Wednesday, September 01, 2010

[Zebra_Trucks] Re: Steve Jobs In Concert


Jeez Bob,

You almost win me over, get me thinking you're the smartest guy in the room, then you write blather like this, and I mentally have to bust you down a few notches.

Jobs didn't put 10,000 hours into tech, Wozniak did that, Jobs is a pirate, like Bill Gates - the both stole from PARC, though Apple did it sooner, got to give them credit for that.

I was dismayed when some friends talked me into getting a Mac after my Viao went belly up... I'd been a mac cultist for years, stuck in the pc world because of compatibility with work, etc.  I was dismayed because I found in the years in the pc wilderness... they've pretty much caught up. The mac cultists are going on and on about a few minor differences like the pc has a "control" button and the mac has a "command" key - in a different place.  Whoa, way to go, Mac innovators. Make it just different enough that it's a pain to go back and forth between the two machines.

I remember I took some kind of management class when I was a civil servant, and the teacher was a big Steve Jobs fan (and what did it get him?  Teaching crappy classes to a bunch of state worker losers like me) - wow, that Jobs did big things, he invented Pixar and sold it to George Lucas.  Well, it was exactly the other way around, of course, but once you get the rep (maybe that's where Jobs put his 10,000 hours - into convincing people that he did all these things he didn't do - same as Gates). Why Lucas sold it I will never know, but it sort of suggests that he's the one with more ideas than he can manage at any one given time. 

I guess Jobs isn't really in the computer business any more (and I should have got the clue when I went to the mac store in the west edmonton mall - it wasn't cool, by the way, it was chaotic and stupid. a bunch of useless slack jaws who didn't know shit selling me a very standard and undistinguished machine for a very high price) - he's in the consumer doodad business. I know these things are necessary, and he's making a lot of money at it, but I don't get the rhapsodic response you have to all this.  They aren't really that world-changing, we aren't in the star trek universe, you can't even shave with them.  and you can play D&D on them? Wow, of course now I'm excited.  Last I heard, there was still a lot of money to be made selling toys that let people think they are playing music, but that was 15 minutes ago, I guess I am just not as hip and up-to-date as you are.  I'm still stuck in the past, held there mostly by memories... memories of stories about what an asshole Jobs is, who did the heavy lifting in the early days of apple, who started pixar, who developed a user-friendly operating system first, the business reversals at apple, even recent product disasters (wanna buy a role of iTape?).

I'm not the only one who feels this way, this vid has been viewed 7,875,455 times, and it isn't because people can't get enough of that xtranormal animation:

On Wed, Sep 1, 2010 at 1:56 PM, Bob Lefsetz <> wrote:


Rental.  Streaming.  Subscription.

Remember those three, they're the key to the future.  Much more important than the Situation's GTL.  (Gym, tan, laundry for the uninitiated.)


You can't compete with Steve Jobs.  You can get on the Apple bandwagon, but if you're tying in with a competitor, you're just tarnishing your image.

Yes, if Apple comes calling, make that deal.  Look at what it's done for Coldplay.  Chris Martin is wailing as I write this.  Very well.  Not competing with Mr. Jobs, but riding on his coattails.  In his very own vehicle behind the master.  Chris loses nothing in comparison.

But most so-called artists today do.  They're so busy selling out, they lose touch with what it is they're truly selling, which is music, which is art.  They say that the public is inured to commercialism, that endorsements are a way of life, that you can't do it without corporate money.  But that's short term thinking by businessmen looking to line their wallets, not caring a whit whether the performers they're shoveling down our throats sustain.  Yes, once music is just another product, it loses its specialness.

In other words, if you're an artist, RUN from commercialism.  It's your only hope.  Because you pale in comparison to Steve Jobs.  You can't do his job better than he can.  But Steve Jobs can't play music.  Can't write, can't perform.  He's put his 10,000 hours in developing technology.  Your only hope is to practice really hard and sell your

Despite Chris Martin's cheeky performance, Apple is no longer a music company.  It's like thinking Sony is a music company.  Rights holders can bitch that Apple has hijacked their business, and now with Ping, that might be more true than ever, but the future is not Apple.  The future is not Live Nation.  Certainly not Universal.  The future is music.

And it hasn't been about music for far too long.  It's been about fame.  But no musician is as famous as Steve Jobs.  Think about that.  And think small.  Intimate.  Don't start trying to reach everybody, start trying to touch just a few.  Think of it like love, not commercialism.


How impressive is Apple?

It's got stores cooler than Tower Records ever was.  In a digital world, it's triumphing in the analog sphere.  Think about that.

Yes, Steve trumpeted Apple's retail success.  Take a peek at the Shanghai Apple Store, makes you want to go.

And every iPod is improved.  Then again, did you notice the absence of a new Classic?  That illustrates how Apple's no longer about music.  The true fan, who needs to schlep his entire collection on vacation, he's been abandoned, in favor of casual gamers.

Yes, multiplayer games, that's where the excitement is.

Apple's got demons and swordsmen on hand-held devices, and the music industry still thinks people are going to play plastic guitars in front of TVs.  Shows you who understands the future.


Music was the pretense, but this presentation was truly about television, the Apple TV.  Which, priced at $99, will blow out this holiday season.  That's truly a staggering price.  Apple fanboys can buy one as a souvenir, like merch at a concert, to show their friends more than use.

But in introducing the new Apple TV, Steve Jobs revealed the future of music.

Steve said people don't want to store their movies.  They don't want to manage them.  They want them instantly, on the TV.

And casual viewers might think he's building a business renting TVs and movies, but those thinkers would believe Apple cares about selling music.  No, music was a platform for selling iPods, and eventually iPhones and iPads.  And the iTunes movie and TV rentals are just a demonstration, a minor business.  The real key is streaming Netflix.

Have you been following this story?  While Blockbuster languishes, dying a slow death like brick and mortar music retail, Netflix has gone into the streaming business.  The future.  They're locking in deals.

You could stream via certain TVs.  A PS3.  Other set-top boxes. But now it's even easier to get in on the action via Apple TV.  You pay a small amount per month, and you can stream a ton of product.  Just keep paying.

Rental.  Streaming.  Subscription.

You rent these Netflix movies.  They stream to your TV.  And you pay every month for the privilege.

This was the essence of today's Apple presentation.  This is the future of music.  Don't say people won't rent, Netflix is gigantic, incredibly fantastic and successful.  Reed Hastings will tell you the future is streaming.  And you've got to subscribe to participate.  Oh, you can rent individual shows on iTunes, but that's like being pecked to death by ducks.  Sure, you can buy music on iTunes, but don't you want to be able to play whatever you want, wherever you want, for a small sum of money per month?

It's just a matter of when we get there.  When the rights holders realize that they've just got to follow Steve Jobs' model.  He's given them the blueprint.  He's done the research.  License others before he ends up dominating the music market too.

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