The iPod Decade And The Steve Jobs Effect

We used to label decades. The 1970s were infamously “The Me Decade.”

Pondering this the other day, the first decade of the 21st century clearly needs to be named “The iPod Decade.”

We could argue about how terrorism has affected the world, but clearly it’s been the iPod that’s dominated everyday, normal life these first ten years.

It’s remade music distribution and purchasing, changed how people can listen to their music, how much of that music they can carry, and has led to the inevitable FAIL-filled imitators.

If Apple keeps this up, the next ten years could be “The iTablet Decade.”

And there is every indication that, granted good health, Steve Jobs will go on to remake many things.

In a New York Times article about the remaking of Disney’s retail stores, there a sentence I’ve been waiting waiting waiting for:

For the first time, Mr. Jobs’s fingerprints can be seen on Disney strategy

As Disney’s largest shareholder, Jobs is not going to keep his mouth shut. Would you keep your mouth shut if you were the largest owner of what in effect is the world’s largest toy store?

You can bet that Jobs has looked at Disney Digital Books and that will play a part in the future of the iTablet, as I’ve long expected.

And let’s not forget that Steve Jobs now effectively owns Spider-Man and Iron-Man and the rest too.

Even though Sony has wrapped up rights to digital comics from Marvel, I bet that doesn’t much matter. The PlayStation doesn’t have OS X running on it. And it certainly won’t have whatever digital book software Apple must (yes, I say must) be cooking up. Jobs can look at what Sony’s doing as paid-for beta testing for himself! I can see Jobs looking at it and dismissing it with, “Huh, that’s cute. But we can do it better.”

Jobs remaking the Disney Store is just the beginning.

His touch — and touch itself — is going to change everything.

3 Responses to The iPod Decade And The Steve Jobs Effect

  1. noreplyanon says:

    People love to hate on the iPod. I was a skeptic because of the over-hype. But you’re right–this is the iPod decade and its design and implementation has revolutionized, well, a shitload of tech categories not limited to phones or portable music devices.

    Like I keep saying though, something totally revolutionary must happen for full length novels to be adopted on a portable, electronic format. Like chips embedded in our eyeballs or something. Kindle’s ain’t doing the job.

  2. stefn says:

    Touch, yes. Tablet, sure. But really it’s all about the app. The app as in App Store. Apps are both containers—holding text, audio, video, images, links and combiinations thereof—and processors for doing cool stuff with this content.

    Apple’s App Store is already up and running with a legion of developers, a host of buyers, and a successful (not perfect) approach for marketing, distributing, purchasing and profiting off apps.

    Regardless of the size and shape of displays, in the future is about app publishing. Outside the physical world, which will be Amazon’s selling territory, ALL publishing will become APP publishing.

  3. […] a discussion of how to label the just-finished decade, some people, most notably Mike Cane, have suggested that it be called “The iPod Decade.” Brian Chen echoes this sentiment, […]

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