Steve Jobs resigns from Apple as CEO

Except its not. Marrying iPods to iTunes didn’t knock the earth off its axis, but it was a world-changer in terms of the way people looked at their entertainment. It was the foundation of Apple’s entire ecosystem, which, for all its faults, turned out to be one of the biggest business coups of all time.

You have to have the right person making the right decisions at the right time to make something like that work, and Jobs is with very few exceptions is a master at doing that.

In the iPhone specifically? Okay, compared to the previous Windows Mobile phones I used:

  1. Multitouch, and particular multitouch gestures like zooming and scrolling (flick scrolling seems obvious now, just part of the background; it’s not how such devices worked before the iPhone – there were SCROLL BARS).

1a. And in general, a reliance on touch instead of styluses. Which meant capacitive touchscreens instead of resistive; which meant big icons instead of small menu items; which meant phone UIs that look like modern phone UIs look and not like this.

  1. A web browser that worked as a real web browser. Windows Mobile’s web browser was usually a bit better than Lynx; the iPhone’s was a regular browser on a small screen.

  2. An onscreen keyboard that, amazingly, didn’t suck. It took everyone a long time to believe that you could have a reasonable phone keyboard without physical keys, but now only a few eccentrics actually prefer hard keys on phones.

  3. Stunning physical design, such that other smartphones instantly looked clunky (the iPhone was about half as thick as my PPC-6700, for instance).

  4. With the 3G, the $199 price point. Before that, smrtphones (including the first iPhone) cost $400+.

  5. A music player good enough to make people forget about dedicated iPods. Windows Mobile had a media player, but yeah.

And probably others that I’m not remembering.

Oh, c’mon. Everyone needs to ninja edit now and again. Be thankful for the time you saved not having to argue about whatever he originally posted.

These are broad sociological claims without a lot of support. How did iTunes change the way people looked at their entertainment?

Edit:At least its narrower in scope than world changing, but seems equally ridiculous. I’d say YouTube has had more of an impact on how people look at their entertainment (and as a precursor, MTV in a lot of respects) than friggin iTunes.

Edit 2: The guy has enough accomplishments, we don’t need to make them up as we go along.

Who pissed in your cornflakes?

Mkozlows, the iPhone hardware as a big unified push of really good design, and finally killing goddamn styluses, along with multitouch (which they can fairly claim as a technical innovation) is a fair cop for disruption. For the rest I’d say those are the “throw money at it to cater to the high-end business segmentation” decisions I mean Apple is really damn good at.

I also need to take a break here. I got a little too emotionally invested in this discussion, one of the happiest days of my life was when my dad gave me an AppleII+ for Christmas and he passed away a few weeks ago.

Apologies Jason.

Enh, no big deal. Sorry to hear about your dad.

By creating the aforementioned Apple ecosystem. There were a lot of companies offering music downloads. And a lot of companies offering MP3 players. Apple destroyed the MP3 market and then leveraged their massive market share by linking all those devices to iTunes and encouraging people to buy into their ecosystem. When they started selling iPhones they made sure to put an iPod in there so everything transferred over seamlessly, then extended the concept with the App Store.

Before Apple got into the music business you bought stuff (or stole it), had to back it up locally because you never knew when or if the company you bought it from would go belly-up (or because you stole it), and transferring music to the devices was a mess thanks to customers who don’t give a care about the nuts and bolts of tech coupled with crappy transfer software. I hate iTunes, but even the most tech-deficient people I know can figure out how to use it to manage their music. And once you start buying stuff in iTunes and the App Store, and you find out you can use it with multiple Apple devices owned by different family members, and you discover that all that stuff transfers over to all the new devices Apple makes, other companies don’t factor anymore.

The revolution was giving the masses confidence in buying and using MP3 players, and confidence in buying content for those players. It was in making products/services people wanted because they were a complete package (and dead sexy) instead of products/services you had to convince them to buy separately. It may seem like nothing, and it may seem inevitable in hindsight, but most revolutions do.

Condolences. And congrats on having a dad who got you an Apple ][+ for Christmas. I thought I was getting one for Christmas one year and ended up with a TI-99/4A, so at least you know your dad loved you. :)

Not to diminish the wealth of technical innovations, but Jobs bought Pixar, had the vision to stick with it while it was floundering financially, and had the temerity to release a feature-length animated feature when Disney were at the top of their game. By the time Pixar’s deal with Disney was up, he refused to extend the deal, forcing Disney to buy out Pixar…putting Jobs on the Disney board of directors (and the single largest shareholder), and John Lasseter in charge of Disney’s animation department. That was the second reverse takeover of his career.

Basically, Pixar out-Disneyed Disney.

I haven’t used iTunes in years, but didn’t iTunes have limited number of redownloads (if any)? And really, most people who steal music, do so over p2p networks, and it seems pretty easy reacquire stuff you lose and those interested in rare stuff trade and archive among themselves online.

iTunes is a storefront, that last time I used it as I recall, provided me no real additional security I couldn’t achieve already with the devices I had and technology that was readily available.

The revolution was giving the masses confidence in buying and using MP3 players, and confidence in buying content for those players. It was in making products/services people wanted because they were a complete package (and dead sexy) instead of products/services you had to convince them to buy separately. It may seem like nothing, and it may seem inevitable in hindsight, but most revolutions do.

You make it sound like anyone who buys, consumes, or enjoys entertainment does it through iTunes. Maybe they do, and I just don’t know it for some reason, but this really reads like a constructed myth rather than the reality of the affluent part of a generation of people growing up on the cusp of a technological wave adopting formats they are basically already familiar with through established p2p networking and files sharing technology and as that technology cheapens access to those established formats increases.

The strongest thing iTunes has done with regard changing the way people consume music is breaking the record format, but even that is more largely a byproduct of the technology than anything else. File sharers traded individual songs, rather than buy records. People bought singles or recorded them off the radio themselves prior to that.

You’re really… myopic, if your frame of reference is “everyone who consumes media, legal or otherwise” as if that position has any validty w/re to business success or trends. ITunes has been the largest retailer of music in the US for three years; now, i never buy music from iTunes, but i get the appeal. Itunes is about legal digital music, and if you’re counterargument is “yea, but everyone i know uses filesharing to get music”, you’re missing the point.

No, not everyone I know uses file sharing to get their music.* The question is, did iTunes change people’s fundemental attitudes toward music and how they consume it or did it just address the issue that many people, given the option to pay for it (especially as they move on in the careers and have real income), they will?

Did exposure to technological changes and capabilities change how they viewed entertainment or did Apple’s iTunes storefront?**

*I mainly get my music by just listening to a channel on soma fm if I want to put something on or watching the occasional youtube video.

Edit:**And as I understand it at least, the rapidly declining revenue of record industry, prior to iTunes success answers that pretty well. A generation of people were growing up with technology that changed the way they thought about music and how they consume it.

Not Steve Jobs.

See, you’re tech-savvy. To you (and me) iTunes is an impediment because there are better places to buy music from and transferring it to whatever MP3 player we use (I use a Sansa Clip+) is trivial. But we are not the masses of consumers Apple has successfully courted and sold hundreds of millions of iPods and more than ten billion iTunes songs (no exaggeration) to. Tapping that market to that extent is revolutionary. And insane.

It was both though, because the thing that hurts about filesharing music is lack of marketing; if all music is free, the music industry was in real danger of collapsing into a motley collection of local bands, indier-than-thou micro web communities, and whatever tweeny pop Disney band is selling out at the tri-state Galleria. It’s true iTunes tapped into what was an evolving social trend, but it also transformed and directed it to an extent as well. I think it’s interesting, and is a point i’ve not heard made, that the rise of iTunes parallels the decline of Myspace, and there might be some connection there, dunno (insofar as Myspace = band frontpages).

Also, Apple and iTunes brought about the end of albums as the sole way you acquired a song. Now, if you wanted a song, you paid $.99 for it. You didn’t buy a $20 CD.

I think Apple changed how people got their music. It showed that cheap and easy will largely win over free. It’s a hell of a lot easier to go grab a song off iTunes than find it on a torrent site.

What Apple got was how people used their devices, and how to make it as easy as possible for people to use their devices.

It seems almost easy. Watching Apple do things has always had an “it’s so easy, a caveman can do it” in terms of product design. But it’s not that easy to make it so easy. Hard decisions need to happen. Hard solutions need to be engineered to in the end, make a product “easy.”

Apple is great at that. They always have been. The iPod changed how I listened to music. Before I got an iPod, my MP3 player could only hold an album’s worth of music. The iPod let me store it all.

Every phone is or can be $199 or less if you take plan expensive enough and long enough. Moot point.

Simplicity ok, elegance ok… humility, truth? WTF?

See people? That’s why the cult of Apple is creepy and embarrassing.

Bull. Shit.

Everything worth doing has been done, in some form before and an idea by itself is nothing. Looking up at the tree of ideas, picking out a ripe fruit, and then perfectly executing on it is something that most luminaries do but once. That Jobs did it so many times, with technology that so strongly shaped the entire tech market, is astounding.

Of his accomplishments obviously the one I can best speak to is the iPhone. The iPhone singlehandedly revolutionized not just smartphones, but the entire mobile market: manufacturers, carriers and developers. As a developer I basically can look at the market before the iPhone and after, and the difference is night and day. The iPhone’s design was fantastic but its technology is what made it truly successful (the screen, multitouch, a web browser an order of magnitude better than any other mobile browser, the storage space and eventually the SDK and app market). If that’s not innovation then I don’t know what is.

P.S. I’ve always thought he seemed like a bit of an asshole and I see why he rubs a lot of people the wrong way. Of course, being an asshole is half of what made him such a great product developer (the other half is to come up with big ideas that happen to be right).

I guess if you ignore history and the last eight years your post makes a lot of good solid sense.