "We want complete systems documentation with flow charts and decision trees".

"... the people of the world and what makes them go ..."

Steve Wynn sounds like someone out of Ayn Rand. He could have snuggled up to the bureaucrats. But saying what he did is just what we need to push the human race forward.

Posted at 5:02PM UTC | permalink

Steve Jobs Buys a Washing Machine

Category : Commentary/washingmachine.txt

Wired News has an excerpt from the book, "iCon" by William L. Simon and Jeffrey S. Young.

Jeffrey Young wrote "The Journey is The Reward", in 1987. And how I love that phrase.

The excerpt references an interview Steve Jobs did with Wired (issue 4.02 Feb 96) where he talked about what good design means, using his selection of a washing machine for his family as an example. Therefore it's called "Steve Jobs Buys a Washing Machine".

This particular interview may one day become a cult classic. So here's the link. (It's titled "The Next Insanely Great Thing".)

If people are wondering how Apple (which of course contains Jobs' DNA, even through the years he was away) could have such a disproportionate impact on their industry (one that's wholly at odds with their market share), they only need to read this interview and compare that with Bill Gates' disinterested ramblings in Digerati.

But with Apple being the soap opera that it is, you get the good as well as the bad. When I was in Shanghai, looking out across to the Bund, I kept thinking about what someone once said about the Bund being a great facade - fitting for a great country - but that was what it was, only a facade, because there was no real country behind it. That was, of course, talking about the China of the Opium Wars. In present times, you could say the same about Apple. And that was, I think, what Michael Malone kept plugging at, in his book "Infinite Loop" - that Apple has the facade of a great company, but there's no real company behind it, or at least one with a soul.

So to balance things up, here's a link to Applepeels : "Keeping the record straight on Apple". Among the things : "1. At the highest level Apple doesn't actually value customers enough to really listen to them." and "2. Apple uses their partners, and then abuses them when it suits Apple's needs." Gotta say, I totally agree.

Posted at 4:21PM UTC | permalink

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