Music + Technology + Random Nonsense from the Music Industry by Ethan Kaplan, VP Product, Live Nation

The iPad, what else?

The iPad hype trajectory is exactly as I anticipated. It was a lot of gasping on release, followed by a lot of shit talking, leading up to anticipation and hype and ultimately extremely high market success. Why did it follow this trajectory? Apple designed it to be. They seem to be the only company out there that does innovation through exclusion and feature absentia.

The question is: why are they the only one?

It takes a good conviction of character, brand identity, and a hell of a balance sheet to be able to take gambles like the iPad. A device that does not go to where the market is, but stands on the side and waits very patiently for everyone to come to it. Look at the Flash/HTML5 war that Apple decided to start. They did that willingly, to force various hands in their favor. If no one had switched video to HTML5 and Adobe double-downed on exclusivity, would Apple have bended on Flash? No. If they could get away with no Flash on OSX I’m sure they would. If they could include Click-To-Flash by default without DOJ issues I’m sure they would too.

Apple to me, and maybe a few other companies (BMW, Facebook) seems to be the only company who is willing to put a stake in the ground and not move it no matter how hard it is pushed.

And people wonder why other businesses are in trouble.

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4 Responses

  1. Eric says:

    Since the iPad is just a big iPod Touch, that already did not support Flash, it really was not a reach for Apple not to support Flash on the iPad, was it? I do not call that innovation. That is more like the big bully on the block telling me what I can and cannot due with the things that I own.

  2. Eric says:

    uhh… that would be “do” and not “due”. It was a long day at work today! ;)

  3. Ethan Kaplan says:

    And your thoughts on Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo telling you what to do on their similar platforms?

  4. Eric says:

    Are you saying that the iPad is nothing more than a game console? If you want to compare and contrast on that level then we can do that.

    I am guessing that, if you had an SDK for any of those platforms, that nothing is stopping you from coding anything you want and using it on your PS3, Xbox360, or Wii.

    It is obvious that you are passionate about all things Apple and I am cool with that. I love Apple. I just don’t see the innovation in the iPad. How is taking something that already exists, and making it bigger, make that innovative?

    If I see everyone carrying their iPad with them in 3-5 years I will stand corrected. If they write an iPad application for doctors and every doctor carries it around like they are Dr. McCoy, great! I am guessing that if a future iPad reaches maximum saturation that it will be an iteration other than it’s current form. The future form better have a USB port, front facing camera, HDMI out, and a few other goodies. It better be HD too! :)

    What can I say… I’m a dreamer.