Steve Jobs « The New Adventures of Stephen Fry

Steve Jobs « The New Adventures of Stephen Fry: It was a large and popular conference and Tim was pretty much at the end of the line of black NeXt boxes. Each developer showed Steve Jobs their new word-processor, graphic programme and utility and he slowly walked along the line, like the judge at a flower show nodding his approval or frowning his distaste. Just before he reached Tim and the world wide web at the end of the row, an aide nudged Jobs and told him that they should go or he’d be in danger of missing his flight back to America. So Steve turned away and never saw the programme that Tim Berners-Lee had written which would change the world as completely as Gutenberg had in 1450. It was a meeting of the two most influential men of their time that never took place. Chatting to the newly knighted Sir Tim a few years ago he told me that he had still never actually met Steve Jobs.


He was also against adding apps to the iPhone

Steve Jobs biography: The new book doesn’t explain what made the Apple CEO tick. – Slate Magazine:

He was also against adding apps to the iPhone.

Some behavior that describes Steve my family and friends would certainly say sounds like me at times (to my regret). And with (ahem) brilliant insight points out that Steve was wrong about certain things (duh). But I really understand that he was against adding apps to the iPhone.

Sure, there’s lots of reasons why allowing apps was a good thing (in retrospect). I’ve certainly benefited from it in the sense that there are apps on my phone that Apple would never have created and that I love for their special use. But for the most part the core apps Phone, Contact, Safari, Camera, Music, etc. are the ones that get the most use. While my phone is more useful with folks creating great native apps, it would not have been significantly less useful as a phone the other way.

There would have been negative side effects—it’s a less interesting device if there isn’t a near constant stream of of “content” in the form of apps. The iPad would not have been nearly as successful, even if the plan was to allow others to write apps for it, because the iPhone app market bootstrapped developer knowledge.

My wife’s recent use of iPhone is teaching me how much “regular” people don’t know about iPhones, iOS, and apps. My parents use of an iPad us kids bought for them teaches me similar lessons. If you ain’t from the world of tech, you ain’t from the world of tech. Even so, everyone muddles through, each in our own way. And hopefully without extensive use of terms like “bozo”.

Roboto is a Four-headed Frankenfont

Roboto is a Four-headed Frankenfont: I’m all for the strategy of developing a unique identity typeface, and I commend Google for employing type designers in house, but this is an unwieldy mishmash. Roboto indeed has a mixed heritage, but that mix doesn’t have anything to do with the gibberish from the press release. Its parents are a Grotesk sans (like a slightly condensed Helvetica) and a Humanist sans (like Frutiger or Myriad). There’s nothing wrong with combining elements of these two styles to create something new. The crime is in the way they were combined: grabbing letters — almost wholesale — from the Grotesk model, along with a Univers-inspired ‘a’ and ‘G’, welding them to letters from the Humanist model, and then bolting on three straight-sided caps à la DIN.

[Nice rant.]
Source: Typographica

The difference between management and leadership

The difference between management and leadership:

Managers work to get their employees to do what they did yesterday, but a little faster and a little cheaper.

Leaders, on the other hand, know where they’d like to go, but understand that they can’t get there without their tribe, without giving those they lead the tools to make something happen.

Managers want authority. Leaders take responsibility.

We need both. But we have to be careful not to confuse them. And it helps to remember that leaders are scarce and thus more valuable.

[And frankly the real trick is to balance both. Good one from Seth though.]
Source: Seth’s Blog

I Hate My Smartphone

I Hate My Smartphone: The rest of the ways that I interact with my smartphone, they’re all social and, as an introvert, it just doesn’t hold a whole lot of appeal for me. My text messaging skill and finesse, especially when compared to my typing ability, it’s pathetic. I hate trying to input text on the device, especially complex passwords: what a pain!

[So let me see if I understand… a “geek” who implies a severely limited social life (I’ll grant the choice) can’t understand what all the fuss is for people who live on their phones. Hmmm. Wonder of wonders. (note the sarcasm here folks). I, of course, use my phone for silly things like having conversations… with a touch of email checking, a bit of social image sharing, and the odd bit of texting. I don’t know how smart my phone has to be, but it sure is easier to do those things with it than the “dumb” phones I’ve owned.]