Though Apple’s recently unveiled 12-inch Retina MacBook has largely elicited positive feedback, not everyone has good things to say about the most recent addition to Apple’s notebook line. Given some of the compromises Apple made in order to get the device so incredibly thin, some of the complaints we’ve seen — it’s underpowered; one USB C port isn’t enough; MagSafe was awesome — aren’t completely out of left field.
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But as Tim Cook recently stated, part of ensuring success is having the confidence and guts to make bets on the future, even if it means abandoning beloved technologies.
Interestingly enough, for anyone taking a pessimistic view of Apple’s new MacBook, an old Steve Jobs interview from 2010 during one of his famed All Things D appearances is particularly on-point and worth highlighting.
When Walt Mossberg tells Jobs that some people might consider the iPad to be a crippled device because it doesn’t support Flash, Jobs doesn’t hesitate for a second. He quickly launches into an impassioned explanation articulating that developing incredible products involves making tough decisions. And yeah, sometimes tradeoffs need to be made that will inevitably frustrate a group of users.
The full video is below and is well worth watching.
Jobs’ answer is as salient and relevant now as it was then.
The pertinent portion of the transcript can be read below:
“Number one, things are packages of emphasis. Some things are emphasized in a product, some things are not done as well in product. Some things are chosen not to be done at all in a product.
And so different people make different choices, and if the market tells us we’re making the wrong choices we listen to the market. We’re just people running this company. We’re trying to make great products for people, and so what we have, at least, is the courage of our convictions to say, “We don’t think this is part of what makes a great product, we’re gonna leave it out.”
Some people aren’t going to like that. They’re gonna call us names. It’s not going to be in certain companies’ interests that we do that but we’re gonna take the heat because we want to make the best product in the world for customers.
We’re gonna instead focus our energy on these technologies which we think are in their ascendancy and we think are gonna be the right technologies for customers and, you know what, they’re paying us to make those choices. That’s what a lot of customers pay us to do, is to try to make the best products we can. And if we succeed, they’ll buy them. And if we don’t, they won’t. And it’ll all work itself out.”