Wednesday, August 6, 2008
Steve Jobs makes a ding in the universe
When he was a young man and Apple was still just finding its legs, Steve Jobs told a TV reporter: "I want to make a ding in the universe." And you know what? He has.
This morning I made my way to my local San Francisco Apple store at 7:45 AM and found myself seventh in line to pick up a new iPhone. An hour later, I was the gleeful owner of a 3G iPhone with 16 gigs of memory. The ultimate fetish-totem of consumer electronics was at long last my own.
I have good friends who waited several hours in line to pick up an iPhone on the day of its release. (Jeremy, I'm looking at you.) I personally couldn't quite work up the energy to wait in a three-hour line at the mall on a Saturday, so I've been putting off my instant gratification and biding my time to strike when the lines might be a bit more manageable. Instinct said that today was the day, and sure enough, my wait was a mere 30 minutes.
I have to hand it to Mr. Jobs: there is surprise and delight waiting around every corner of the iPhone experience, and Apple has much to teach us about how companies can fulfill basic needs of their consumers (let's face it, we all need a cell phone) while "wow"-ing us with the extras we never knew we wanted.
Take, for example, the Major League Baseball application for the iPhone. For a mere $10, I can now receive video highlights of all baseball games minutes after the plays occur. My cellphone now connects me to the wide world of baseball in real-time, with video snippets of the important plays as they happen. That's all I've ever asked of the future: baseball highlights in real-time on my phone, wherever I am in the world. Forget flying cars, forget world peace, all I really want is video highlights of the Rangers-Indians game as they happen. Thank you, Apple!
(Here's my favorite story about Steve Jobs: after Apple fired him the first time around, he went to Italy, rented a bicycle, and spent two weeks pedaling around the hills of Tuscany. He had no hotels...he slept on hillsides, looking up at the stars at night. Just thinking; dreaming up his next move. Two weeks of aimless bicycling and sleeping under stars. There's a lesson to be learned there.)
Added bonus of iPhone ownership: the iPhone has a high-res camera in it, so the quality of my blog photos should be improving significantly. Sweetness!