Steve Jobs is clearly a genius, but it continues to surprise me when he gets otherwise reasonable people to say and believe demonstrably unreasonable things.
Today we talk about “getting on the Internet,” but with iPad you can have a persistent online connection
Yesterday Dan Lyons wrote that in Newsweek. The iPad may be an undisputed success and it may happen very soon–personally I think it will be a let down and have a bet that it will sell fewer than 4m units in the first year–but if that happens, it will certainly not be because it changed the idea of “getting on the internet.”
I do not believe that anyone who buys or otherwise acquires an iPad will have their idea of the steps needed to access the internet changed. Normal people aren’t dialing up to AOL anymore, much less people interested in a $500 computer without a keyboard or any of “their programs.”
The iPhone and the App Store are great and I sincerely love them both. I’m willing to believe that on an issue as passionately debated as yet-unreleased technology products from Apple, there are valid ideas that don’t fall in line with my own. But alleviating the actions needed to “get on the internet” isn’t one of them.
We’re (currently) #3 in the iTunes App Store for free social networking apps, we passed Myspace and Skype in the last few hours!
Departed San Francisco at 4:30 last Saturday, landed back here 94 hours later. Some very brief notes…
- I had a LOT of trouble understanding the accent, which was petty surprising. Literally had to guess what half the people I talked to were saying.
- The currency, specifically coins being worth nearly $3, was confusing. I accidentally tipped more than $4 for a coffee.
- The food was overall bad to neutral, with a couple standouts that were actually good.
- Every form of internet I encountered-hotel wifi, conference wifi, 3g–was nearly useless. I’m convinced the country hates the internet.
One of the most common reactions to a TechCrunch* post in too many circles these days is instant attack mode. Tales of their unfair practices, shortsightedness and fanboy-ism. “All they do is write about the great new Twitter app,” the masses shout from rooftops, “and they slam my startup!” Hey, I should know, my startup has been on the business end of that slamming more than once and it sure as hell isn’t fun. It’s not uncommon to hear theory upon theory detailing the ways in which TechCrunch is at best immoral–everything from favoritism to paid coverage–and at worst downright malicious.
I think few people who pay attention to startups could argue that Foursquare is one of the most beloved web services today, and MG Siegler of TechCrunch is probably responsible for that in no small part. It’s in that light that I hope people remember this quote from today’s Paul Carr missive.
Last year those same people were so desperate to find the new Twitter that they mistakenly handed that crown to Foursquare on the basis that a relatively small number of Web 2.0 scenesters used it to find out where their friends were partying. And yet, despite that auspicious start, and a shit-ton of publicity since, Foursquare has failed to capture the imagination of even most early adopters, particularly those outside of San Francisco and New York. Foursquare was resolutely not last year’s Twitter. Last year’s Twitter was Twitter.
The point being that it’s very easy to see all that is vindictive and ignore mountains of evidence to the contrary if you’re even the least bit motivated to do so. About 6 months ago MG wrote a post asking whether TechCrunch was a kingmaker, to which I replied saying that they indeed were biased. But that is, as they say, a feature and not a bug. It seems to me that the ideas behind that post have really escalated since then, and I’m not really sure why.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that part of my job is to get the people at TechCrunch to write about my company, so mine is not an unbiased opinion in the least. Nevertheless, I don’t think any of this is unreasonable, unfair or inaccurate.
* TechCrunch here is really a wildcard for any tech blog, as fewer each day are immune from or deserving of this treatment.