by Thomas Brady


This is why MobileMe screwed up. This is why I have dim hopes for iCloud. If the way you get a sense of how your company is doing and where it’s heading is by wandering through a hardware design studio, that’s great if your goal is to make awesome hardware. But increasingly the awesome hardware has to be backed by services, and the fact that that’s just like, “Oh yeah, and also make sure those services all work and everything.” It can’t be an also-ran. That can’t be an ancillary thing. There’s no equivalent of him walking through the data centers…. All that stuff that Google is great at and that Amazon has expertise in and that Apple - that Steve Jobs just seemed to want to work and not have to worry about it. He’s walking through the design studio. That, I thought, was highlighting the fact that if Jobs had lived to be eighty years old, eventually his focus on hardware would have become an Achilles heal, where it was great for when devices were important, and you still make awesome devices, but you really still have to pay attention to that other part.
— John Siracusa discusses Jobs’ too-sharp focus at Apple in the latest episode of Hypercritical (a little after the hour mark). This is the same tunnel-vision, I think, that resulted in a lack of consistent UX across Apple, and the absence of a leadership structure for UX as a discipline at Apple, as I discussed in “What’s missing from Apple’s org chart.”