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Sat 14 May 2005
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.
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.