Apple’s Impossible Scheme – Protocol

good morning! Every tech company wants to be Apple – and why wouldn’t it be? An unlucky startup that finds success after discovering its target market (and employing some marketing magic) is inspiring, to say the least. But it is also impossible to duplicate Apple. I’m Owen Thomas, and I’ve spent more hours watching Keywords in Moscone West than I admit.

Technology after Steve Jobs

The introduction of Apple’s iMac in 1998 was almost a humbling event. Looking back through the fog of twenty overlapping years and a few trillion dollars in market capitalization, it was undoubtedly a affair that required little effort. Apple rented a theater at a community college near the headquarters of the Infinite Loop. The stakes were high – Apple’s very survival – and expectations low. But Jobs’ showmanship worked: The iMac, developed with a level of secrecy insisted by the recently reinstalled Apple co-founder, impressed the public. It took Wall Street longer to win, but sales soon proved resilient.

This launch set a template for an Apple event: debuting a new product on stage for the audience (preferably packed with loyal employees and friendly developers ready to cheer), then upending the industry overnight. And every startup wanted to be Apple. This means securing partners with NDAs, maintaining internal firewalls, and tracking down leakers, all in the name of delivering big disclosure.

The Apple virus spread quickly through Silicon Valley. Soon everyone wanted to do an Apple event.

  • Microsoft, Google, and even Cisco have tried to bring Apple lighting into their product launches. Problem: Their leaders weren’t browsers like Steve Jobs, and their products weren’t iPhones.
  • Startups are also starting to operate. Dropbox, Pinterest, and Airbnb have all tried great revelations. They had attractive founders, at least, but the problem was that the document editing features, online payment tools, and pottery class listings weren’t quite right for the platform either.
  • Perhaps the most toxic version of the apple cult is Theranos. The strict release schedules and PR-first approach were seriously inappropriate for the medical field, but if you’ve watched “The Dropout” or read “Bad Blood,” you know this. (And if you haven’t, you have homework.)

A prominent startup leader has called for a reconsideration of Apple’s legacy. at Send an email to employees Via Twitter on Friday, Stripe CEO Patrick Collison noted that his company was “completely unlike Apple” when it came to product debuts.

  • The context was a brief Twitter dispute between Plaid and Stripe that began when Stripe introduced a bank account linking product that competes directly with Plaid’s core offering. Plaid CEO Zach Perret accused a Stripe executive of spying for Plaid’s secrets, then withdrew the charge, but not before it blew a Twitter storm.
  • Collison said the drama could have been avoided, if Stripe and Plaid had just talked about the upcoming product. The secrecy generated suspicion. “If anyone would be unpleasantly surprised by something we do, we should, if we can, avoid detection by posting it on Twitter” or on Hacker News, Collison wrote.
  • “People would buy fewer iPhones today if they knew what the new device would do,” he added. “But people are more likely to buy Stripe today if they know Stripe will be better in the future.”

“Surprise and delight” are no longer synonymous. Surprises are not pleasant in most areas of business.

  • Whether it’s rolling out collaboration tools or deploying new mobile operating systems, people want as much advance warning as possible, so they have time to evaluate new technology and update their own software.
  • Unlike a piece of hardware, cloud software is constantly deployed, and is constantly being upgraded. Events organized by AWS, Google Cloud, and Salesforce are more about education and inspiration than flattery.
  • Apple can still walk away from partners in the dark, but these days, it’s rare for any tech company to be able to do it alone. It is inevitable that information will leak out.

Even Apple doesn’t do Apple events, really. The pandemic forced him to change, but not before the form that Jobs invented had become a parody of the self.

  • Tim Cook has tried, really. It has improved. But it is not the same. Let’s not pretend.
  • By last October, Apple itself was “starting to sound like a dad joke”, books Veteran lead observer Chris Taylor.

Next month’s Apple Worldwide Developer Conference will not have any live component. Instead, students and developers will gather in Apple Park to… watch a video. Will the Steve Jobs Theater end with a memorial to a bygone era of personal launch events? It may be sad, but empty rituals are sadder.

– Owen Thomas (E-mail | Twitter | instagram dog)

Advice to Biz Carson, who was recently Pipeline element on tape Inspired by this source code.

A letter from the workplace from META

100% of C-suite employees surveyed by Meta’s Workplace survey said frontline workers are a strategic priority for their business in 2022, but nearly two out of three said keeping their frontline employees, who are bearing the brunt of the pressures of a place More intense action, it has only become a priority since the pandemic hit.

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people talking

Ian Goodfellow, Head of Machine Learning at Apple, leave the company Because of her return to the action plan:

  • “I strongly believe that more flexibility would have been the best policy for my team.”

Former SoftBank CEO Marcelo Clore is bullish on venture capital in Latin America:

  • “We have a lot of tailwinds on our side.”

Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said There is a room For carbon capture technology:

  • “Our number one preference is to make sure we’re powered by clean, zero-carbon energy. We do it all. But you can walk and chew gum.”

Coming this week

Intel Vision 2022 starts tomorrow. It will contain keywords from Pat Gelsinger and other CEOs.

config 2022 starts tomorrow It lasts for 24 hours. Figma CEO is the keynote speaker.

Google I / O Wednesday starts In Shoreline Coliseum.

Disney + will give an update Subscribe to Wednesday. It’s going to be an important call given the rest of the streaming industry’s subscription issues.

Unboxed box It takes place on Thursday. Idris Sandu of Spacial Labs is the keynote speaker.

Tim Cook will deliver Starting address Friday at Gallaudet University.

in other news

Uber reduces costs, According to CNBC. Dara Khosrowshahi said the company would treat hiring as a “franchise” and cut back on marketing and incentives spending.

Tesla covers abortion-related travel costs, Following similar steps by Yelp, Apple, Match Group, and others.

Cameo threw a fancy party in Miami A few days after laying off nearly 90 employees. Company executives (those who did not leave) invited celebrities and NFT holders.

Another darling pandemic layoffs: An online collaboration mural company laid off several of its workers last week.

Anxiety and long hours Fueling TikTok’s work cultureAnd According to former American workers. Previous employees said they were often sleep-deprived and sought treatment due to stress.

The Securities and Exchange Commission accused Nvidia While minimizing the impact of cryptocurrency mining on game sales. nvidia Pay $5.5 million in penalties.

China will not allow young users to send gifts for live broadcasts Any more. It’s another new rule that limits the power of China’s tech giants.

Instagram Will support NFTs For Ethereum, polygon, and other blockchain networks, according to CoinDesk. Instagram may announce a beta about it today.

JB Graftieaux is the new CEO of Bitstamp. He has been leading the European business on the cryptocurrency exchange since last May.

Carlos Torales Monteiro is the new Vice President of Cloudflare, Head of Latin America Sales. He is a former CEO of Cisco.

Video game movie producers

Video game movies are becoming big in Hollywood. You can thank the small production team DJ 2 Entertainment To drive a lot of this growth.

The small group of producers behind “Sonic the Hedgehog” got a lot of film directors on board by simply asking them to play some of the games they’d taken for granted. dj2 Entertainment thinks it’s only a matter of time before these mods start stealing award shows.

A letter from the workplace from META

Companies are beginning to turn to communication tools in the workplace. These tools enable frontline workers to feel more connected to the rest of their work, raise concerns and provide feedback on potential pain points or points of improvement. By bridging this divide, companies can unlock new savings and efficiencies, and build businesses that can last for the long term.

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Ideas, questions, tips? Send it to, or our advice line, Enjoy your day, see you tomorrow.

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