If owning a steel mill is a solid, and owning a consulting firm is a liquid, then owning an app is a gas. It’s the most fickle market I’m aware of. One moment you’re a celebrity, everyone loves you, and you step on $10,000 bills every time you go outside. The next moment your app has been rejected by Apple and you’re suckin’ on a dry bottle of malt liquor cursing all those who passed you in app rankings.
Today is a great day, tomorrow holds a future no man or beast can predict.
Parker Planner is currently (7:01 AM Mountain Time, April 30, 2013 AD) ranked higher than it ever has been and I now raise from my bedroom office chair to do a merry jig. Observe:
Steve Jobs was one amazing dude. I can’t believe the amount of impactful things he helped develop in such a short time. Including Pixar! Nuts that he founded Pixar after Apple let him go.
In honor of beards everywhere, I give you bearded Jobs:
Today I was looking at old Apple product presentations he gave on Youtube. It was really inspiring. I have a great opportunity with my next move with Parker Planners and getting some inspiration from the Jobs really helped. He’s definitely someone who trusts himself. More so than your average dude. One thing I found very useful in a video about the iPod Nano was that he said you have to start with the human experience and work backward toward the technology. I think his products really do that. Steve said he’s tried it the other way around many times and failed many times; having the scar tissue to prove it.
That’s so awesome. Thinking about people has to be the first step in product development. It’s about how we live, think, feel, observe, and interact with our surroundings. Our lives are improved so much when designers take a second to consider the human experience. I want to be one of those designers.
Here is the original iPod intro video. Mimic this thought process with another product and you’ll make money. After the first 4 sentences it’s clear they know what they’re doing. Bam.
Wow, seems like Apple really blew it with Final Cut Pro X. The prior version of Final Cut Pro was $999 and many people bought it. It’s because it was professional-grade software on which real movies were edited. Examples: Enchanted, Napoleon Dynamite, The Simpsons Movie, Where the Wild Things Are, and The Social Network. It’s the real deal.
Enter Final Cut Pro verion ten (X). It comes with an impressively low $299 price tag and you download it from the “Mac App Store”. It’s more like iMovie (free movie editor) than any pro editor, though. People are calling it iMovie Pro. Lotsa fuss. You can’t even import a project from a prior version? Many features missing? Apple knows best I guess. Dear Omnicient Apple, I’m hungry, what should I have for dinner?
What a strange move by a software creator. You’d think they could gather a bunch of professional movie editors and ask them what they like and dislike about the software. Listen to customers maybe? I had a memorable experience with product development once while working a convention put on by Omniture. In 2009 I attended their ‘Summit’ event in Salt Lake City. They gathered all their most influential customers (many CMOs of fortune 500 companies) and asked them what they thought about Omniture’s products. It was an amazing moment. Their CTO, an intelligent and funny guy named Brett Error, lead the discussion and they gathered valuable feedback. On top of that they had a web page with a constantly changing board of features that customers wanted. Each different feature was voted up/down depending on customer demand. Now that’s cool. No wonder they grew rapidly and sold to Adobe for $1.8 billion.
I own a macbook and an iPhone but DO NOT consider Apple to be the greatest company ever with perfect execution on every product. Sometimes their decisions are downright ridiculous.
One of the most memorable experiences I have with design was at Arizona State when I saw Patrick Scofield give a talk. He kept repeating the words “positive, memorable experiences” in reference to designing products. Boom! Roasted, Apple. I think that’s what it’s all about. Creating positive, memorable experiences, not mass pandemonium by selling a sub-par product nobody asked for at a price no one was expecting through a medium no one uses.