Some brief observations of a great interview:

Steve Jobs is one of the most brilliant intuitive marketers of our age in my opinion. I gained more insight into his approach to marketing and product development in this interview with Walter Mossberg.  When he walked on stage, he looked very fragile and thin, but there was an exuberant energy as he sat down.  When he started to speak, his passion was overwhelming.

Walt’s questions were mostly aimed at the Apple controversies of the day.  The lost iPhone prototype, the restrictive app store, his emailing people, etc.  Buried in the topical news were gems reflecting how Steve approaches product, marketing and works with his people.

Apple “the biggest startup on the planet”. 

Steve’s goal is to see the company grow but have the passion and aggressive drive of a startup.  He proudly said there were no committees at Apple. The company is organized as a loose collaboration of focused functions led by a bright committed leader who is “trusted to come through”.  He has a 3 hour meeting with these group leaders every month to brainstorm, review progress and synchronize goals and objectives.  His days are spent meeting with ad hoc groups having dialogue and building consensus on direction.  Ultimately they are driven by doing exceptional work, products that are so wonderful for consumers they are magic.

“I can’t let it slide”

Throughout his interview, there was his strong personal belief in values that embrace the consumer’s interests but go counter to industry direction.  These values include the consumers’ right to privacy, the prohibition of pornography and scamsters from the Apple ecosystem and most importantly the pursuit of wondrous products.

When things are not right, Steve feels compelled to act, whether it is to fire off an email, or otherwise confront the issue even when other perceive it as small issue and was not worth pursuing.

the PC is like a truck” We are not on the farm anymore

Steve proclaimed the PC era was over, and the iPad was ushering in a new era.  In the early years of automobiles, large trucks were required for farming and were the bulk of the market.  As society urbanized cars became the top sellers.  The overwhelming feeling at D8 from every industry titan that spoke was a violent agreement on the profound nature of the iPad introduction.  Every large enterprise, from Comcast, to New Corp. , was making major commitments to this technology.

The PC is dead.  Laptops are irrelevant and unnecessary.

Its about the spring season”

Steve product development philosophy is based on understanding product lifecycles.  He looks for a product that is in the early stages of adoption (the Spring season of its life) and where he has the resources to execute in an exceptional manner.  He believe too many product developers rush to market, underestimate what it takes to succeed and ultimately are not able to execute.

Additionally, he believes in penetration pricing.  Design something awesome and get the price very competitive with a goal of achieving immediate high volume on introduction.

Secret: iPad gave birth to iPhone

The stage got quiet for a second, and Steve said, let me share a secret with you.  The iPad was the first product he set about to develop.  I brilliant engineer had come to him with an idea on a new touch interface, which turned into a project to design an early iPad.

When Steve saw the early results, he decided that this amazing technology would best be applied to a phone and shelved the pad device which was revived after several successful iPhone models were in the marketplace.

“Advertising and developers revenue”

Apple has purchased a web ad firm.  Steve explains his rational.  He believes the future of software applications are about low prices, but ultimately largely financed by advertiser support.  To accomplish this goal, he is building an infrastructure that will allow developers to derive advertiser income regardless of scale.  This will give consumers exceptional value, and motivate hundreds of developers to develop great applications.

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