A powerful response from the late Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple, is going viral in the world of crypto 21 years after its recording. The video is from the 1997 Apple Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC), an annual event held by Apple in San Jose.
It shows how the visionary leader of Apple responded to a contentious question about his decision to abandon a multi-platform software framework called OpenDoc that was developed by Apple in 1992 and praised one year earlier as the future of Mac development.
Jobs scrapped it, and the company made a pivot.
According to Jobs, the end-user experience must come first when designing a product that needs mass adoption. All decisions about the technology have to follow.
The upside: innovation that soars.
The downside: major tech casualties. Jobs expressed his apologies to the OpenDoc community at WWDC.
The video shot to the top of r/cryptocurrency on Reddit at a time when Bitcoin, blockchain and cryptocurrency are evolving and learning how to walk in the real world. Much of the identity building of blockchain and crypto projects is by way of contrasting Web 3.0 and decentralization with Web 2.0, and its tech titan overlords.
While Apple, Google, Facebook and Amazon overreach in many areas affecting privacy and other issues, driving centralization and monopolies, they’ve built products that billions of people use. Their reach has been so massive and impressive, that many users are unaware of how pervasive their tech has become. It’s that well integrated. Subliminal. Intuitive. Expansive.
Prior to the clip showing the explicit insult on Jobs, he fielded a different question about OpenDoc. He affirms for the audience that the tech was “dead”. His rationale was direct: “What happened was, you look at the farm that’s been created with all these different animals going in different directions, and it doesn’t add up. The total is less than the sum of the parts. And so we had to decide, what are the fundamental directions we’re going in, and what makes sense, and what doesn’t. And there were a bunch of things that didn’t.”
But the industry as a whole has no central figure, like Jobs, to focus the many different approaches and efforts. With thousands of blockchain projects being incubated around the world, crowdsourced from supporters across the globe, it’s a wild farm that will evolve fundamentally differently than an Apple or a Google. The evolutionary process of cryptocurrency alone is irksome because it’s unprecedented, unruly and difficult to grasp. It challenges anyone who has ever said they stand for free markets, freedom of choice, freedom of exploration and democratically elected and supported endeavors.
For engineers who are building retail products for everyday users, it boils down to bringing those products to market where they can be tried, tested, reviewed and improved. It also boils down to each project’s community, which is a vital part of this effort, to create the space, time and support for the developers who are trying to change the world.