‘Oh the Humanity’

Ben Sandofsky:

An ex-Apple designer who went on to startup success once told me, “I wish I could give a workshop for Apple alumni jumping into startups, to help them un-learn The Apple Way.” As someone who strives to build products with the craft and quality of Apple, it pains me to admit that The Apple Way can destroy a lot of startups. Which brings us to Humane.

Great piece. And it brings to mind an observation I’m far from the first to make: There are far fewer startups founded by former Apple employees than one would expect, given Apple’s spectacular run over the past 25 years.

Nest is an obvious exception, but Tony Fadell had a very atypical career at Apple. He was brought in as a contractor in 2001 to help create the iPod, and stayed until 2008. He was more “the iPod guy” not “an Apple person”. And the original Nest thermostat couldn’t be more opposite from Humane’s AI Pin — the Nest did exactly what it promised, very well. Even the fact that it included a screen. Most importantly, Nest’s thermostat took aim at replacing existing dumb thermostats, which were terrible. Nest’s product really was something like 10× better than what it aimed to disrupt. The AI Pin took aim at the iPhone, which is insanely great.

Wednesday, 17 April 2024