Jobs was Boring
Monday, November 10, 1997 by Dave Winer.
Congratulations to Steve Jobs, and I don't believe in sarcasm.
He did something unusual today at the press event at Flint Center in Cupertino.
He was boring!
At first I was angry, sitting in the auditorium, remembering that he had said that this event would make the front pages of every newspaper tomorrow. I was angry because it didn't deserve to. Do I think it will get the coverage? It doesn't matter. In a few weeks it will be forgotten.
But I offer him congratulations because he did something that I've been asking Apple to do for ages. Get boring, get out of the way, make faster, cheaper products that are easier to buy.
There wasn't anything controversial in today's event, nothing but no-brainers.
I wondered how Jobs can get worked up to do this.
He's worth hundreds of millions of dollars, none of it in Apple stock or options, as far as I know. What's in it for him?
He did his job professionally, completely. I was bored. I wondered if Jobs was bored too. Where's the juice for him?
Will the website stay on the air? How long will you have to wait for the computer to arrive? And when it arrives will it be what you ordered? And will it work?
It's all execution, so it's too soon to really applaud. If it works, if they can manufacture and ship Macs thru the web, that'll be great.
Earlier today in Houston to Austin I asked if there was interest in a mailing list specifically for Mac users who want to learn to be expert Windows users. The response was good enough to warrant starting the list. So we did!
If you or someone you know wants to know more about Windows, please pass on the pointer.
PS: A true contrarian would buy Apple stock now, and as a developer I wonder if Apple would help carve out niches for developers. That would be the other side of the keep-it-boring strategy.
PPS: I would have asked Jobs these questions, but he didn't show up at the press conference. There were a lot of heavy hitters there, probably like me, expecting something more exciting. Next time he predicts an earth-shaking event, it will be worth a grain of salt. Boring news may make Apple healthy, but it doesn't keep reporters in business.
PPPS: MDI stands for Multiple Document Interface. Sorry for not explaining this in Houston to Austin, from earlier today.