Friday, September 19, 2014

Tim Cook on Apple Watch and Steve Jobs

Probably more so than Google Glass, a convenient, familiar wearable device like Apple Watch may take better root in the market and among consumers.  I long dispensed with wearing a watch, because time was already a part of whatever mobile phone I had.  I'm also very simple with my style, and the only piece of jewelry I wear is my wedding ring.  But perhaps like scores of others, I may consider wearing a smart watch.

The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, along with the Apple Watch, that Tim Cook introduced last week were, to me, more like follower products.  I agree with him, and I am excited, too, at the watch being the centerpiece for healthcare.  That is, it can monitor real-time data about our bodily functioning and, if we choose to, relay that information to our physician.  Not just healthcare, of course, but also fitness and exertion.

Nevertheless, from Google and IBM, to Nike and Fitbit, smart, wearable devices, for healthcare and fitness, have been in works for a few years now.  I see the Apple Watch as definitely a step forward, but it simply does not carve a new path in ways that the iPod | iTunes, iPhone and iPad did.  In addition, Samsung is already way ahead of Apple with its latest big screen iPhone 6.  So again there may be very cool new features, but it is strictly a follower product.

Reference: Head to Head: How Apple's New iPhone, Watch Compare to Samsung's Products.

Cook doesn't seem to be the sentimental, emotional sort, though he makes a point of nurturing these qualities vis-a-vis Steve Jobs.  Keeping Jobs' office as it was, when he left, and upholding the culture he created since its founding are very sentimental things.  Cook does sound like quite an upstanding, reasonable man, and there is a lot of wisdom in acknowledging that the only person he can be is himself. 

But that's the rub.  For Apple to truly create new paths or carve new terrains, the company must have someone like Jobs.  Jobs was an innovator, but I argue that he was more a visionary than anything.  It was Steve Wozniak, and Jony Ive, and a host of staff who worked for him who were the real creators.  Jobs literally cracked the whip on them, and directed them, even coerced them to create the paths that led to the places he had envisioned.  To the extent that innovation isn't just about generating creative, clever ideas, but also about designing, engineering, manufacturing, marketing and distributing, then of course Jobs was the quintessential innovator.  He had the ideas, and others made them happen.

No comments:

Post a Comment