How fast are we traveling? iPad2 as a measure

We are traveling at speed.  And we move faster and faster.

That’s the assumption.

But a little voice in my head says, "but is this just the thing we like to think about ourselves?  What’s the proof, actually?"

Well, here’s some proof.

This is from Jony Ive, Senior Vice President of Design at Apple.

In the event that announces the iPad2, Ive says

I can’t think of a product that has defined an entire category, and then has been completely redesigned in such a short period of time.  

As Steve Jobs points out in the opening moments of the event, the iPad2 redesign comes as the competition is just now struggling to catch up to the first iPad.  

I think the conventional wisdom was to exploit the advantage, especially when you are a category-creator (and not merely a successful innovator).  

So, at least for this player, at least in this category, the pace of change is extraordinary.  


The Apple event video is here.  Mr. Ive’s comment comes at the 62:53 mark.  

8 thoughts on “How fast are we traveling? iPad2 as a measure

  1. Jack

    Several decades ago, I read a Harvard Business Review article that named this practice “Expeditionary Marketing.” The case study was Toshiba, which then had a similarly dominant position in laptop computing. Rather than attempting to perfect each new product, Toshiba launched a new laptop the moment their technology enabled a new feature. Over the period studied, the authors found that Toshiba had discontinued more laptops than all their competitors combined had launched.

    I wonder, today, if the pace is really that much faster? Or is it the profoundness of the changes that has us in awe?

    1. grant mccracken

      Excellent. I will have a look for this article. Tough call on the faster vs. more profound. But by either measure, it feels like the world tests us. Thanks, Grant

    2. steve

      The difference is Toshiba never did anything Earth shaking. There were some nice improvements here and there, but it was still fundamentally just a Windows laptop.

    1. Grant Post author

      Good point. What do you figure? Perhaps these are all only difference of kind. Well, not the cameras, of the Facetime. But size and chip speed are incremental. Or maybe differences of degree are at this level differences of kind. Hard to decide! Thanks, Grant

      1. Steve Portigal

        Here’s a product that most non-lead-users have no idea what to actually do with. So now it has some different features? The not-fully-defined use case is no more spelled out. This doesn’t seem to be rewriting anything. I went to Gizmodo the other day to see what was up, and absorbed the breathless praise/prose, but man, the comments were brutal, harshing on Apple for not really doing anything new. That perspective was refreshing, frankly, and made me check myself for sipping on the Kool-Aid.

  2. John McCreery

    From a somewhat broader perspective, hasn’t the world shifted from one in which computer-related
    products were understood only by the technorati, which made our opinions like those of the one-eyed
    man in the country of the blind. The PC was launched by the god IBM and its acolyte Microsoft. Time passed
    and the corporate sheeple took advice from their blue-man techies whose jobs depend on an endless
    stream of bugs to fix. It’s a nice world until the demonic Apple notices that the average consumer has no
    more interest in the digital guts of his toys than the average CEO has in the plumbing in his office. The
    product are cool, easy on the eyes and easy to use and delivered with just enough of the unexpected to
    keep the offer spicy. The techies, now trapped in a universe where their jobs are disappearing to India,
    moan about not being able to customize their equipment. Is this any more persuasive than the shrinking
    number of audiophiles who still dick around with vinyl and vacuum tubes while their kids go for the iPods and
    Dolby Sound Docks? What this Apple fanboy is waiting for is when the next shoe drops. Didn’t I read just
    last week that General Electric is going with iPhones and iPads?

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