Why Steve Jobs Didn’t Let His Kids Use iPads!


Steve Jobs was the father of two teenage girls and a son when he passed away in 2011. These kids grew up with a visionary father who co-founded one of the best-known tech companies. Jobs led the world into the digital age with gadgets that transformed the way we listen to music, watch movies, communicate, live our lives.

You would imagine that his children’s rooms would have been filled with iPods, iPhones and iPads.

That’s not the case. In an article in the Sunday New York Times, reporter Nick Bilton says he once asked Jobs “So, your kids must love the iPad?” Jobs response: “They haven’t used it. We limit how much technology our kids use at home.”


The Times article examines the growing trend among the California Silicon Valley tech set to limit children’s technology use. Many of the people behind the social media platforms, gadgets and games that are consuming our kids’ time and minds aren’t actually allowing their own children to waste an entire Saturday afternoon playing Minecraft on the iPad.

A quote in The Times from Chris Anderson, father of five and chief executive of 3D Robotics, pretty much defines why Anderson and his colleagues are limiting technology at home. “My kids accuse me and my wife of being fascists and overly concerned about tech, and they say that none of their friends have the same rules,” says Anderson, formerly the editor of Wired. “That’s because we have seen the dangers of technology firsthand. I’ve seen it in myself, I don’t want to see that happen to my kids.”

Some of these Silicon Valley engineers and execs are even going to the extreme of sending their kids to computer-free schools. A Times story from 2011 reported that engineers and execs from Apple, eBay, Google, Hewlett-Packard and Yahoo are sending their kids to a Waldorf elementary school in Los Altos, Calif., where you won’t find a single computer or screen of any sort. Also, kids are discouraged from watching television or logging on at home.

Alan Eagle, who works in executive communications at Google and has a degree in computer science from Dartmouth, has a fifth grader who attends the school and he told the Times that she “doesn’t know how to use Google.”

The thinking is that technology interferes with creativity and young minds learn best through movement, hands-on tasks, and human-to-human interaction. Students at this school are gaining math, patterning, and problem-solving skills by knitting socks. They aren’t exposed to fractions through a computer program. Instead they learn about halves and quarters by cutting up food.

Are you surprised by any of this? Bilton certainly was when he had that conversation with Jobs in 2010. Bilton spoke with the Apple boss many times and says learning that Jobs was a low-tech parent was the most shocking bit of information that he ever heard. Shocking for me too…and now I wonder is tech good or bad at such a young age…my grand daughter is already an iPad expert.

The Woman Behind Apple’s Icons

Brandon Griggs of CNN wrote a great article about the woman behind Apple’s icons.

I certainly did not know her name but thanks to Griggs I now know her work which still influences how we interact with our computers today.

She is Susan Kare, and she designed fonts and icons for Apple’s original Macintosh, including the little trash can for discarding files and the computer with a smiling face. In that way, Kare helped people such as Steve Jobs pioneer the transition from controlling computers via text to the icon-based interfaces now common on touchscreen devices.

Kare had a fine-arts background when a friend recruited her to join Apple in 1982. For the Mac, Kare designed the first font whose letters were spaced proportionally – in other words, accounting for the varying width of ”i” and “m” instead of just fitting letters into identical blocks regardless of size, which left gaps in between. As a graphic artist I am pleased about that but never knew who was behind what seems to be a simple idea unless you are obsessed with typography like I am.

Because an application for designing icons on Macintosh screens hadn’t been coded yet, Kare went to an art-supply store and bought a sketchbook so she could begin playing around with ideas. In those pages she created the casual prototypes of a new, radically user-friendly face of computing — each square of graph paper representing a pixel on the screen.”
After leaving Apple Kare designed icons and products for Microsoft’s Windows, New York’s Museum of Modern Art and Facebook’s Gifts program, which encouraged users to send each other virtual birthday cakes, flowers and other amorphous treats.

After years of semi-obscurity, Kare has been getting some renewed attention lately. She just published an art book of 80 of her favorite icons created between 1983 and 2011. Her work with Apple is also cited in Walter Isaacson’s new biography of Steve Jobs, currently the top-selling nonfiction book in the country.
“She and Jobs hit it off because they shared an instinct for simplicity along with a desire to make the Mac whimsical,” Isaacson wrote.

In keeping with his rep as a perfectionist micromanager, Jobs stopped by to check on Kare’s work almost every day. When she first named her Mac fonts after stops on the Main Line commuter train in her native Philadelphia, Jobs encouraged her to think bigger.

“They ought to be world-class cities!” he complained, according to the book, Kare’s fonts were soon renamed after such cultural capitals as San Francisco, London and Venice.

My American business hero died today…Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs the innovative co-founder of Apple who transformed personal use of technology as well as entire industries with products such as the iPod, iPad, iPhone, Macintosh computer and the iTunes music store, died today.

The iconic American CEO, whose impact many have compared to auto magnate Henry Ford and Walt Disney— whom Jobs openly admired — abruptly stepped down from his position as CEO of Apple in August because of health concerns. He had been suffering from pancreatic cancer.

Google Chairman Eric Schmidt, a former Apple board member, called Jobs the best CEO of the past 50 years — perhaps 100 years. I would agree…he has become almost a cult hero among all of us in the tech community.

A seminal business and technology leader, Jobs’ success flowed from a relentless focus on making products that were easy and intuitive for the average consumer to use. His products were characterized by groundbreaking design and style that, along with their technological usefulness, made them objects of intense desire by consumers around the world.

He was known as a demanding, mercurial boss and an almost mystical figure in technology circles as well as American popular culture. Author and business consultant Jim Collins once called Jobs the “Beethoven of business.” He was one of the figures who made Silicon Valley the capital of technological innovation and related venture capital fortunes.
He revolutionized the computing business with Mac, he revolutionized the music business with iTunes and he turned the telephony business on its ear with the iPhone. He reinvented several businesses too, Pixar gave animation a whole new life. A fact that I just learned today as a retailer, Apple Stores are the most profitable per square foot retail spaces in the world.

And finally as a marketer…my former ad agency network produced the advertising for Apple and without a doubt created some of the most outstanding commercials in the industry for the Apple Brand. Who does remember the famous 1984 Super Bowl commercial or the iconic “think Different” campaign.
Jobs’ work at Apple and other projects made him a fortune estimated by Forbes magazine in 2011 at $8.3 billion. He was No.110 on Forbes’ list of billionaires worldwide and No.34 in the United States, as of the magazine’s March 2011 estimates.

It will surely be missed and everyone has to wonder who will lead Apple not just in the Boardroom but in the “kitchen” where the ideas are created.

Unusual CEO

Steve Jobs earned a $1 annual salary every year since he rejoined Apple in 1997. While many $1-a-year CEOs reap big back-end stock and options packages, Jobs was almost a financial ascetic: He collected no stock awards most years, no cash bonuses and no perks, even turning down a 401(k) match from Apple.

Apple’s market cap has risen from less than $2 billion to over $355.6 billion under Steve’s leadership, making it the most valuable publicly traded company in the world.

Apple Campus 2 to be like a “spaceship”

The Cupertino, California municipal website is attracting buzz this weekend with a slew of new material about Apple’s proposed new “spaceship”-inspired mega-campus for 12,000 employees.
Apple CEO Steve Jobs made a surprise appearance at a Cupertino City Council meeting in June to announce plans for a major expansion of the company’s headquarters, on a parcel of land formerly owned by Hewlett-Packard. The city’s website now has posted material related to Apple’s submission of a development proposal for the new “Apple Campus 2” on a 175-acre area.

Included in the proposal were downloadable PDFs of floorplans and renderings of the proposed circular building, which is expected to be completed by 2015. Here is the link to the PDF’s.


“Apple is growing like a weed,” Jobs told the council in June. “It’s a little like a spaceship landing,” he said of the futuristic design.

After the presentation, Cupertino Mayor Gilbert Wong said, “Cupertino is ready for this. … There is no chance we are saying no.”

Finally Fab Four on iTunes!

The Beatles finally are making their debut on iTunes.

On Tuesday, Apple announced a deal with representatives of the Beatles and the group’s record label, EMI Group, to put the entire catalog of Beatles music in the iTunes Store.

“We love the Beatles and are honored and thrilled to welcome them to iTunes,” said Apple CEO Steve Jobs in a statement. “It has been a long and winding road to get here.”

For years, The Fab Four have been the most notable holdout from selling their collective digital music in Apple’s popular iTunes store even though solo recordings by John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and George Harrison are available.

But Tuesday’s announcement brings the British pop royalty into the digital realm in a major way.

“It’s a very big deal,” says Tim Bajarin, an analyst with Creative Strategies. “It’s a symbolic milestone.”

While the Beatles music has been available for four decades on vinyl, cassette, 8-track and CD, its migration to iTunes makes it more easily available to those who don’t own the songs in those other formats.

“It’s fantastic to see the songs we originally released on vinyl receive as much love in the digital world as they did the first time around,” said Sir Paul McCartney.

All 13 of the group’s remastered studio albums are available for $12.99, or as double albums for $19.99. Individual songs can be downloaded for $1.29 each.

It’s not like owners of Apple iPods, Zunes and other mp3 haven’t been able to get the music onto their devices. All they had to do was copy their CDs to the computer and transfer the music.

“But there’s a value to saying ‘We’re the first to have the Beatles online,” says Mike McGuire, an analyst with Gartner. “Have you ever downloaded something you were pretty sure you had somewhere else? I know I have. Apple will sell lots of Beatles downloads.”

Paul Resnikoff, editor of the Digital Music News blog, says the Beatles on iTunes will appeal to the older demographic who never got with the program of ripping CDs. “A 16-year-old, if they’re interested, already has the music on their iPod, and figured out how to get it there. A 66-year-old may not know how to download the entire catalog in 30 minutes, and may really be interested in getting it from iTunes.”

Yikes I guess they think us geezers can’t do anything digitally.

Apple “Pings” Facebook With ITunes-Based Social Network


Even Apple, which lives in a bubble of its own device-centered success, can’t resist the lure of social networking. Today, CEO Steve Jobs formally thrust the company into the social-media fray with an iTunes-based network, Ping.

Why would Apple want to get into social networking?

It’s where consumers are spending most of their internet time, and Apple has millions of iTunes customers as an instant revenue stream. “We think this will be really popular very fast because 160 million people can switch it on today,” Mr. Jobs said during his keynote, where he also announced a version of iOS 4 for the iPad and a new $99 version of AppleTV, with 99-cent TV and $4.99 movie rentals.

But the creation of Ping thrusts Apple into an entirely new market, one dominated today by Facebook, with Google on the outside and peering in eagerly. Jobs said Ping will have all the social-networking features we have come to expect, such as friends, photo and video sharing, and of course privacy gradations. But the biggest angle for Ping is the way it’s centered around sharing and shopping for music. With the latest software update, every single user of iTunes — those 160 million customers — could turn on Ping today.

“The ambition for Ping is not to compete with Twitter and Facebook; they just want you to buy more,” said Forrester analyst James McQuivey. “Even if the existing customers buy just one or two more tracks a month because their friends recommended them, Ping is a huge success for Apple.”

Because customers are buying, and Apple isn’t dependent on ad revenue, the tech company is not as concerned as Facebook and Google with how much time consumers spend on the service. “Because Facebook’s revenue stream is based on advertising, the measure of success is the length of time users remain in Facebook,” McQuivey said. “But Ping’s revenue stream is iTunes, not advertising.”

Built into Ping’s features — among them what you would expect, such as what your friends are listening to, where your favorite musicians are performing — are many “Buy” buttons. This purchase feature is already at least one step ahead of Facebook, which has a fledgling Facebook Marketplace that has not shown much movement. Facebook sells Facebook credits for use in the Marketplace and games, but compared with iTunes, that revenue is spare change.

MySpace has used music discovery and its network of music fans and artists as its last bulwark against obsolescence. If, as Mr. Jobs hopes, artists begin congregating on Ping, it could accelerate MySpace’s decline. Mr. McQuivey says he sees new artist discovery beginning on YouTube, then going on to iTunes or Amazon, bypassing MySpace altogether. For artists that don’t have music videos, they or their fans tend to upload songs to YouTube along with static images. In this sequence of discovery, Ping is more of a competitor to YouTube.

Privacy could also be an issue for Ping, given that Apple has some pretty sensitive information on iTunes customers, including credit-card information, past purchases and, well, what’s on their iPods and iPhones.

Because many users will have already shopped on iTunes before, Ping can be much more direct and honest that it will use this purchase information to try to sell them more product. With the Genius feature, iTunes has already been suggesting music purchases based on users’ music libraries.

What Apple should learn from Tylenol—and fast

I just bought my new iPhone duct tape case…can you hear me now?

In the face of mounting criticism of the iPhone 4’s signal problems, Apple must act fast to do good by its consumers and nip this public relations disaster in the bud before it gets worse.

Apple has two relevant past examples to learn from: Johnson & Johnson, which acted fast to recall bad Tylenol products, taking responsibility and paying damages, versus Toyota, which waited ages this year to recall faulty vehicles, denying there was a serious problem until it was far too late to prevent consumer deaths and serious damage to its brand image.
My duct tape solution…
“Apple has handled reports that the iPhone 4 has a manufacturing glitch that causes dropped calls very, very poorly,” said Al Ries, chairman of focusing consultancy Ries and Ries in Atlanta. “They tried to minimize the problem when they should have done just the opposite—get ahead of the situation by ‘maximizing’ the problem.

“Steve Jobs should have held a press conference and said, ‘I’m appalled at what has happened and I’m going to recall all iPhone 4s and keep them off the market until we have a permanent fix,” he said.

Apple continues to remain at the forefront of the smartphone market with the recently launched iPhone 4, according to British online mobile phone store Mobiles.co.uk.

With HD video capture, an enhanced 5 megapixel camera and a host of other new features including the highest resolution display screen ever seen on a mobile phone, iPhone 4 has proven to be the biggest product launch in Apple’s history, and coupled with the latest iOS 4, boasts over a hundred new features, according to the site.

Apple’s iOS 4 offers better multitasking of third party applications and an improved digital zoom when taking photos, plus a tap to focus video feature, still offering one the most powerful operating systems to rival that of Google’s Android, Research In Motion’s BlackBerry and Nokia’s Symbian operating system.

However, despite its popularity, iPhone 4 has not launched without its problems, with stock too limited to meet the demand of a booming market, and the notorious fault with the positioning of the phone’s antenna that causes a noticeable signal drop depending on the way users grip the handset.

This issue has sparked heated debate over the recent weeks since the phone’s launch and forced Apple to comment on the situation, which suggested that it was users’ fault for covering the phone antenna by holding it the wrong way.

In the iPhone 4’s case the signal problem occurs when users cover the black strip in the lower left corner of the metal band, which sees the signal bars drop as a result.

Duct tape solutions aside, as suggested by Consumer Reports magazine, this is a major blow to Apple’s image. Heck I would try it, duct tape is the miracle tool for any job. This reminds me of the astronauts on Apollo 13 trying to get back to earth.

Apple, however, continues to claim that the issue is due to an incorrect formula in the way the signal bars are displayed on screen, sometimes mistakenly displaying more signal than the area actually permits.

Whether this fully explains what many believe to be a design flaw is open to debate, but an upcoming software update is set to rectify the problem or simply buying an iPhone bumper—a protective case for the phone—can help eradicate the issue too, according to Mobiles.co.uk.

None of this seems to have hindered the early success of iPhone 4, which the site claims is fast becoming the must-have device of 2010.

As retailers continue to sell out of the iPhone 4 as soon as it hits their stores, and low stock levels set to continue for the next couple of months at least, Apple will hope to benefit from keeping supply low and demand high.

The solution is painfully clear.
The Tylenol painkiller brand made headlines in 1982 when beginning Sept. 29 of that year seven people died after consuming cyanide-laced capsules of Extra-Strength Tylenol, J&J’s best-selling drug. Those deaths occurred a few days apart in the Chicago area.

While the case was one of sabotage, J&J went ahead and recalled 31 million bottles of Tylenol capsules from the market, offering tablet replacements for free.

More importantly, J&J chairman James Burke took charge of the situation, addressing a press conference one and a half months after the problem arose.

In addition, the company allocated more than $100 million to the 1982 recall and the relaunch of the Tylenol brand.

Tylenol accounted for 17 percent of J&J’s net income in 1981, per a New York Times report filed during the recall crisis. After the deaths, Tylenol’s share of the market dropped to 7 percent from 37 percent previously.

Indeed, many market observers were sceptical of the brand’s future. Yet, Tylenol was back on shelves two months later in tamper-proof packaging and supported by a huge marketing push.

Also, per the New York Times report, Tylenol clawed back share only one year later to 30 percent of the $1.2 billion analgesic market segment.

Location Based Services and Apple.

Apple’s recent decision to revise its iOS4 privacy policy so it can begin collecting user location data proves that Steve Jobs does plan on making money on mobile advertising after all.
Jobs said earlier this month that the company’s new iAd mobile ad network was created mainly to help the iPhone developer community make money via in-application ads. However, the revised privacy policy to enable location data collection is all part of Apple’s play to protect its targeting assets and give its iAd network a competitive advantage—in order to start raking in the dough.

“This is about Apple controlling the experience, and especially now that it’s in the advertising business, Apple needs that location data just like any other advertiser does,” said Noah Elkin, senior analyst at eMarketer, New York. “Given that iAd is about to roll out next week, Apple is collecting location data for its own purposes rather than for the benefit of others.

“Location is an important element that illustrates the promise of mobile and social,” he said. “Look at the way that the mobile environment is developing—proximity marketing is really the direction that we’re headed.

“Being able to marry data about a user’s location and data about a user’s likes and dislikes—being able to present a relevant offer—raises the bar in terms of the relevancy of the advertising messages.”