RealWorld, Immersible, Immersive, Cloud, Mobile, Eye tracking and “Think to click” technologies :: AR/VR

RealWorld, Immersible, Immersive, Cloud, Mobile, Eye tracking and “Think to click” technologies :: AR/VR

“My passion has been to build an enduring company where people were motivated to make great products. Everything else was secondary. Sure, it was great to make a profit, because that was what allowed you to make great products. But the products, not the profits, were the motivation. Sculley flipped these priorities to where the goal was to make money. It’s a subtle difference, but it ends up meaning everything: the people you hire, who gets promoted, what discuss in meetings.

Some people say, ‘Give the customers what they want.’ But that’s not my approach. Our job is to figure out what they’re going to want before they do. I think Henry Ford once said, ‘If I’d asked customers what they wanted, the would have told me, “A faster horse!”‘. People don’t know what they want until you show it to them. That’s why I never rely on market research. Our task is to read things that are not yet on the page.

Edwin Land of Polaroid talked about the intersection of the humanities and science. I like that intersection. There’s something magical about that place. There are a lot of people innovating, and that’s not the main distinction of my career. The reason Apple resonates with people is that there’s a deep current of humanitiy in our innovation. I think great artists and great engineers are similar, in that they both have a desire to express themselves. In fact some of the best people working on the original Mac were poets and musicians on the side. In the seventies computers became a way for people to express their creativity. Great artists like Leanardo da Vinci and Michaelangelo were also great at science. Michelangelo knew a lot about how to quarry stone, not just how to be a sculptor.

People pay us to integrate things for them, because they don’t have the time to think about this stuff 24/7. If you have an extreme passion for producing great products, it pushes you to be integrated, to connect your hardware and software and content management. You want to break new ground, so you have to do it yourself. If you want to allow your products to be open to other hardware and software, you have to give up some of your vision.

At different times in the past, there were companies that exemplified Silicon valley. It was Hewlett-Packard for a long time. Then, in the semi-conductor era, it was Fairchild and Intel. I think that it was Apple for a little while, and then that faded. And then today, I think it’s Apple and Google – and a little more so Apple. I think Apple has stood the test of time. It’s been around for a while, but it’s still at the cutting edge of what’s going on.

It’s easy to throw stones at Microsoft. They’ve clearly fallen from their dominance. They’ve become mostly irrelevant. And yet I appreciate what they did and how hard it was. There were very good at the business side of things. There were never as ambitious product-wise as they should have been. Bill likes to portray himself as a man of the product, but he’s not. He’s a businessperson. Winning business was more important than making great products. He ended up the wealthiest guy around, and if that was his goal, then he acheived it. But it’s never been my goal, and I wonder, in the end, if it was his goal. I admire him for the company he built – it’s impressive – and I enjoyed working with him. He’s bright and actually has a good sense of humor. But Microst never had the humanities and liberal arts in its DNA. Even when they say the Mac, they couldn’t copy it well. They totally didn’t get it.

I have my own theory about why decline happens at companies like IBM or Microsoft. The company does a great job, innovates and becomes a monopoly of close to it in some field, and then the quality of the product becomes less important. The company starts valuing the great salesmen, because they’re the ones who can move the needle on revenues, not the product engineers or designers. So the salespeople end up running the company. John Akers at IBM was a smart, eloquent, fantastic salesperson, but he didn’t know anything about product. The same thing happened at Xeros. When the sales guys run the company, the product guys don’t matter so much, and a lot of them just turn off. It happened at Apple when Sculley came in, which was my fault, and it happened when Ballmer took over at Microsoft. Apple was lucky and it rebounded, but I don’t think anything will change at Microsoft as long as Ballmer is running it.

I hate it when people call themselves ‘entrepreneurs’ whn what they’re really trying to do is launch a startup and then sell or go public, so they can cash in and move on. They’re unwilling to do the work it takes to build a real company, which is the hardest work in business. That’s how you really make a contribution and add to the legacy of those who went before. You build a company that will stand for something a generation or two from now. That’s what Walt Disney did, and Hewlett and Packard, and the people who built Intel. They created a company to last, not just to make money. That’s what I want Apple to be.

I don’t think I run roughshod over people, but if something sucks, I tell people to their face. It’s my job to be honest. I know what I’m talking about, and I usually turn out to be right. That’s the culture I tried to create. We are brutally honest with each other, and anyone can tell me they think I am full of shit and I can tell them the same. And we’ve had some rip-roaring arguments, where we are yelling at each other, and it’s some of the best times I’ve ever had. I feel totally comfortable saying ‘Ron, that store looks like shit’ in front of everyone else. Or I might say ‘God, we really fucked up the engineering on this’ in front of the person that’s responsible. That’s the ante for being in the room: You’ve got to be able to be super honest. Maybe there’s a better way, a gentlemen’s club where we all wear ties and speak in this Brahmin language and velvet code-words, but I don’t know that way, because I am middle class from California.

I was hard on people sometimes, probably harder than I needed to be. I remember the time when Reed was six years old, coming home, and I had just fired somebody that day, and I imagined what it was like for that person to tell his family and his young son that he had lost his job. It was hard. But somebody’s got to do it. I figured that it was always my job to make sure that the team was excellent, and if I didn’t do it, nobody was going to do it.

You always have to keep pushing to innovate. Dylan could have sung protest songs forever and probably made a lot of money, but he didn’t. He had to move on, and when he did, by going electric in 1965, he alienated a lot of people. His 1966 Europe tour was his greatest. he would come on and do a set of acoustic guitar, and the audiences loved him. Then he brought out what became The Band, and they would all do an electric set, and the audience sometimes booed. There was one point where he was about to sing ‘Like a Rolling Stone’ and someone from the audience yells ‘Judas!’ And Dylan then says, ‘Play it fucking loud!’ And they did. The Beatles were the same way. They kept evolving, moving, refining their art. That what I always try to do – keep moving. Otherwise, as Dylan says, if you’re not busy being born you’re busy dying.

What drove me? I think most creative people want to expres appreciation for being able to take advantage of the work that’s been done by others before us. I didn’t invent the language or mathematics I use. I make little of my own food, none of my own clothes. Everything I do depends on other members of our species and that shoulders that we stand on. And a lot of us want to contribute something back to our species and to add something to the flow. It’s about trying to express something in the only way that most of us know how – because we can’t write Bob Dylan songs or Tom Stoppard plays. We try to use the talents we do have to express our deep feelings, to show our appreciate of all the contributions that came before us, and to add something to that flow. That’s what has driven me.” – Steve Jobs

And Steve, I agree. To all my readers, good artist copy, great artists steal. So let’s get integrating…

James Abbott @AbbottMaverick

Founder RealWorld – “Reality Virtualised for the Real You” Limited


About James Abbott, RealWorld (@AbbottMaverick)

There are more visionaries than you have mentioned and more visions than visionaries. Many visions are shared but bubble up to the people with the cash to implement them. Often these people aren’t visionaries at all and delay the vision or cripple it in some fundamental way. I am a visionary. I came up with the ideas behind Ipod in 1998, Uber in 2003, Internet Party/Loomio in 2010, Fove in 2013. So what to do? Two things, first is tell everyone about them so that no one can claim it was theirs. The second, implement the vision as only the visionary can. Also, be aware that there are people in positions of trust in New Zealand, posing as ‘mentors’, ‘investors’, ‘patent clerks’, ‘lawyers’, and ‘bankers’ who will just rip you off and send your idea overseas. Use this to your advantage and build value for New Zealand, hence my proposal New Zealand iParty
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2 Responses to RealWorld, Immersible, Immersive, Cloud, Mobile, Eye tracking and “Think to click” technologies :: AR/VR

  1. Oh, this is why people keep mentioning this guy to me. He’s primarily a Tae Kwon Do exponent, by the looks, despite teaching Bangkok Wingchun and has a lot of esoteric posts. None of the following article is new to me, but I thought the relating of the Eye of Horus to the Pineal Gland interesting, and the white, red, and black to have significance not mentioned here… “Think to click” indeed, and yes I remain passionate about meditation! And for those of you who blow out candles on your birthdays instead of having rip raging bonfires, celebrating life, heres a Yogi’s perspective: I’m off to India very shortly. With regards my startup RealWorld, I wanted to share.
    Siu Nim Tau is a standing meditation…. the feeling generated in it, an active or kundalini awakening if you will, is taken into the reflex / chi sau training, and that is taken into the world, for self defense, spiritual awakening, self improvement, financial success, goal setting, whatever you focus on. It cultivates Nim Lik or force of idea. It is a Christ consciousness as much as it is a Martial Art, it is a becoming, and acknowledgement that you are God, but not all of God, and urging to expand your consciousness and improve your life. I’m listening to an Indian yogi right now, and he’s not my guru or teacher. I don’t believe in gurus, or teachers, I believe that we are responsible to ourselves to consciously evolve. VR has a role in that, as SNT has a role in that. I am on board for the same reasons you want me on board. I’m happy to associate my consciousness with people that want to make the world a better place, that see the natural beauty in planet Earth, yet arn’t afraid to terraform Mars. New Zealand can offer much to the rest of the world, being a nation of pioneers, in a non-toxic environment, with a devil may care attitude to exploration and the outdoors. If VR can awaken people to their potential, free themselves from the status quo, shock their consciousness in such a way as to take off the virtual headset, realise there is no bottle, and the goose is free, then I am committed to VR. If it falls short of that objective, then we must strive to create the systems that make that objective possible, UBI, and healthy nutritious food, environments, and education make that possible. So lets share the technology and like SNT, make it a part of everything we do. So lets improve ourselves, and damn the headsets, they are only a tool
    smile emoticon

    RealWorld: Neither evil nor superfluous. More than AR.

  2. jomangee says:

    Hey James, I think you’d thrive under our HxGN core values 😉

    Look up our local offices while you’re over here in China.

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