Steve Jobs: Ordering Us To The Future

And now Cringely is Me-Too Media …

Book ‘em, Steve-O

Forget all the BS spewing right now from the Apple camp. What’s really at the basis of this fight is the future of electronic books.

Well, duh!

December 12th, 2009: The Ugliest Fight Ever: Apple Versus Google

The dividing line between Apple and Google will come down to books.

Cringely again:

There are two vying eBook technical standards — one clearly owned by Adobe and the other not owned by Apple but Apple’s version is the most developed. Apple doesn’t feel the need to own the eBook standard, but they don’t want Adobe to own it, either.

Well, duh!

November 2, 2009: Apple Will Break Open The Digital Book Floodgates

Let me spell out what this means.

You will not need a developer to create a digital book.

And here’s something I’ll wait for him and everyone else to catch up to six months from now:

January 23, 2010: Why The iTunes/App Store Model Will Ultimately Fail

Let me spell it out for you, that last one. Apple is not a stupid company. While everyone this week is talking about the Department of Justice and/or the Federal Trade Commission coming after Apple for Section 3.3.1, Apple already has an Exit Strategy for the endgame it already knows is inevitable.

It’s making the iTunes Store a licensed universal merchant platform, as I outline in that post.

Jerry Del Colliano, today:

Right now Apple is rolling through the media content business the way General Patton rolled through some battles in World War II.


The critical difference is …

Jobs knows what he is doing.

Media executives know how to pander to Wall Street.

Think of the ramifications.

I have.

And while everyone else sees Steve Jobs as some crazed greedy madman that puts past Microsoft practices to shame, I see what’s really going on here.

No one else has a vision of the future.

Steve Jobs does.

And he knows he can’t get all of us to that future through persuasion. Think of the Patton analogy up there. Did Patton negotiate with his troops — or just tell them what the hell to do?

So, like any good true leader, Jobs’ vision is not open to negotiation.

He will take us there whether we like it or not.

But once we get there, he will let go. That’s the Exit Strategy.

Will we like where we wind up? Well, it has to be a damned sight better than the crap we’ve had: Flash, Adobe Digital Editions, scrolling cluttered websites, and all the rest. It’s an entrenched swamp. And I’ll be glad to get the hell out of it.

One personal note: I am not John Gruber. I am not Apple’s Tokyo Rose or Apple’s bitch. Even though I see what’s going on, during this journey I still intend to scream bloody murder at Apple over Freedom of Expression. My allegiance is to writers, period.


9 responses to “Steve Jobs: Ordering Us To The Future

  1. Bravo, Mike! Excellent post. But I have a hard time believing Apple is going to give up the iTMS. Is this razors vs. blades? Is this the “money-making is in the devices, so who cares about the content” scenario?


  2. iphonerulez

    I’ve passed by many Apple retail stores in NYC and I’ve never seen any Apple employee use a hook to pull consumers into their stores. Most of the people going in have a smile on their faces and when they come out their smiles are usually bigger.

    So, whenever I hear some idiots saying that Apple is forcing its will on innocent consumers I have to wonder how Apple is doing it. Maybe they have some subliminal message imbedded in iPhone commercials or those fancy-looking Apple retail stores have some persuasive subsonic audio sounds being pumped out when you pass by.

    I only know that I’ve been using Apple products since the first Mac 128 I bought at the McGraw Hill Bookstore in Manhattan umpteen years ago. I just like their products and nobody has ever been twisting my arm to keep me buying them. I see Steve Jobs as an astute businessman that probably puts in a lot of hours to keep the company ahead of the pack. All this Apple monopoly/anti-trust talk seems frustrating to me, but since I’m an Apple investor maybe I only see the revenue potential and nothing else. I know I want the Apple mobile ecosystem locked down tight or the competitors will try to steal everything they can from Apple because they can’t plan their own mobile strategies.

    I hope Apple keeps pushing ahead on its own path without the FTC interfering and Steve Jobs outsmarts them all.

  3. > But once we get there, he will let go. That’s the Exit Strategy.

    Jobs, let go? Color me skeptical. You’re right about the rest, though. People have to be dragged kicking and screaming into the future. I dunno why, but people resist change whenever and however it comes.

  4. See again:

    >>>the endgame it already knows is inevitable.

    There is no government on earth — not even here in the money-crazed U.S. — that will allow *one* company to be the chokehold through which *all* media flows. That just isn’t going to happen. And Apple knows that.

    And Jobs is facing two pressures: that of governments and that of his own mortality.

  5. See my reply to the other comment about that.

  6. >>>I’ve never seen any Apple employee use a hook to pull consumers into their stores.


  7. The best is yet to come.

  8. James Katt

    Apple is NOT where all media is going to flow. It will always be just one of the ways. Apple will not interfere with the other methods through which media flows. Apple will provide an alternative. It forever will be one of the alternatives. Apple encourages competition. Apple’s point of view is that if it makes the best product, people will naturally gravitate toward it. Apple is a fierce competitor.

    By being one of many competitors, Apple will never be guilty of any antitrust allegation, nor illegal monopoly.

  9. James Katt

    Steve Jobs is not facing the pressure of his own mortality. He already faced it and has come to terms with it. There is no pressure. He is having the greatest ime of his life.