1. Shitty Name
There’s a linguist somewhere who can explain why the hard "a" sound in "Pad" is unappealing. "iSlate" was better. So many of the Web prognostications were better. And if the original hard drive iPod can be renamed the "Classic", maybe the iPod Touch can be renamed the "iPhone For Verizon Subscribers" and the iPad can gain its rightful title, "iTouch".
Steve Jobs understands it’s about story. Whenever you try to sell something, facts and emotions need to be woven into a fable, starting here and ending up there. Presentation is key.
And speaking of presentation, the Keynote effect of dust being blown up whenever a price descended was genius. Kind of like when lasers were first introduced in rock shows.
3. No Fakery
Jobs was actually using the iPad, you could see what he was doing on it transferred to the big screen, it lent credence to the product, to the whole proceeding. When you drape your music in effects, it actually undercuts the music itself. Then again, if the music can’t stand on its own…
The presentation needed to be shorter and needed a hit single.
Got to give Jobs credit, when no one was clapping, he didn’t lose his cool, he didn’t speed up, he stayed to the script. If you do live presentations, you know this is almost impossible to achieve. Which is why bands will tell you one show is better than the next, they can feel the energy of the audience, the audience was with them. Steve started out with the audience in his hand, then he lost them, minute by minute.
5. Hit Single
Jobs needed the one killer app that would make us rush out and buy an iPad. He was so busy focusing on album tracks, he forgot the home run. Sure, the iPad can surf, display pictures, create presentations, but what can it do that wows us? The iPad is like a blank CD. The technology is marvelous. But you get over that. Because the music is what you’re truly interested in, even if the sound ain’t that great, you get the magic of "Satisfaction".
One can argue that iBooks is the killer app. If so, Jobs should have focused on that, convinced people why they needed the iPad for books. Talked about inventory, prices, readability. But he did none of this. So busy trumpeting elements we didn’t care about, he buried his message.
6. Saving The Media Business
I think Jobs tried. But he shouldn’t have introduced the product until he had partners. Hell, he’s not shipping for 60 days anyway. It would have looked better if there were more desirable ways to consume films and tv shows and magazines, all the elements the media speculated about. But these were completely absent. It was like launching a new record company without product. Sure, you might have some legendary executives, you’re getting me to pay attention, but now what?
Now this is the modern music business. Where the anticipation is at a fever pitch, and the product is wanting. And by telling us how great the iPad was, Jobs just made us uncomfortable. He would have been better off underselling it. Talking about hopes and dreams.
Again and again, Jobs has delivered. Met our expectations, even exceeded them. This time, he did not. Proving that everybody can fuck up.
But if you know your rock history, Bob Dylan finally released a clunker known as "Self Portrait". Reviews were scathing. What did Dylan do? He immediately went back into the studio and recorded "New Morning". Because when you’re pissed and you’ve got something to prove, you refocus, you can do great work almost instantly.
Steve… How about another presentation the day this product actually ships?
And how about a Verizon iPhone? Yeah, I know it’s incompatible technology, that only a few countries use CDMA, but trumpeting AT&T is like the music industry trumpeting slotMusic and the Digital Compact Cassette, lame formats that work for the businesses purveying them, but are considered a joke by the public.