Steve Jobs On What It Means to "Bleed In Six Colors"
Steve Jobs, speaking as the first guest of Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher at the eighth annual All Things Digital conference, also known as D8, opened his kick off session with a story about his return to Apple. In recounting that tumultuous transition period, he talked about discovering, to his apparent surprise, that there were still really competent people left with whom he could re-build the Apple brand. He noted that there were still people that "bled in six colors."
"It was a code," he said, for employees who believed in his vision of what Apple could be.
But achieving that vision, Jobs insisted, has taken focus. According to Jobs, technology has cycles, and he maintained that Apple chooses carefully when to jettison technology and when to support emerging standards or platforms. In a reference to the heated debate around Apple's support for Flash, Jobs pointed to Apple's history of "getting rid of things" earlier than competitors, including 3 1/2" floppy disks, serial ports and optical drives.
Preferring to bet on technology which he says the company believes is ascending, Jobs described his product strategy simply: "Things are packages of emphasis and people make different choices of packages they think are important to focus on. If we succeed, consumers will buy ours."
In response to a question about Google becoming a competitor, Jobs had little to say beyond, "They decided to compete with us and they are." He added, "We didn't go into the search business."
Jobs also plans to leave the enterprise business to Microsoft. "The difference between the consumer market and the enterprise market is that every consumer votes for themselves." In the enterprise market, he reminded the audience, "people who use the products don't decide for themselves, and the people who make the decisions are some times confused."
Wandering across topics that ranged from the stolen iPhone prototype and the investigation of Gizmodo to the future of television, from Apple's plans for its Siri acquisition to the future of iAds, Jobs was both entertaining and theatrical.