Set-Top Wars, Web 3.0 and Farewell Mr. Jobs

The passing of Steve Jobs is sad at so many levels but he will never be far from anyone’s mind around the technology world. It has been said, his DNA has been shared with all who strive for excellence. He performed and expected others to do the same. Steve was to technology as Louis Leaky was to the study of mankind. He really understood how it all worked, and why it all worked that way.

In spite of the lock IBM once had on the computer, then Microsoft on the desktop, Apple moved the mountain top and made it cool to show off your texting skills. The advent of the iPhone, along with its accoutrements, the iPad and iTunes pieces offered the world another way to look at themselves. And now we are seeing Web 3.0 emerging in the form of the platform Jobs envisioned. I think of it is as the Jobs Window to the world. The Window is finally opening up some minds on everything. The iPhone being le pièce de résistance of Jobs portfolio and the hands down winner in the set-top wars.

Not only has the iPhone become the sine qua non of the UI world, the Steve Jobs nation nurtured an “apps” ecosystem where any idea you can think of can be played like a banjo. Never has such a cluster of traits, and tricks, swayed the egalitarian challenge of your access to prestige. A whole new world of heroes and heroines are emerging from this layer and no one expected this. This is an infinite garden for creativity and a whole new way to communicate, yet it has not quite begun. The fact that guys are getting dates because of their prowess with their phone skills remains a puzzle, but it would make Orwell really nervous. Performance art?

The thing that Apple has always understood is that it doesn’t matter what corporate America was choosing to operate business, their goals were to reach the next generation of tech brats who will want more, who will want to stretch boundaries and leap off the next mountain tops. For decades they quietly played and planned how they were going to take over the world, of technology. But is it time now for that to happen?

The big question we have all asked for years is when will the business veil be lifted, when will the enterprise be pierced? No one in the world of technology denies how amazing and how exciting it would be to run our country on the Apple platform, and share all that amazing brain power? Imagine the educational benefits of having all kids on one and having access to the many tools and schools.

Security options also avail themselves to iPhone apps that are secure in providing identity and they are challenging former ID security options. There are no doubt challenges but it is impossible to stop anyone who really wants to get through a network. Apple is a much simpler platform to secure, but standards? That would require standards and then you’re talking politics and contracts and jobs, and it gets messy quickly.

But cultural dictates may be the ultimate decider on how the “job” evolves to serve the community as much as the employer. In areas where employee appreciation is important, where flexibility was appreciated, productivity generally improves. That is how we’ve witnessed it around Silicon Valley, San Francisco or Emeryville. It’s hard to hire a bunch of really smart, really talented and independent people without emphasizing appreciation at all levels.

Steve Jobs is Web 3.0 and his imagination will continue to lead folks to dream big and work hard. The U.S.A. will be more successful and more productive if we heed the message of his achievements. If we consider the way Steve dealt with talent and managed teams to be their best, we may just may keep folks happy too.

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