My name has the perfect number of characters.
“Those are air bubbles," he [Steve Jobs] snapped. "That means there’s space in there. Make it smaller.”
— Looking for air bubbles.
I feel compelled to post this because my earlier post was so anti-Apple.
Steve Jobs Last TV Appearance at the Cupertino City Council (6/7/11) (by fercanal)
- Jobs body and voice seem weak. Sad.
- The way Jobs says, “No, I don’t need to use my finger and highlight different parts of the map. You can see.”
- Imagine if other major business leaders and CEOs acted and spoke like Steve Jobs?
PETER THIEL: But I think that when you look at this question of how much technological progress has been happening, we get into all these complicated measurement issues. The one that I cite as the big data point is that if you look at the U.S. say in the last 40 years, 1973 to today, median wages have been stagnant. Maybe the mean wages have gone up maybe a small amount, not very much. The 40 years before that, 1932 to 1972, they went up by a factor of 6.
So, if you looked at how people did from ‘32 to ‘72, you had a six-fold improvement, and it was matched by incredible technological progress. Cars got better. You had the aeronautics industry got started. You went from no planes to supersonic jets. You had the computers were invented.
You had all sorts of incredibly important dimensions in which progress took place.And so I agree we’ve had certain narrow areas where there’s been significant progress, but it’s very odd that it hasn’t translated into economic well being. …”
Peter Thiel vs Eric Schmidt on technological progress, or lack thereof, and much else besides. Full transcript here.
This is a very insightful observation. In fact, I asked a related question on Quora about the relationship between income and wealth inequality and technological progress. I wonder if because of stagnant income growth and significant debt for the middle class, then technology companies have focused on free software products. There’s probably a complex relationship here, and it’s certainly not cause and effect. But try to imagine yourself as the median American household earning about $45,000 over the past decade and having about $3,000 in consumer debt. Perhaps your mortgage is underwater. Most of your money goes to food, housing, and entertainment. Now try imagining selling something to this household. If your company is not named Apple or Walmart or P&G or other major consumer brand, you have a problem. You can give away your technology like Facebook and Google and many other software companies.
But I can’t think of a large-scale hardware company solving big problems that can give away or sell low-cost products to feed new research and development. Thus, I am inclined to think that the median American household cannot create enough demand for much new technology. The major exception is Apple, who had $100 billion in worldwide revenue (and maybe $50 billion in US revenue? I hope Google Finance eventually does some cool mining of regulatory reports) in the previous 52 weeks ending September 2011. Amazon and Samsung are also successful, and they both are pushing the envelope. Google is becoming a larger hardware manufacturer and that gives me lots of hope. Elon Musk’s companies are making incredible technology, but I would call their products luxury goods.
The big question: is there a company that can make high-volume low-cost hardware technology that solves big problems, and if not, why, and how can we change that?
— Steve Jobs, on my two favorite objects.
Genius: Range of mind, power of imagination, and responsiveness of soul: this is genius. The man of genius has a soul with greater range, can therefore be struck by the feelings of all beings, is concerned with everything in nature, and never receives an idea that does not evoke a feeling. Everything stirs him and everything is retained within him.
When the soul has been moved by an object itself, it is even more affected by the memory of the object. But in a man of genius imagination goes further: it recalls ideas with a more vivid feeling than it received them, because to these ideas are connected a thousand others more appropriate to arouse the feeling.
—Jean-François de Saint-Lambert, from the Encyclopédie.