Farewell Steve

October 6th, 2011

The world’s lost a titan. I’ve lost one of my two heroes. (the other being my father)

Steve and me
Steve rehearses for a keynote, while I stand by.

Thinking of Trumpet, aka iTunes

July 12th, 2011

Sitting here with my headphones on, reflecting on something amazing (at least to me) that happened several years ago.

Back in the fall of 2000, my boss at Apple (David Moody) asked me to step in as temporary product marketing manager for a forthcoming product code-named ‘Trumpet’. We were already interviewing candidates to take on the role full-time, but there was stuff that needed doing, which couldn’t wait. First up, draft the product briefing document which would form the basis for much of the internal and external communications about the product.

Looking back at that first document recently I was reminded that Trumpet had rather modest aspirations at the time, basically to fill in an obvious competitive gap. Windows had a head start in this niche, and we needed to do something. What the future held for this minor product was not imagined in -anyone’s- wildest dreams.

It’s a product you all know – it’s now called iTunes,

And as I sit here tonight, using this tiny brushed aluminum remote control to instantly access over 25,000 songs in my home iTunes library, I’m astonished what it has become. Indistinguishable from magic, to borrow a phrase.

I had very little to do with what happened, but it sure has been exhilarating to watch it from a good seat.

Life, the Universe, and Backup

April 29th, 2011

If you’re looking for backup software for your computer, I hope you’ll check out Crashplan. Not just because I work there, but because they have the best backup solution out there. They also have a new blog, where I occasionally post. It’s at www.crashplan.com/blog

The blog is named in honor of our favorite question from our favorite book (which also inspired the name of the company, for those who don’t get the ‘42′ reference.)

Code 42 and the Ultimate Question

February 21st, 2011

It’s now been almost six months since I joined Code 42 Software as VP of Marketing. Having a ‘regular’ job, where I actually drive to the office every day, has been quite an adjustment for me. Until this, I’ve more or less worked from my home office for the past 25 years. That meant I could be lazy when I felt like being lazy; an option I definitely used from time to time.

But that’s all behind me now!

I’ve always loved being involved with helping products and companies grow, and at Code 42 I get that in abundance. Being immersed in the creative process again has helped to clear some cobwebs and brought me back to thinking about this book I’m supposedly writing. Further, thanks to some prodding from a few esteemed friends, my confidence is returning and I’m starting to feel like I can get back to work on it.

This feeling is not without counterpoints. Given Steve Job’s poor health, I don’t want to be seen as engaging in the rumor-mongering and uninformed speculation that has become so commonplace. My intention for the book was always to make it about my personal journey from admiring Apple from afar to being unexpectedly in the middle of the action, and continuing on to my more recent adventures. I didn’t want to write a book just about Apple or just about Steve Jobs. (I never felt I had enough ‘hard data’ about either to fill an entire book in any case.) And the closer we get to a world without Steve Jobs, the less interested I am in sensationalizing any part of my related experiences. And all along, I wondered if my meager writing skills are up to the task of describing how Steve or Apple do their respective magic.*

Which brings me to the ultimate question of life, the universe and everything: will I ever finish this damn book?

The answer is a most-definite probably.

*a good friend, who happens to be a writer, pointed out that entire -good- books have been created by basically padding a one paragraph story. He humbly suggested that maybe I was demanding a bit too much journalistic rigor for a project that doesn’t require it.