Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Do not get in my way when I am on a mission, or I swear to God you will get hurt

Re: that article in the Wall Street Journal this morning about me being a tyrant and a dictator and driving everyone around me nuts — well, yes, I did send them an email saying that “much of your information is incorrect,” but that’s only because they didn’t have any of the good stuff. I mean, all they had was that some people “familiar with the situation” say that I’m focusing a lot of attention on the tablet, and that I’m “managing the smallest details.” Money quote:

Mr. Jobs’s focus on the tablet has been jarring for some Apple employees, who had grown accustomed to a level of freedom over strategy and products while the CEO was on leave, said a person familiar with the matter. “People have had to readjust” to Mr. Jobs being back, this person said.

Any guesses as to who grew accustomed to a level of freedom, and now is all pissed off, boohoo? Any thoughts on why the story has no specific examples of me being a monster? I’ll tell you why. It’s because when Tim Cook goes running to his pals at the Journal to whine about me taking away all his power, he doesn’t have the balls to tell them any specific stories, because he knows then he’ll be busted. But guess what, Tim? You’re busted anyway. I know you’re the person “familiar with the matter.” Just like I know it was you who leaked the stuff about my transplant. And now, since you’ve pissed me off, I’m gonna share some of the specifics. Like the fact that when I made you take down your pants for a spanking last week, you were wearing a thong. Okay? You want more? Keep leaking, and I’m a fucking treasure trove, bitch.

As for all the rest of you, listen up. I’m back in charge, and I’m not going to ship this tablet unless it’s perfect. Remember when I told you to make me a phone with only one button, and you said it couldn’t be done? But then we did it. Sure, you all complained about me being a dick about the user interface, and making you redo the buttons and reshape the back and make the corners a tiny bit smoother. But in case you hadn’t noticed, that product has done pretty well out there in the marketplace.

So listen up. The tablet, as it stands today, is a piece of shit. It’s got Tim Cook’s stink all over it. Tim’s a great supply chain guy, I’ll give him that. But when I was away he kind of went crazy and started wearing a beret and holding design meetings in his office. Jonny Ive would complain to me about it, but I was like, Jonny, dude, I’m lying here with a bunch of machines like from the Matrix all hooked up inside my guts, okay? Just deal with it till I get back.

So Jonny dealt with it the way designers deal with these things — he stalled. He delayed. He took Tim’s stupid ideas and used them to make one bad prototype after another. He was like, Steve, please, I’m begging you, you have to get back here, soon, okay?

Well, I came back and I’m like, Okay, what do the ads look like? Tim says they don’t have any ads yet, they’re still working on the product itself. I’m like, Dude, have you not read the memo about how things get done around here? Now stop all the work on the product and start working on the ad campaign. I want mock-ups by tomorrow morning. I want cute songs. Pastel colors. Ethnic-looking people. Get on it, asshats!

I didn’t bother looking at Tim’s prototypes. I just tossed them all out. Tim threw one of his little Tim snits and stopped talking to me. Fine by me, since I could clear him out of my consciousness and apply myself to some serious non-thinking. I started with the big questions. What is a tablet? Who will use it? And for what? If the tablet were a tree, what kind of tree would it be? And what of the word tablet itself? Ta is a Sanskrit root, for “gift.” Blet is Proto-Indo-European meaning “to be perfect while lacking usefulness.” Will you write on a tablet, or just read from it? Or will you just buy it and put it on your desk and look at it a lot and never use it at all? Or will you maybe carry it around and put on the table in restaurants to show the other humanoids in your tribe that you are more advanced and wealthy than they are, and they should fear you because you have powerful magic that they do not understand? You see what I mean? What is the anthropology here? And what about the ergonomics? Can you mount it on a wall? Will it have a shiny surface so that Macolytes can adore themselves as they use it in public? (Yes. It must.) The tablet must look and feel not like something that was made by man — it must feel otherworldly, as if God himself made it and handed it to you.

Well, we got the ads worked out, and they’re amazing. We’ve also got the tutorial videos and how-tos, and what’s really cool is they show the Internet running at like a hundred times faster than in real life. The engineer dudes are like, Steve, you realize we can’t actually make a computer that goes this fast, right? Nonsense, I told them. You can and you will. They said, No, like, there are laws of physics involved here. So I sat there for a minute. I waited. They looked at me. Then I said, Okay, fine. You’re fired. So is your boss. They’re like, Our boss isn’t even here. I said, I don’t care, you’re all fired, now go back and fill out your paperwork and tell Papermaster to hire some engineers who can make my vision a reality.

We’ll get there, friends. Might not be ready in September. But we’ll get there. Peace.