Steve Jobs’ bad news heralds the real-time web age

UPDATE: yes, I’m insensitive, but this post isn’t an editorial opinion about Steve Jobs, just a note about how his news spread and how his announcement brought into focus the real-time web. Tragedies and bad news tend to focus our attention and bring into relief how our world has changed. I remember how 9/11 did that for blogs. Today the bad news surrounding Apple’s CEO and co-founder brought a new development into our focus: the real-time web.

As I said in my earlier post, I wish Steve and his family all the best.


I’m sure that Steve Jobs didn’t want his announcement to be one of the seminal events that ushers in the real-time web age, but what just happened today will be remembered for years to come.

What happened? While CNBC was reporting it on TV the real-time-web was going nuts. Passing along little tidbits. Stories. Links. Rumors. And all that. It was interesting, and I couldn’t take my eyes off of it.

There were 40 Tweets coming in every three or four seconds on Twitter search. And it stayed up!

Friendfeed was going nuts (that’s where I saw the news first).

While I wrote this post, which only took about a minute or two, 191 new Tweets came in.

But this points to some dangers and problems:

1. If you aren’t online there’s no “warning” system that something is happening. I wish I could tell Twitter to SMS me whenever a “high flow” event is underway.

2. It’s hard to separate out the real facts, from the fiction. I have a better filter than most people. I know who is credible based on past experience with them. Quick, who is more credible, Allen Stern or Ralph Sanders. I am following both and know who Allen is. Ralph? Not so much and I’ve never seen him involved in a breaking news story.

3. Our mechanisms for tracking stories and important tweets are really lame. Right now, hours after the news has broken, there are TONS of tweets coming through the system. Hundreds every few minutes. But, in that stream of “noise” is there any “news?” Yes. I’ve been clicking “like” on the best ones that I see, but I can’t see them all, so we need an even better system that lets the crowd expose the best tweets and friendfeed messages. I like friendfeed a lot more because it shows blogs and photos and youtube videos and other things instead of just tweets. All of those will play a major part in many news stories (like, say, a big fire or an earthquake).

Anyway, thank you to Steve Jobs for demonstrating to lots of people that real-time news is indeed important and that blogs are not the only way to go. Now you understand why I invested so much time in friendfeed and twitter last year.


You are an idiot if you sell your Apple stock tomorrow

It’s too late to sell your Apple stock. If you sold it today, you are a genius. But tomorrow? You’ll be the biggest loser.

Why? Apple has the best team, the best distribution, the best supply chain, the best management in the business.

Everyone, from Palm to Microsoft to Google wants to be like Apple.

Hint: they can’t.

Hint: they won’t (although Palm got very close by hiring a ton of key iPhone execs and developers and PR people away from Apple).

Apple is more than just Steve Jobs. Now you’re about to find out just how much more.

If you sell your stock you’re an idiot. Yes, it’ll be down big in the morning. Yes, the news is sort of shocking. But Apple is fine and we’ll all buy the next big thing that they do no matter who brings it to us. Steve Jobs has built a killer team that everyone wants a piece of and that culture will be around for years. I met many of them in China and they are regarded among supply chain guys there as the best in the business (and the most demanding). That won’t go away because Steve isn’t at the helm anymore.

Oh, and to Steve Jobs: I wish you and your family all the best. This is a tough business to be in front of all the time and you’ve set the standard very high for your team. Now stand back and watch them shine.

Steve Jobs out of Apple due to health reasons

Thomas Hawk (his day job is as a financial planner and stock broker) just posted this to friendfeed:

CNBC says Apple’s stock has been halted pending news.

Twitter is going nuts.

CNBC just reported that Steve Jobs is out until at least June due to medical reasons. More over on this thread on friendfeed.

Here’s the email that Steve sent to all Apple employees (as posted on Apple’s web site):


I am sure all of you saw my letter last week sharing something very personal with the Apple community. Unfortunately, the curiosity over my personal health continues to be a distraction not only for me and my family, but everyone else at Apple as well. In addition, during the past week I have learned that my health-related issues are more complex than I originally thought.

In order to take myself out of the limelight and focus on my health, and to allow everyone at Apple to focus on delivering extraordinary products, I have decided to take a medical leave of absence until the end of June.

I have asked Tim Cook to be responsible for Appleā€™s day to day operations, and I know he and the rest of the executive management team will do a great job. As CEO, I plan to remain involved in major strategic decisions while I am out. Our board of directors fully supports this plan.

I look forward to seeing all of you this summer.