Tag Archives: keynote

One-year later – Apple has a new look and it’s all Tim Cook

Reuters has put up an interesting piece – calling the iPhone 5 the product of Tim Cook. Citing the Apple Maps rollout and possible blunder. “The speed of the global launch that astounded” analysts by getting millions of phones into stores with supply chain perfection. And most importantly for fanboys, his role in the Keynotes where he appears at the end and beginning with brief messages.

It’s the new Apple under Tim Cook and he is molding the company that Steve built – into his own image – again from Reuters:

He has introduced a dividend to pay out part of the more than $100 billion cash stockpile, raised salaries for a rabidly loyal but low-paid workforce in the Apple stories, and sped up product rollouts.

Not to mention opening up Apple to charities – by offering a matching gift program. These are things Steve never would have done, but the world seems okay with that. Shoppers are eagerly buying the iPhone 5, traders are buying Apple stock – it’s still going up – and  the company is still growing.

The only remaining question is can Tim Cook come out with a new product. So far he has only improved and continued the existing line. And that is always a company’s biggest challenge.

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Understand the Amazon Kindle press conference in 12 pictures

Jeff Bezos gave a dynamite keynote presentation. It was nowhere near the level of Steve Jobs but still worthy of an explosive description. I’m rooting for him to improve and become the new Steve.

The presentation is over an hour and so here is the summary in 12 screenhots. The full video is at bottom.

Enjoy the new paperwhite e-reader Kindle and the HD tablet Kindle.

For analysis, I suggest Amazon’s Play by John Gruber and Kindle Fire is Better but It Isn’t the Best by Walt Mossberg.

 

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Apple’s WWDC 2012 Conference Preview – iOS 6, new Macs, iCloud update

This Monday, June 11, Apple will host one of its biggest events of the year, WWDC, at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, CA. First thing in the morning will be the famous Keynote presentation where Apple’s top brass takes the stage to preview the latest treasures in their chest.

Here are just a few of those expected to be announced:

  • iOS 6 – the banners advertising this at the conference are already being hung – a small update compared to iOS 5, but it does introduce Apple Maps (and kicks out Google Maps). A complete Facebook integration and bringing Siri to the iPad, among the rumors.
  • iCloud – photo-sharing to social media sites and video stream, where videos are synced in the cloud.
  • New Macs –  the consensus seems to indicate that the entire Mac lineup will be refreshed with Retina Displays. With that as the primary change there could also be a shrinking of the MacBook Pro size and multiple spec updates.

With Apple’s notorious secrecy there is the potential for multiple big surprises. Plus, this will be the first WWDC without Steve Jobs so it will be interesting to see how Tim Cook and crew pave the way.

For an in-depth look at all these new features9to5 Mac – WWDC 2012 Roundup

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Steve Jobs Health, Forced Sabbaticals, and His Brilliance

“No one wants to die,” said Steve Jobs. “And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new.”

Those words are from a famous keynote Steve gave at Stanford in 2005, nearly a year after his brush with cancer. It is well worth a listen to for it’s inspiring message of Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish (text version). A message that Steve says he wishes for himself and perhaps one he now is forced to live by.

Last week on Jan 17, 2011 Steve announced that he is taking a medical leave of absence from Apple. This is his third medical leave, with the previous two for removal of cancerous tumor and a liver transplant. One can only guess what painful problem the man is facing now. You could also guess how this changes a person, what it does to you. Facing death and triumphant returns over and over. It got me thinking what Steve has accomplished after each of these bouts with death.

To uncover this I did a little research and the story starts on July 9, 1997, when Steve was named interim-CEO of Apple. It was the first of his triumphant returns. Twelve years earlier he had been forced out of the company and watched it slowly turn into a disaster. Facing crippling financial losses, record low stock prices, and even a denouncement from Michael Dell, “I’d shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders.”

Then in 1997, an acquisition brought Steve back into the company and he quickly took the reigns as CEO. Not long after things starting happening like small tectonic shifts. Three major products were announced and soon the world was dramatically altered:

  • 1998 – iMac
  • 2001 – iPod
  • 2003 – iTunes Store

All three were huge successes and quickly put Apple back on top. The iPod sold over 100 million units, the iTunes Store sold over 10 billion songs, and the iMac breathed life back into their computers. Together they brought the company back to profitability and, individually, they revolutionized computers, consumer electronics, and music.

Then in July of 2004, Steve was again forced to leave Apple, this time due to a cancerous tumor. After having it removed via the  Whipple procedure, Steve triumphantly returned and released the following:

  • 2005-06 – MacBook
  • 2007 – iPhone
  • 2008 – App store

Three even more successful products. Each one revolutionizing laptops, mobile phones, and, for the app store, creating a whole new paradigm. At this point the company was on the move with the stock price catapulting and revenues soaring.

Then, in 2009, Steve’s third forced sabbatical hit. This time it was a liver transplant, a common ailment arising from the Whipple procedure. Upon returning he released the:

  • 2010 – iPad

Another extremely successful product which appears to be revolutionizing computer operating systems and the entire computer industry.

This takes us back to the present day and the announcement of Steve’s fourth sabbatical. To which many are predicting not a another leave of absence but a final departure into the sunset. After all, Tim Cook is at the helm as he has been in the two previous sabbaticals. Plus, Steve has no need to keep going since he has already accomplished so much and left the company in such a profitable condition.

I can see that happening, but I can also imagine another possibility. One that is in line with the “stay hungry, stay foolish” mantra. Is it possible that Steve has come to love these vacations?

I mean look at what he has accomplished after each one, not even a delay in success or a few years for the product “to hit.” The gratification is so instant it’s like a perfect test for Dr. Pavlov.

I’m not being callous about his health either. Pancreatic cancer is one of those rare, one-in-a-million forms that is completely curable. Most patients are known to have perfectly normal, healthy lives nearly indistinguishable from any other patient. However, there can be complications like liver failure, and this latest medical leave means something else is wrong.

All of these are painful problems and I empathize for Steve, but it does point out that he could likely be poised for another triumphant return.

Why not? Sabbaticals exist for this very reason. Leave at a point of high success and/or anxiety to recover and recoup. It’s a time honored tradition that is too often derided by others. Our community spirit says to work, work to death.

In some ways the move is inspiring. A CEO taking off time to improve his health, be with his family, and then return to change the world.

That is awesome. How many other examples like that do we have?

Have you ever taken a sabbatical?

What would it take for you to take some time off and recoup?

Photo by Peter Denton

DC Goes to CES 2011

CES 2011 is approaching and the DC Tech community is representing. A quick round-up shows at least 10 of us going. Here is the robot’s guide to the best keynotes, sessions, parties, awards, showdowns, and private events. Let me know if I missed anything!

DC Tech Representing

With a ton of us going it would be great to keep us united to for chatting and support. Here is my shortlist of those attending, please, comment if I left you out:

  • Amy Senger & Steven Mandzik
  • Alex Priest (works for CEA)
  • Shana Glickfield (for NextGenWeb)
  • Rachelle Lacroix
  • Peter Corbett (of iStrategyLabs)
  • Leslie Bradshaw and Jesse Thomas (of Jess3)
  • Jen Consalvo and Frank Gruber (of Techcocktail)
  • Amy Phillips, Amy Webb, & Mario Armstrong (from Baltimore!)

Conference Tracks

Amy and I will be attending for the Digital Hollywood and Technology and the Environment tracks. This year seems to be the year of digital media at CES with so much going on around Movies and TV. Here are my potential favorites:

Our next reason for attending is the green side for the non-profit, A Clean Life. Strange that this track only has two events considering that the conference sells itself as the greenest conference on the continent. Those two sessions:

Last but not least is the TweetHouse. Sure to be the powerhouse of the conference due to the sheer amount energy social networking brings to the table. The sessions:

  • Social Media In Action: Philosophies, Strategies and Tactics
  • Measurement and ROI: How To Quantify Costs and Results
  • Campaigns that Connect: What Drives Engagement, Traffic, and Goodwill?
  • Growing your Community: Fans, Followers, Members, and More
  • Monitoring and Mining Social Data
  • Workflow and Staffing: Maximizing Impact While Minimizing Effort and Expense
  • Apps, Geo and Mobile: Critical Arenas for 2011

Events, Parties, and Keynotes

The rest of CES is where it’s at with the showroom floor and the events galore. The top hits I’ve dug up so far:

Other

Finally, there is a CES iphone app for the conference and if you want to catch some quiet time join Amy and I in the press or blogger lounge.