There is, though, one more lesson, and that comes from the Apple
TV: none of us ultimately know anything, including the late Steve
Jobs. There’s no question that Jobs knew that Apple was on to
something — he said so in the keynote, when he analogized the
iPhone to the Mac and iPod. And yet, had he truly known that the
iPhone would be exponentially more consequential than either, the
Apple TV would have not made an appearance.
The truth is that dents in the universe are only observable after
they have occurred; this is why their continued creation is best
induced by the establishment of conditions in which risk-taking
and experimentation are rewarded. The temptation is to adopt the
mistaken mindset that all there is to be invented — and, more
pertinently, to be adopted — already exists.
I like Apple TV a lot, and use it for just about all my TV watching other than sports, but it’s been a very different 10 years for Apple TV than it’s been for the iPhone.