What Steve Jobs Wouldn’t Have Done – stratechery by Ben Thompson
Ben Thompson looks at the change that others have noted in Apple after Monday’s keynote.
His take is that Apple, under Jobs, had a healthy fear of 1997 – the year they were 30 days away from missing payroll and had to get bailed out by a loan from Microsoft. They were a company that understood how quickly defeat will come if you rest – or lose control of your platform. This was a healthy fear, but it can become the exact thing it seeks to prevent. Ben sees Apple moving past this fear as the healthy exuberance that everyone seems to sense:
“In short, perhaps my fears for Apple’s future were precisely backwards: Apple didn’t need to always remember 1997; in fact, they needed to forget. And so they have.”
He doesn’t mention the elephant in the room data point to support his assertion, so we will: Beats. Beats is an aggressive move for Apple – biggest (by far) in terms of money, but also huge in pulling in and maintaining a separate brand. But it’s also the kind of move they can take now, precisely because they aren’t the Apple of 97.
All this adds up to one thing: we can’t wait to see what the hardware announcements are going to be.