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Competing With an Archetype

The iPad is an archetype for a touch tablet and it is a very elegant solution to the problem of making a 10-inch touch tablet. The problem is that this is exactly what the competition are doing they are competing with the iPad rather than solving a problem that hasn’t been solved yet. They’re always one step behind because they’re simply trying to re-produce the solution that Apple has created for their vision of a touch tablet device.

Steve Jobs in His Own Words

Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things. And the reason they were able to do that was that they’ve had more experiences or they have thought more about their experiences than other people. Unfortunately, that’s too rare a commodity. A lot of people in our industry haven’t had very diverse experiences. So they don’t have enough dots to connect, and they end up with very linear solutions without a broad perspective on the problem. The broader one’s understanding of the human experience, the better design we will have.

The story of Polaroid inventor Edwin Land

One of Steve Jobs biggest heroes is Edwin Land, the inventor of Polaroid. Former Apple CEO John Sculley describes a meeting they had years ago and how both Land and Jobs felt that products existed all along — they just needed to discover them.

Microsoft’s grinning robots or the Brotherhood of the Mac. Which is worse?

Still, bad though it is, I vaguely prefer the clumping, clueless, uncool, crappiness of Microsoft’s bland Stepford gang to the creepy assurance of the average Mac evangelist. At least the grinning dildos in the Windows video are fictional, whereas eerie replicant Mac monks really are everywhere, standing over your shoulder in their charcoal pullovers, smirking with amusement at your hopelessly inferior OS, knowing they’re better than you because they use Mac OS X v10.6 Snow Leopard. I don’t care if you’re right. I just want you to die.

Spitting on your onion rings

Somehow, I’ve become one of them.

The first mistake, I think, was to buy a Mac. My reasoning at the time, I maintain, was perfectly reasonable: having worked with computers for more than a decade, I was thoroughly sick of looking at their insides. So when a well-dressed bunch of Californians offered a sexy-looking powerhouse of a laptop that was, most importantly, welded closed, I handed over my credit card on bended knee. Even though it’s no more reliable than anything I had before, being able to overcome the urge to explore its irritating nuances down to the last component is an enormous relief. I continue to earn a living by fixing difficult problems but, in my head, keeping my own laptop working is someone else’s problem. Hoorah! But the Californians won’t let it end there. The laptop may be a silver box full of wires and circuit boards, but they insist on going around telling everyone it’s a “lifestyle choice”.

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