Steve Jobs, speaking at the D8 conference, explains how Apple chooses the technologies to include in their products:
Apple is a company that doesn’t have the most resources of everybody in the world, and the way we’ve succeeded is by choosing what horses to ride really carefully – technically. We try to look for these technical vectors that have a future, and that are headed up, and, you know, different pieces of technology kind of go in cycles. They have their springs and summers, and autumns, and then they, you know, go to the graveyard of technology. And, so we try to pick the things that are in their springs.
And, if you choose wisely, you can save yourself an enormous amount of work vs. trying to do everything. And you can really put energy into making those new emerging technologies be great on your platform, rather then just okay because you’re spreading yourself too thin.
Sometimes you just have to pick the things that look like they’e going to be the right horses to ride going forward, and Flash looks like a technology that had its day but is really waning, and HTML5 looks like the technology that’s really on the ascendancy right now.
Video: Steve Jobs Talks About Flash (D8)
Later in the interview, when asked how he’d respond if someone said the iPad was missing something by not including Flash, Jobs talked about products as “packages of emphasis”:
Things are packages of emphasis. Some things are emphasized in a product; some things are not done as well in a 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, we have at least 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 are gonna not like that. They’re going to call us names. It’s not going to be in certain companies’ vested interest that we do that, but we’re gonna take the heat ’cause we want to make the best products 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 they’re 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 ’em. And if we don’t, they won’t. And it’ll all work itself out!
The full video is available on iTunes.
Updated July 30, 2020 by Stewart Mader