Stumbled upon this clip on Youtube and this has got to be one of my favorite interviews of Steve Jobs.
1995: Almost a decade has passed since Jobs was ousted from Apple. During this time, Jobs ended up launching two companies. Namely, Next and Pixar.
I like this interview for the obvious reasons. As usual, Jobs is being quite honest and candid about everything.
The interview starts with Jobs being reminiscent about his childhood. How various individuals helped pique his interest, when it comes to leveraging his skill set and getting him interests in Electronics. To his teachers in junior high, those who encouraged him through the learning process by literally bribing him with money and candies. And how that worked out quite well. Really well in-fact. Take that Daniel Pink! (Drive). To a very candid confession that Jobs would have probably ended up in jail, if it wasn’t for some of the individuals and particularly some of the teachers during his formative years. Jobs knows the kind of tendencies he possessed and how they had the capacity to direct his cognition and his destiny. I, for one, understand what he is saying.
Jobs also ends up talking about his experiences and how it took him into uncharted territories like the education sector (with Next). And some of the things he had to do in order to market Next to the education sector. Like talking to politicians and his experience dealing with the differing bodies of Governance. Seems like not much has changed throughout the decades. Jobs is sympathetic towards how the teachers are treated (pay) and generally how the system is broken as it fails to attract the best candidates for some of these jobs. Also, mention of the unions and how they protect the broken system.
Jobs also ends up talking about things that almost all the Leaders in the Tech industry should stop and pay attention to. His words are relevant to this day. Specially for Businesses and specifically businesses in the Tech industry that find themselves in a somewhat precarious situation.
Jobs talks about a number of things. Some of the themes that I noticed:
Great interview. Thank you Steve Jobs. Rest in peace.
Originally published on Dec 16, 2011
Brin speaks out against SOPA and PIPA. link
In just two decades, the world wide web has transformed and democratized access to information all around the world. I am proud of the role Google has played alongside many others such as Yahoo, Wikipedia, and Twitter. Whether you are a student in an internet cafe in the developing world or a head of state of a wealthy nation, the knowledge of the world is at your fingertips.Of course, offering these services has come with its challenges. Multiple countries have sought to suppress the flow of information to serve their own political goals. At various times notable Google websites have been blocked in China, Iran, Libya (prior to their revolution), Tunisia (also prior to revolution), and others. For our own websites and for the internet as a whole we have worked tirelessly to combat internet censorship around the world alongside governments and NGO promoting free speech.Thus, imagine my astonishment when the newest threat to free speech has come from none other but the United States. Two bills currently making their way through congress — SOPA and PIPA — give the US government and copyright holders extraordinary powers including the ability to hijack DNS and censor search results (and this is even without so much as a proper court trial). While I support their goal of reducing copyright infringement (which I don’t believe these acts would accomplish), I am shocked that our lawmakers would contemplate such measures that would put us on a par with the most oppressive nations in the world.This is why I signed on to the following open letter with many other founders – http://dq99alanzv66m.cloudfront.net/sopa/img/12-14-letter.pdf
See also: http://americancensorship.org/ and http://engineadvocacy.org/
Originally published on November 15, 2011
Jeff Bezos on:
On disrupting business practices in order to create new revenue streams:
“As a company, one of our greatest cultural strengths is accepting the fact that if you’re going to invent, you’re going to disrupt. A lot of entrenched interests are not going to like it. Some of them will be genuinely concerned about the new way, and some of them will have a vested self-interest in preserving the old way. But in both cases, they’re going to create a lot of noise, and it’s very easy for employees to be distracted by that. It could be criticism of something that we actually believe in. It could also be too much praise about something that we’re not doing as well as the outside world says we’re doing it. We’re going to stay heads-down and work on the business.”
On the broken patent system:
“For many years, I have thought that software patents should either be eliminated or dramatically shortened. It’s impossible to measure the toll they’ve had on the software industry, but on balance, it has been negative”
On long term strategy:
““It’s all about the long term.” If everything you do needs to work on a three-year time horizon, then you’re competing against a lot of people. But if you’re willing to invest on a seven-year time horizon, you’re now competing against a fraction of those people, because very few companies are willing to do that. Just by lengthening the time horizon, you can engage in endeavors that you could never otherwise pursue. At Amazon we like things to work in five to seven years. We’re willing to plant seeds, let them grow—and we’re very stubborn. We say we’re stubborn on vision and flexible on details.”
This is what Jeff had to say about Steve Jobs. And I completely agree with him:
“Steve was a teacher to anyone paying attention, and he’s gone way too soon.”
Originally posted on November 22, 2011
The mere presence of a free and open internet and the enormous opportunities a resilient and open network offers are simply mind boggling. I’ve mentioned this before on my blog on how the internet has and will continue to disrupt other traditional modes of business. I am definitely not the first individual to make that observation, but I will continue to echo that sentiment, as quite simply, there is no escaping this phenomenon.
The technological shift of a network being able to connect billions, happened a while back. UGC happened, web 2.0 happened, after a brief sputter or two (myspace, orkut) a true social networking scene came into existence. This amongst many other mini movements, could only be possible if there was an (pay attention) open and all-encompassing platform available for all to play. This really is, what the internet has offered all this time. Well, at least in the Western Hemisphere.
I’d like to come back to the “traditional modes of business” that I was referring to earlier on. Just to give this discussion some ‘semblance’, we’ll focus on the developments in the North American region, as a) I have no idea what’s going on across the pond. And b) if you look around the world, then intellectual property and copyright laws are being ripped to pieces every single passing moment. So not much of a discussion there. So from the perspective of content generation, these “traditional modes of business” obviously have had a lot of control on what gets created, how it’s distributed, the whole supply chain cycles, the works basically. All of it has always translated into profits. Now, this disruption that I was referring to happened a long while back. Napster vs RIAA, can be attributed as the first public clash of this new vs old distribution model. Since it’s launch, Napster grew like wildfire. And once it did, the music industry (RIAA) and the movie industry (MPAA) immediately took notice. Actually and ironically, I believe it was the actual lawsuit by RIAA that launched Napster from a service being used by dreary teenagers to more of a cult status, where everyone and their granma were soon leveraging the benefits of p2p sharing.
Enormous studies were conducted, most of them funded by these two industries themselves with a basic intent to proclaim that piracy had hurt these industries and continued hurting them. And that they were losing billions each year to Piracy. On the other side of the spectrum, there were also some studies conducted by researchers at Harvard /MIT that actually advocated the fact that piracy directly supports the music industry. What was the outcome? Finally an injunction was brought against Napster and the court ordered the service to be shutdown. Napster complied. Sean Fanning (founder) of Napster, enjoyed his brief stint in front of the media. Sean Parker (co-founder) started taking his baby steps towards becoming the next Picasso of the Silicon Valley. I am sure a lot of executives from RIAA/MPAA breathed a sigh of relief, thinking that this was it and everything would go back to normal. Little did they know.
I think it’s worthwhile to take some time and really detail what happened back in those days. As Napster was the epitome of his movement, if you may call it a movement. Not to be confused with OWS . I believe that everything that emerged in a post-Napster world that tried to mimic the same p2p offering, was really just a transient embodiment of the service that Napster provided. The cat really was out of the bag.
They have been quite a few contenders that have eagerly wanted to fill the void that Napster left. You had Kazaa (shutdown and the founders moved onto creating skype), limewire, emule. Fast forward a couple of years and we saw the emergence of The pirate bay. A service originally offered out of Sweden. Now elusive. Elusive in the sense that it’s pretty darned hard to get this service shutdown. Unless you tinker with DNS on the root level. And that’s where it starts getting scary.
On the other side of the spectrum, companies like Apple noticed the enormous opportunity that existed. They were quick in addressing the two key points of i) users want dont’ want their media in a particular format, not just CD’s or through a streaming website and ii) they (Apple) didn’t want to piss off the big guys and wanted to offer a service that everyone could agree upon, without having to infringe any kind of a law, profit sharing mechanism, the works. iTunes was born and the rest as they say is history.
Now this blog-post has taken a very media centric approach. Not by choice. But because of the fact that the two institutions (if you may call them that) running after all these ‘fringe’ offerings were RIAA and MPAA themselves. In the past decade or so, we’ve had raids on educational institutions for failing to combat ‘piracy’, There must have been a gazillion seize and desist orders handed out in the US. Plus there is also the unintended consequence of a revolutionary technology like the p2p being demonized for being the vehicle for all of these emergent distribution models.
Fast forward to the present day context, and you even have some of the tech giants backing up some of the elements being proposed within the SOPA, Protect IP bills being introduced in the House of Representatives. These businesses claim that they are losing billions to pirated software practices each year and with the way piracy is so prevalent. Same goes for the other media industries.
I am not even going to get into the debate relating to piracy, whether it is eventually good or bad for the business, economy. Well I won’t do it in this blog post as it’s getting pretty long and I am getting a little tired.
But what is important is to understand this time around is, that:
I wonder if this debate is all related to the fact that no one has been able to emulate the Silicon Valley in it’s shape/form/size. Don’t enact such a draconian law that it brings the entire engine to a grinding halt.
I leave you with a quote from Richard Stallman:
Geeks like to think that they can ignore politics, you can leave politics alone, but politics won’t leave you alone.