An older Steve Jobs back in 2010 at D8
“When we were an agrarian nation, all cars were trucks because that’s what you needed on the farms.” Cars became more popular as cities rose, and things like power steering and automatic transmission became popular.
“PCs are going to be like trucks,” Jobs said. “They are still going to be around.” However, he said, only “one out of x people will need them.”
There has been a lot of talk over the last few years on the post-PC world. The idea that we can get all the hassle of computing out of the tools that we use daily is quite enticing. Apple is making a great deal of money right now on this notion. If the devices were generally thought of as just disposable and a fad, I would be less sad then I am about it all.
Computers are messy, difficult and problematic. The “sell” is that devices like the iPad or iPhone are not. The sell is that, for some loss of control and access, the iPad or iPhone user gets a better quality product. It’s a trade-off many are willing to make. In Jobs-speak, many don’t need “trucks.”
It is becoming quite the trend to have schools plunge into iPad programs where schools mandate consumer electronics for students under the guise that they are empowering students with portable computing power without the hassle and overhead of the complex PC.
It is precisely in the mess and complexity that people learn how to overcome and improve what is around them instead of working with with is provided and curated for them. Also, I do think many are starting to question the “sell” of simplicity and quality when upgrade cycles are also accelerated and problematic.
I do agree with the older Steve Jobs though on the need for some people to have “trucks” because Apple used to be about making the tools for those kinds of people. As a matter of fact, those people are the kind of people that make great things and “were crazy enough to think they could change the world.” Remember that? I do.