June 2010
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Day June 2, 2010

Why Apple is on top today: the top 10 technology decisions

As Apple overtook Microsoft in market cap and as Steve Jobs reminisced about some recent history, I thought I’d reflect on some of the decisions that brought Apple to the pinnacle of technology companies.  The criteria I used to select these is how improbable and hence courageous they were when taken and how much impact they have had on the industry. Since the impact of these decisions could not be felt for a long time, the courage required to act early is all the more remarkable.

At the time they were made, none of these decisions did anything to move the stock price or cause great rejoicing. In fact, in many cases the decisions were ridiculed by those who should know better. Yet each one became a massive pillar of the foundation of Apple as it is today.  As you read through, think of the decisions that Apple competitors made or did not make in the same time frame.

Top 10 Apple technology decisions of the 2000 decade in reverse order:

38% of iPads already outside the US?

Japan’s very high demand led the sales outside of the country at five percent, but China and the UK were tied at four percent. Canada despite its proximity was just 3 percent of iPad traffic.

via AdMob: 38% of iPads already outside the US, ad SDK up | Electronista.

Katzenberg gets it

Dreamworks CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg sang Jobs praises for several minutes, before declaring: “His greatest accomplishment is going to be this tablet.”

“As Steve said last night, there is something indescribable about the connection,” Katzenberg said. “Our children are going to get educated on it. They are going to play on it. They are going to consume more media on that than any other (device).”

“The laptop is yesterday’s news,” he said.

via At D, all hail the iPad | Beyond Binary – CNET News.

Greatest accomplishment…to date.

PCs are going to be like trucks

Best Steve Jobs quote from D8

7:06 p.m. PDT: Is tablet eventually going to replace laptop, Walt asks.

7:07 p.m. PDT: Jobs: “When we were an agrarian nation, all cars were trucks because that’s what you needed on the farms.” Cars became more popular as cities rose, and things like power steering and automatic transmission became popular.

7:07 p.m. PDT: “PCs are going to be like trucks”

7:07 p.m. PDT: “They are still going to be around…they are going to be one out of x people.”

via: CNET

iPad is a product competing along a new basis; that of convenience and simplicity.  The PC vendors are motivated to serve their most demanding customers who expect loads of features and the highest specs. Most people who write about technology for a living will also side with the “truck drivers” because they “know more about transportation than anyone else”.

When you hear someone say that the iPad is just a toy or that it’s only for consumption and not creation, think about that professional truck driver’s bitterness at seeing cheap consumer vehicles cluttering up the roads, doing nothing but serving the unproductive whims of an uneducated population.

People are using apps way more than they are using search

Steve Jobs On iAds:

[It’s to] make developers more money…. People are using apps way more than they are using search. So if you want to make developers more money, you’ve got to get the ads into apps. But the mobile ads we’ve got today rip you out of the app…” Apple has figured out a better way.

This is pretty much the same as his statement on the iPhone 4.0 launch: asymco | On a mobile device Search hasn’t happened.