Tag Archives: steve jobs Blog

Adobe to EOL Flash in 2020

Flash made the web spectacular, and video, which can be delivered in Flash format, universally playable since virtually all browsers came with the Flash plugin installed. Before Flash, viewing video on the web required dealing with a mishmash of formats, plugins, and players (a situation that still exists today outside of Flash). But video delivered via Flash could be viewed everywhere, opening the door for video to become the content staple it now is. That is until the iPhone launched.

The iPhone did not ship with Flash and would not play it. Websites, especially YouTube, Flash’s greatest success story, scrambled to find new methods of delivery — specifically open, non-proprietary formats. (In all fairness, Jobs was right about Flash hogging the limited resources available on mobile devices. And relying upon proprietary solutions on the open web is never a good idea). The greater the iPhone’s success, the more certain Flash’s fate became. And so came the recent announcement from Adobe:

Adobe is planning to end-of-life Flash. Specifically, we will stop updating and distributing the Flash Player at the end of 2020 and encourage content creators to migrate any existing Flash content to these new open formats.

Farewell Flash, you served us well. But open, efficient formats are far better for everyone in the long run.

Read full article: https://adobe.ly/2h0mO4y

An Icon Is Gone. Thoughts On Steve Jobs

In business today, we’re all trying to keep up with technology and grasp its implications. We’re constantly learning. Through these remarkable years of light-speed changes, the one company to consistently watch has been Apple. Now with the passing of Steve Jobs, it’s possible that an era of imagination and creativity in the world of consumer technology has ended. From David Pogue:

Suppose, by some miracle, that some kid in a garage somewhere at this moment possesses the marketing, invention, business, and design skills of Steve Jobs. What are the odds that that same person will be comfortable enough — or maybe uncomfortable enough — to swim upstream, against the currents of social, economic, and technological norms, all in pursuit of an unshakable vision?
Zero. The odds are zero.
Mr. Jobs is gone. Everyone who appreciated him feels the loss. But the ripples from it will widen in the days, weeks, and years to come: to the people in the industries he changed, to his hundreds of millions of customers, and to the billions of people touched more indirectly by the greater changes that Jobs brought about, even if they’re unaware of it.

Jobs was the lynchpin in the transition to digital for many industries, most notably entertainment. His devices weren’t just “cool;” they brought about whole new businesses and new ways of creating wealth. Part of his special magic was his ability to convince corporations, solidly entrenched in the physical realm, to become digital. Now that that force is gone, who will exert that influence? His unique combination of leadership, passion, and persuasion is what changed industries. Who can duplicate that?

There’s a sense that without Jobs, not just Apple but whole industries – maybe the entire culture – is without a guide, at least in the digital realm. After all, Apple is the one company that’s others copied, and that affects lots of things around us. Jobs took good ideas, made them better, sold them to consumers, then compelled industries to change. That’s how he fulfilled his dream of “changing the world.” He said, “Think Different.” Like him or not, the world is different today because of him — maybe not ideologically, but in very tangible ways.

I’m looking forward to reading his official biography. Maybe there will be something in it that will cause some of us to “think different,” to look beyond today and bring a new level of imagination and creativity to the things we do. It may even spawn another Jobs-like leader. But there will never be another Steve Jobs.

Read full Pogue article: http://nyti.ms/qya2aX

Worthy of the Mantle: Disney and Jobs

Our family recently made the pilgrimage to Disney World. It was the first-ever trip to the renowned resort for myself and our two grandsons. The boys were wide-eyed as they took in the rides and attractions (although the lines tried their patience a bit). It was all fun, but as we went through the day, I began thinking more and more about the power of customer experience.

Everyone is familiar with “Disney perfection.” The pleasant on-site accommodations are conveniently linked with the various parks by an efficient transportation system. The parks are clean, the staff friendly, and the ample restrooms, food services, and souvenir shops are easy to find throughout the expertly designed grounds. In an era where “customer experience” rules, Disney holds the high ground.

One detail that stood out for me is how they tactfully block off areas under construction. Painted fences surround the building sites. Alongside are benches where visitors can take a break. And on the fences at regular intervals are little plaques with quotes from Walt himself, politely reminding everyone not to feel too inconvenienced. After all, the parks are all about turning dreams into reality.

One particular quote from Walt stuck with me. “I only hope that we don’t lose sight of one thing — that it was all started by a mouse.” I recalled the cartoon “Steamboat Willie,” with Mickie happily at the wheel, and how that mouse became the character that launched Disney to fortune and fame.

Of course, it wasn’t just Mickey that made Disney successful. And the long-lasting fame wasn’t automatic. The success of Mickey Mouse opened a door that allowed Walt Disney to express his whole vision, which included pushing the technology and business of animation forward, and giving his customers something that he knew would delight them. And this got me thinking about Steve Jobs.

Both Steve and Walt valued customer experience. Both pushed technology to deliver products that customers love. Both were in touch with the ethereal world of dreams (Disney: “When you wish upon a star,” Jobs: “Think Different”). Both maintained complete control of their products, companies, and brands. Both brought ground-breaking innovation to their fields. Walt pushed the limits of cell animation, perfecting “multi-plane” camera techniques. This early 3D-like experience delivered the first animated feature film, “Snow White,” despite the trepidations of everyone around him. On the other hand, Jobs brought computers to the masses with the highly successful Apple II and then delivered game-changing products like the Mac, the iPod, and the iPhone. Add to that inspired marketing, and he effectively married his gadgets into our daily lives.

But perhaps what’s most interesting is how Disney came to technology through entertainment while Jobs came to entertainment through technology. Walt, the entertainer, envisioned Epcot, the techno- “City of Tomorrow,” while Steve, the “tech guy,” became CEO of Pixar, the award-winning 3D animation studio, and brought the music industry into the 21st century with the iTunes store. It’s as if Jobs and Disney were both born with the ability to bring us treasures from the future. Whatever it was, their paths seemed destined to converge. Pixar inevitably was bought by Disney, and Steve ended up on Disney’s board as its largest shareholder.

You could say that Steve Jobs became the heir of Disney’s legacy. Connecting with customers’ most fundamental wants, and delivering unexpectedly satisfying experiences, link the two visionaries. Fans love their products because they’re delighted by them. Indeed, customers stand in long lines to ride “Pirates of the Caribbean” or get the latest iPhone. Their success isn’t the result of cold, calculating computer algorithms but the expression of a gift bestowed on only a few. It’s high-level creativity expressed in business, technology, innovation, and art, with unquestioned success as the result.

Today, the work of Disney and Jobs lives on, guided by the embedded philosophy of innovation and customer experience that’s in their companies. The world needs companies that can give us what was previously unimaginable — extraordinary products provided in exceptional ways. Perhaps a “sorcerer’s apprentice” is somewhere in the wings, waiting to take up this mantle at just the right time. The job description includes an unfettered imagination, an iron will, and a love for delighting the masses. “Thinking different” will help, too. Qualified candidates, however, need not apply. We’ll know you when we see you.