Since its debut in 2003, The Wall Street Journal’s D: All Things Digital conference has been breaking news, highlighting innovation, and arranging straight-up conversations with the most influential figures in media and technology.
From June 1-3, 2010, creators and executive producers Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher will put the industry’s top players to the test at D8 the eighth annual conference. This one is with APPLE CEO Steve Jobs.
This is an excerpt of Steve Jobs comments :
About Apple's market capitalization ahead of Microsoft :
It's sort of surreal. It's a little surreal. But it doesn't really mean anything
About his return to head Apple :
Oh it was on the rocks. We were 90 days from going bankrupt. I thought all the good people had left -- but I found these amazing people. I said, why are you still here? They said, because I believe in Apple. I love what this place stands for.
About his rejection of Adobe Flash :
Apple is a company that doesn't have the resources that everyone else has. We choose what tech horses to ride, we look for tech that has a future and is headed up. Different pieces of tech go in cycles... they have summer and then they go to the grave.....If you choose wisely, you save yourself an enormous amount of work...Our goal is really easy -- we just made a tech decision. We aren't going to make an effort to put this on our platform. We told Adobe to show us something better, and they never did. It wasn't until we shipped the iPad that Adobe started to raise a stink about it. We were trying to have a fight, we just decided to not use one of their products. They made a big deal of it -- that's why I wrote that letter. I said enough is enough, we're tired of these guys trashing us......Well things are packages. Some things are good in a product, some things are bad. If the market tells us we're making bad choices, we'll make changes. We're just trying to make great products. We don't think this is great and we're going to leave it out. We're going to take the heat because we want to make the best product in the world for customers!....We have a history of doing this. The 3 1/2 floppy. We made that popular. We got ride of the floppy altogether in the first iMac. We got rid of serial and parallel ports. You saw USB first in iMacs. We were one of the first to get rid of optical drives, with the MacBook Air. And when we do this, sometimes people call us crazy.
About HTML5 :
Sometimes you have to pick the right horses. Flash looks like it had its day but it's waning, and HTML5 looks like it's coming up.....We're trying to make great products for people. We at least have the courage of our convictions....We're going to take the heat because we want to make the best product in the world for customers...they are paying us to make those choices....We have two platforms we support. One is completely open and uncontrolled and that is HTML 5. We support HTML 5. We have the best support for HTML 5 of anyone in the world. We then support a curated platform, which is the App Store.
About Foxconn :
We are on top of this. We look at everything at these companies. I can tell you a few things that we know. And we are all over this. Foxconn is not a sweatshop....It's a factory -- but my gosh, they have restaurants and movie theaters... but it's a factory. But they've had some suicides and attempted suicides -- and they have 400,000 people there. The rate is under what the US rate is, but it's still troubling....We're trying to understand this. We have people over there.
About losing the iPhone prototype:
There's an ongoing investigation. I can tell you what I do know, though. To make a product you need to test it. You have to carry them outside. One of our employees was carrying one. There's a debate about whether he left it in a bar, or it was stolen out of his bag. The person who found it tried to sell it, they called Engadget, they called Gizmodo.....The person who took the phone plugged it into his roommates computer. And this guy was trying to destroy evidence... and his roommate called the police. So this is a story that's amazing -- it's got theft, it's got buying stolen property, it's got extortion, I'm sure there's some sex in there... the whole thing is very colorful.....Somebody should make a movie out of this..... The DA is looking into it, and to my knowledge they have someone making sure they only see stuff that relates to this case. I don't know how it will end up....When this whole thing with Gizmodo happened, I got a lot of advice from people that said you've got to just let it slide. You shouldn't go after a journalist because they bought stolen property and tried to extort you.....You go back 5 or 10 years, what would you do... we're not going into that... we have the same values that we had back then. The core values are the same. .....And I thought deeply about this, and I concluded the worst thing that could happen is if we change our core values and let it slide. I can't do that. I'd rather quit......We come into work wanting to do the same thing that we did back then -- build the best products. Nothing makes my day more than getting a random email from someone talking about how cool the iPad is. That's what keeps me going. That's what kept me going back then, and now, and will keep me going in the future.
About the Ads business :
We're going into the ad business because we want to help our developers make some money. We're not going to make much money in the ad business. We are doing it for our developers......We discovered something -- people are going into apps. They're not just going onto to websites. And people love apps. This is an entirely new thing -- they aren't using search, they're using apps like Yelp.
About piracy :
We take privacy really seriously. Take location on phones -- we take this really seriously. Before any app can get location data, they can't just put up a panel asking if it can use location -- they call OUR panel and it asks you if it's okay. That's one of the reasons we have the curated app store. A lot of the people in the Valley think we're old fashioned about this. But we take it seriously.
Well let first say we have two platforms we support. One is open and uncontrolled -- that's HTML5. We support HTML5. We have the best support for it of anyone in the world. We then support a curated platform which is the app store. It is the most vital app community on any platform. How do we curate this? It's a bunch of people, and they come into work every day. We have a few rules: has to do what it's advertised to do, it has to not crash, it can't use private APIs. And those are the three biggest reasons we reject apps. But we approve 95% of all the apps that are submitted every week.
Yes... and political cartoons got caught in that. We didn't think of that. So this guy submits his app and he gets rejected. We didn't see that coming. So we changed the rule, but this guy never resubmitted... then he wins a Pulitzer Prize, and he says we rejected him. So, we are guilty of making mistakes. We're doing the best we can, we're learning as fast as we can -- but we thought this rule made sense.
95% are approved within 7 days...9PM Steve: We're doing the best we can, we're fixing mistakes. But what happens is -- people lie. And then they run to the press and tell people about this oppression, and they get their 15 minutes of fame. We don't run to the press and say "this guy is a son of a bitch liar!" -- we don't do that...We had a rule that said you can't defame other people.
About tablet :
I remember telling you I thought handwriting was the slowest input method ever. We reimagined the tablet, we didn't do what MSFT did. They had a totally different idea than us. And that drove everything. There tablet was based on a PC. It had the battery life, the weight, it needed a cursor like a PC. But the minute you throw a stylus out, you have the precision of a finger, you can't use a PC OS. You have to create it from scratch.
I had this idea about having a glass display, a multitouch display you could type on. I asked our people about it. And six months later they came back with this amazing display. And I gave it to one of our really brilliant UI guys. He then got inertial scrolling working and some other things, and I thought, 'my god, we can build a phone with this' and we put the tablet aside, and we went to work on the phone.
I'm trying to think of a good analogy. When we were an agrarian nation, all cars were trucks. But as people moved more towards urban centers, people started to get into cars. I think PCs are going to be like trucks. Less people will need them. And this is going to make some people uneasy.
The PC has taken us a long way. They were amazing. But it's changes, vested interests are going to change. And I think we've embarked on that change. Is it the iPad? Who knows? Will it be next year or five years...
About iPAD :
If we succeed they''ll buy them, and if we don't, they won't. So far, I have to say that people seem to be liking iPads. We've sold one every three seconds since we launched it
About the Press :
Well I think the foundation of a free society is a free press. And we've seen what's happening to papers in the US right now. I think they're really important. I don't want to see us descend into a nation of bloggers...... I think we need editors now more than ever......I can tell you as one of the largest sellers of content on the internet to date -- price it aggressively and go for volume. That has worked for us. I'm trying to get the press to do the same thing. They need to do it differently than they do it for print.....I think people are willing to pay for content. I believe it for music and video, and I believe it for the media.
About his work style :
I have one of the best jobs in the world. I get to come in and work with some of the most brilliant people in the world. We play in the best sandbox... One of the keys to Apple is that Apple is an incredibly collaborative company. You know how many committees we have at Apple? Zero. We're organized like a startup.... We meet for 3 hours every morning and talk about all the business, about what's going on everywhere. We're great at figuring out how to divide things up into great teams, and we talk to each other. So what I do all day is meet with teams of people.......We have wonderful arguments.... The best ideas should win
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