So I've been looking for a good way to carry my new iPad (once it arrives on March 16th that is) without wearing a backpack or carrying a bag. I want to be able to ride a bike, walk to a park, hop on a bus, or even see a movie without the extra burden of being tied down to a bag...or worse yet advertising to everyone that I'm carrying an expensive toy.
So I Googled "iPad clothing" - and I discovered the Scottevest Transformer jacket. While I haven't yet pulled the trigger on my Blaze Red XL purchase, it seems to me that this product is in need of some Kickstarter-type marketing love. They are clearly Apple, Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs fans (and even have a tongue-in-cheek "Keynote" presentation where their CEO tries his best to channel some Jobsian love) and it seems they are really trying to bring innovation to clothing.
I doubt the words innovation and clothing have rarely been used in the same sentence - but when was the last time you saw jacket sleeves attached by magnets? I know some people like Mark Cuban think Scottevest's patent for TEC or "Technology Enabled Clothing" is a joke - but it got me thinking that while more than 300 million iOS devices have been sold I doubt that the attach rate of devices to clothing is very high. But it seems to me inevitable that clothing and technology will one day fuse.
I realize their CEO, Scott Jordan was recently on Shark Tank in an effort to get funding and/or free marketing (and some folks were really put off by his performance) but I think he's on to something. Pockets on our pants somehow predated the car keys, phones and wallets we have today and I'm pretty sure we're now all out of places to hold our tech comfortably. Perhaps some day we'll see a line of official Apple iClothing on sale in an Apple store.
After spending the last few weeks thinking about Steve and the impact he had on the world, I've decided to write a more detailed book about my life and Apple. This book will reveal what it was like to work at Apple during the dark days before Steve returned as well as how Apple changed the world under Steve's leadership. You'll learn some secrets about Apple that I've shared in some of my keynote speeches including how I almost died the same year that Apple almost died, why the original iMac was translucent, and how iTunes was an accident.
As an experiment, I will begin by releasing some of chapters on these pages under new posts. My hope is that you will enjoy my writing and give me some feedback and in return I may release some chapters for free as I've done with my short ebook.
Stay tuned, and thanks for your help on this labor of love.
Steve Jobs' death hit me in a way I wasn't expecting, even though I was expecting Steve Jobs' death.
I'll write much more on these pages soon, but I was inspired to quickly create this tribute video to him: Here is Steve Jobs narrating and starring in his own Think Different commercial. I couldn't wait for Apple to do this so I had to - of course using all Apple tools.
In my next few blog posts, I want to discuss the power of video. I have been doing some homework on how much video we consume over the Internet. Astonishingly, in February, 170 Million Americans watched online videos representing 84% of the connected US audience. The average amount of video each user watched was nearly 14 hours. Another way to say it: almost everyone is watching video online. And our expectations for quality video grows along with our consumption appetite. The bar has risen on marketing teams to use video in a more powerful way.
Recently Skype introduced group video chat. Rather than create a typical product launch video with a talking head showing how to use the product, Skype created this beautiful word-less video showing the power of visual communications accompanied by a haunting, memorable music overlay: (please don't blame me if you can't get this tune out of your head or if you are motivated to try playing it yourself on GarageBand.)
Skype has clearly taken an Apple-esque approach to launching a new feature: focus the viewer not on how to use Skype video chat but on what Skype video chat can do for you.
I know there has been some hoopla around the eventuality of AirPlay coming to a television set near you. But not much has been made of the fact that the iPad is already changing the face of television today. The ABC iPad app is amazing (where are Fox and NBC?), Netflix has grown dramatically since the iPad was launched (no coincidence there) and now the networks are upset with Time Warner's new live streaming app (which was the top free app in the AppStore for 3 days in a row this week) because it changes the rules that broadcasters have had to live under since the advent of television.
Today's announcement by the NCAA was stunning (yet somehow hidden in the numbers): 8 million people viewed the tournaments on 4 different cable networks...but 27 million viewed it online and via iPad and iPhone apps. I did some other homework on video streaming recently. More than twice the number of people watched Obama's inauguration online than on all the television networks combined. Social, mobile devices like the iPad are rewriting the rules of television and all advertisers, marketers, developers and consumers need to be ready.
Mark my words: within a few years all your media will stream to you on your mobile device and Apple will lead this revolution. What do you think that huge Apple datacenter (reportedly bigger than Amazon's or Google's) in North Carolina for?
Now my only question: Charter where is your iPad app??
When I give my keynote speeches on the power of Apple marketing, I often stop to describe how Apple lost its way shortly after the Newton launch. You see, what makes Apple marketing so powerful is they hone in on the one thing they do better than anyone else in whatever category they go after. The formula is simple, and Apple is the master:
Music: Put 1000 songs in your pocket.
Computers: Make computers easy to use.
Phones: Put the web in your pocket.
But with Newton, they did not have an established category to fix. So their marketing was rambling. Witness this video:
"Newton is for all you mobile professionals who like cool stuff." Huh?
Now with iPad, they are again without an established category to fix. And they seem just as lost as with Newton.
I got wind of this with the first "magical and revolutionary" device mention. Doesn't say much. And it also describes the wheel, or a cigarette lighter or a toilet.
Now witness their new iPad commercial:
Steve,call me. I've been using an iPad non-stop for a month and you are missing the boat on the power of the device. The iPad doesn't replace a computer, or a book, or a phone. The iPad replaces the television. And I know you know it. Time to say so.
How is it that anyone (especially in this economy) can stand in line to plunk down $499-$900 on a brand new iPad when they've never even seen one? Hey, Jessica Mintz, it's simple:
Thanks to the power of the World's Best Marketing Machine (aka Steve Jobs) you simply follow this formula to demonstrate the true power of Apple marketing:
1. Surprise and Delight. Get in a habit of overachieving your own goals. Make what people buy today more powerful tomorrow (think AppStore...not even in sight when people bought their first iPhone) Do that often enough, and you get people to trust you. Or give them rebates when it seems like you took advantage of them for buying too soon. In fact, Apple's current brand trust is ranked #1...but it has been for years.
2. Take the Order. Apple made it easy to gauge demand for iPad and dynamically shifted demand into building the right number and type of iPads. Simply putting up a "Pre-Order" page did the trick. Oh yeah, and circling back and reminding people that their iPad will be waiting for them is a nice touch. UPDATE: April 1 - Apple refunds all rush shipping charges - another way to earn cred!
3. Ship It. Okay, sounds easy, but please...JooJoo (er CrunchPad) all the way back to the Osborne have failed to deliver on their promises. Apple shows it, takes the order, ships it. Or as this earlier post states: "Ship delight. Repeat."
Then goes back and improve it all again. Yes, Apple has made a living on this form of marketing and customer experience. There is no one better.
When I give my Apple speeches around the world, I spend a lot of time explaining to audiences that the one thing Apple does better than anyone else it they focus on one thing to do better than anyone else.
The iPod made getting music into your pocket dead simple. The iMac made getting on the Internet dead simple. The iPhone made putting the Internet, your phone, movies and music in your pocket dead simple.
And that is their secret.
To make that happen, though, you need to focus. Today we released a new enhancement of our free web conferencing product called Dimdim myScreen that makes sharing your screen dead simple. Take it from me, making something hard easy isn't easy.
Read on to see what Tim thinks about how Apple does it. Focus is a very good thing.
"Yeah, that is a great question. The executive team of
the company spends a lot of time thinking and discussing how to retain
and recruit the best talent in the world, because at the end of the
day—I know it's a cliche—but people are our most important asset by far,
and it's people that deliver innovation, which is key to us. And so
what else do we do other than that? Well, we are the most
focused company that I know of, or have read of, or have any knowledge
of. We say no to good ideas every day; we say no to great ideas
in order to keep the amount of things we focus on very small in number,
so that we can put enormous energy behind the ones we do choose, so
that we can deliver the best products in the world. In fact, the table
that each of you are sitting at today, you could probably put every
product on it that Apple makes, and yet Apple's revenue last year was
over $40bn. I think the only other company that could say that is an oil
And that is not from just saying "yes" to the right
product which gets a lot of focus—it's saying no to many products that
are good ideas, but just not nearly as good as the other ones. I think
that this is so ingrained in our company that this hubris that you talk
about, that happens to companies that are successful but then decide
that their sole role in life is to get bigger, and they start adding
this and that and this and that, I can tell you the management team of
Apple would never let that happen. That's not what we're about. So,
focus on people, and ensuring that it's a small list of things to work
on and putting all of our wood behind those things, that's the
magic behind us."
A view at my keynote deck of my presentations about MarketingApple Live!