How to learn new stuff
Monday, July 09, 2007 by Dave Winer.
I was watching a blogtv show with Jeff Pulver talking about the iPhone. He didn't have one. Not that he can't afford it, he can, but he objected to the myriad of ways the iPhone is closed to anyone's innovation but Apple's, or anyone's economics but AT&T's. I share his disgust. Sometimes it seems as if American corporations are in the business of deceiving customers into thinking they're getting more power and utility, and then snatching it back and leaving us with less (and them with our money). Even though I adore the product, Apple is really pushing the limits on this with the iPhone.
In the mid-90s I was considered by some at Apple to be their #1 enemy, more so than Microsoft which was eating their GUI lunch, or the web that was undermining their assumptions about how dumb users are. I think it was because I didn't know how to present my opinions so they'd go down easy (I'm better at it now) and because they weren't listening very well (they had bigger problems to solve). Then they fired the CEO and brought in Gil Amelio, a kindly older gent, who really prided himself on listening. I was invited in to meet him, and of course we hit it off (all I wanted was to be listened to). A month or so later I was invited to be part of an Amelio keynote (a poor imitation of a Jobs keynote) and it went off smoothly, and created quite a bit of buzz in the then-nascent blogosphere.
Also after a little more than a week I have some concrete conclusions, which I outline briefly in this TwitterGram, but which I will expand on for sure either in a blog post or a podcast.