Steve Jobs rumored to have shot down Push Pop Press for iBooks Author

Posted:
in iPad edited January 2014
Steve Jobs was rumored to have scuttled the prospects Push Pop Press after its founder allegedly built the company's physics engine using patented Apple technology, despite knowing about Apple's parallel plans for advancing iBooks.



According to an unverified report from a source who worked with Push Pop Press co-founder Mike Matas, Jobs met with the fledgling company and warned Matas that if he pursued building dynamic books targeted at the App Store he would risk intellectual property claims.



Update: Matas' cofounder Kimon Tsinteris wrote AppleInsider, calling the rumor "factually inaccurate" and noting that Apple awarded Push Pop Press an Apple Design Award.



Tsinteris asked, "If we copied Apple, why does Our Choice actually feel nicer than any iBooks 2 title?" "Our Choice" is a native app, rather than being a web-based ebook as iBooks 2.



We have asked both Matas and Tsinteris for further clarification of the situation, but have not yet received a response.



Matas, a former designer at Apple, reportedly used a variety of patented technologies developed at Apple to deliver his plans for Push Pop Press. His company intended to give publishers a way to develop smoothly interactive titles that blurred the line between book and app.



A key element of the patent conflicts surrounded the "physics engine" Tsinteris was credited with designing for the new company; both Tsinteris and Matas are listed as a contributors to a number of patents that are assigned to Apple. In many states, work created while employed by a company belongs to that company and can't be used without permission after the employee leaves.



Over the course of 2011, while Push Pop Press developed its publishing tools and worked with Apple board member Al Gore to deliver his "Our Choice" book as a flagship example of what the new publishing platform could deliver (shown below), Apple itself was busy working on developing its textbook strategy.







Apple had already delivered its Xcode 4.0 and iAd Producer development tools in 2010, delivered last year's new iBooks app alongside iPad 2, and was preparing to release basic EPUB support in Pages 09. But it was also deep into development of its iBooks 2.0 strategy revolving around the iBooks Author and iTunes U initiatives announced earlier today, at the heart of which were textbooks aimed at deployment on iPad.







Jobs reportedly delivered an ultimatum to Matas that resulted in the company selling itself to Facebook as a talent-based acquisition that abandoned its allegedly tainted ebook apps business model.



Because Push Pop Press planned to deliver its version of ebooks as native iOS apps, Apple's iOS App Store was ultimately the sole potential distributor the finished work Push Pop Press would have created, giving the company little leverage in arguing around any IP claims by Apple.
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Comments

  • johnny mozzarellajohnny mozzarella Posts: 1,731member
    Such a shame that Matas isn't at Apple anymore and wasting his time at Facebook.
  • owlboyowlboy Posts: 33member
    He even gave a nervous TED talk about this. I wondered where it went.



    I remember when he was just a kid on these boards who drew icons and was a bad speller.
  • mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 6,864member
    The Designer is a fool.



    To be clear, when you sign your NDA with Apple [just like NeXT] all projects you work on outside of the Company must be signed off and agreed to, in writing, by the Executives with the authority to do so.



    Otherwise, all work is the property of `The Company.'



    This is not rocket science.



    It is theft and the guy's product had no future.
  • webwielderwebwielder Posts: 4member
    Dilger took this information wholesale from a thread on a Daring Fireball post with the Daring Fireball With Comments Safari extension.



    http://daringfireballwithcomments.net/



    http://daringfireball.net/linked/201...ation#comments
  • correctionscorrections Posts: 1,142member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by webwielder View Post


    Dilger took this information wholesale from a thread on a Daring Fireball post with the Daring Fireball With Comments Safari extension.



    http://daringfireballwithcomments.net/



    http://daringfireball.net/linked/201...ation#comments



    Well either that, or the same source posted the same comments to various sites. But why do you raise that like its an issue?



    Also, if Gruber wanted comments on his site he'd simply enable them. Snide comments like yours illustrate pretty well why he doesn't want comments on his site, and why third parties have to hang them off the side.
  • correctionscorrections Posts: 1,142member
    .12345
  • stourquestourque Posts: 344member
    Nice video with Al Gore. Couldn't he look into the camera instead of staring at the cameraman's crotch? And as a Board member, did he not know what was going on? He must be out of the loop. So, what exactly, does he bring to the table?
  • irelandireland Posts: 15,536member
    I correctly predicted Newsstand, iBooks Author and Textbooks for iPad in a single tweet 10 months ago, but for magazines:



    "Apple should have a magazine platform for iOS with magazines exactly like Our Choice contained in a native Newsstand App. Store and shelf."



    With Newsstand Apple only half delivered, but with iBooks 2 and iBooks Author Apple delivered my full dream, for the wrong product; textbooks. These textbooks are great, but Newsstand needs the exact same treatment. Please, Apple.



    They need to add magazines to this ASAP. I like Newsstand, but the actual magazines suck. They are all too different and crappy in the UI dept. Like real paper magazines the UI should be the same for all. And that will only happen if Apple provides great tools like this to all the magazine people for free and convince them to use them. I'd go so far as to say they should give them a deadline to convert over to the new UI or get kicked from the dedicated Newsstand app. In fact, they shouldn't have even started Newsstand without laying those exact ground rules.
  • modul8trmodul8tr Posts: 10member
    Some I'm guessing Daniel didn't see the comment on Mike Matas Twitter regarding today's announcements?



    https://twitter.com/#!/mike_matas



    "Even though I no longer work for Apple apparently I'm still designing some of their products. http://pushpoppress.comhttp://apple.com/education";
  • irelandireland Posts: 15,536member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by modul8tr View Post


    Some I'm guessing Daniel didn't see the comment on Mike Matas Twitter regarding today's announcements?



    https://twitter.com/#!/mike_matas



    "Even though I no longer work for Apple apparently I'm still designing some of their products. http://pushpoppress.comhttp://apple.com/education";



    The subtext of this D.E. article is: "Even though this information is a rumour I personally believe it because my Pope is mentioned in it, and my Pope is all knowing and infallible. These textbooks are like Our Choice because they used an intellectual time machine when creating Our Choice, that's all. Nothing to see here, moving on".
  • macclonemacclone Posts: 8member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Stourque View Post


    Nice video with Al Gore. Couldn't he look into the camera instead of staring at the cameraman's crotch? And as a Board member, did he not know what was going on? He must be out of the loop. So, what exactly, does he bring to the table?



    Duh. He invented the Internet, remember?
  • stourquestourque Posts: 344member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by macclone View Post


    Duh. He invented the Internet, remember?



    I thought that quote from Al Gore turned out to be taken slightly out of context. (although he did say it, so maybe it was just misinterpreted) But wasn't he involved with the group that developed the World Wide Web?
  • solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Stourque View Post


    I thought that quote from Al Gore turned out to be taken slightly out of context. (although he did say it, so maybe it was just misinterpreted) But wasn't he involved with the group that developed the World Wide Web?

  • correctionscorrections Posts: 1,142member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post


    The subtext of this D.E. article is: "Even though this information is a rumour I personally believe it because my Pope is mentioned in it, and my Pope is all knowing and infallible. These textbooks are like Our Choice because they used an intellectual time machine when creating Our Choice, that's all. Nothing to see here, moving on".



    The subtext actually appears to be: Jobs pushed Push Pop out of the dynamic app publishing business because Matas used technology developed at Apple.



    That certainly explains why Push Pop left the market abruptly better than John Grubers' theory that Jobs simply provided some direction that it was moving into the ebook business (as he reportedly had earlier with iTunes and iPhoto).



    Why couldn't Push Pop continue making innovative books as apps? Amazon still has a Kindle business. The only reason that makes sense: legal issues. Push Pop had a high profile backer in Gore, got a lot of press, and didn't even give it a go. He just jumped to FB and abandoned everything he'd worked on for at least a year. Duh!



    There's plenty of differentiation between Cocoa-based app books and web-based iBooks, and Apple is only gunning at the high school textbook market so far, leaving Push Pop plenty of potential for exploiting the market for self published, interactive novels, fiction, and reference works, had it had the legal right to continue.



    It's also very hard to imagine that Matas didn't have any knowledge of where iBooks was headed, given that the rest of us saw it unfolding. Even a self-important anonymous nobody like yourself was capable of seeing the obvious next step for iBooks. Matas was pretty clearly competing against Apple using Apple's technology and got busted.



    I thoroughly enjoy every comment by the DED haters, because every one shows what idiots they are.
  • pokepoke Posts: 506member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Corrections View Post


    The subtext actually appears to be: Jobs pushed Push Pop out of the dynamic app publishing business because Matas used technology developed at Apple.



    That certainly explains why Push Pop left the market abruptly better than John Grubers' theory that Jobs simply provided some direction that it was moving into the ebook business (as he reportedly had earlier with iTunes and iPhoto).



    Why couldn't Push Pop continue making innovative books as apps? Amazon still has a Kindle business. The only reason that makes sense: legal issues. Push Pop had a high profile backer in Gore, got a lot of press, and didn't even give it a go. He just jumped to FB and abandoned everything he'd worked on for at least a year. Duh!



    There's plenty of differentiation between Cocoa-based app books and web-based iBooks, and Apple is only gunning at the high school textbook market so far, leaving Push Pop plenty of potential for exploiting the market for self published, interactive novels, fiction, and reference works, had it had the legal right to continue.



    It's also very hard to imagine that Matas didn't have any knowledge of where iBooks was headed, given that the rest of us saw it unfolding. Even a self-important anonymous nobody like yourself was capable of seeing the obvious next step for iBooks. Matas was pretty clearly competing against Apple using Apple's technology and got busted.



    I thoroughly enjoy every comment by the DED haters, because every one shows what idiots they are.



    It does make sense of why they got out of the market so fast. On the other hand, Al Gore is an Apple board member so it'd be weird for him to collaborate with a company that's using Apple's IP without authorisation. The whole thing smells weird but we'll probably never know the details.
  • correctionscorrections Posts: 1,142member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by modul8tr View Post


    Some I'm guessing Daniel didn't see the comment on Mike Matas Twitter regarding today's announcements?



    https://twitter.com/#!/mike_matas



    "Even though I no longer work for Apple apparently I'm still designing some of their products. http://pushpoppress.comhttp://apple.com/education";



    Sounds like a snappy aside from someone with an axe to grind. Had Apple forced Push Pop out of the dynamic book business because it infringed upon Apple's technology, that's exactly what I'd expect the founder to say afterward. It certainly isn't intended to get a response from Apple.



    Alternatively, if Apple had just warned Push Pop that it was getting into its market and that it might as well leave (as Gruber theorized), Matas would likely have mounted a "Konfabulor" style woe-is-me story that the media would have pounced upon and gotten in a lather about. Matas knew he had no legal basis for that, and that if he said anything, Apple could release a statement saying he had lied and stole Apple IP.



    Alternatively, if there was no legal issues and Matas simply got bought out by FB and had no ill will toward Apple, why would he malign his former employer, threatening his future potential for no reason?



    That kind of comment requires a slight embitterment but not enough to cause provocation from the subject he was irritated by, acknowledging that he was in the wrong and could not win.
  • correctionscorrections Posts: 1,142member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by poke View Post


    It does make sense of why they got out of the market so fast. On the other hand, Al Gore is an Apple board member so it'd be weird for him to collaborate with a company that's using Apple's IP without authorisation. The whole thing smells weird but we'll probably never know the details.



    Gore's involvement is rather odd, but it's not too hard to imagine that Gore would allow a former Apple employee to collaborate on work (Push Pop likely did most of the work to deliver his title) without publicizing it or even bringing it to the attention of Jobs or other managers.



    Once it gained publicity via Gore, it stoked the response that resulted in Matas dropping the effort and getting a new job, with no details leaking out.



    If Gore hadn't been on Apple's board, he might defend or decry the sudden abandonment of the project he worked on, whether he knew why it had happened or not. His silence on the matter indicates that after he learned what had happened, there was nothing to be said about it.
  • solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by poke View Post


    It does make sense of why they got out of the market so fast. On the other hand, Al Gore is an Apple board member so it'd be weird for him to collaborate with a company that's using Apple's IP without authorisation. The whole thing smells weird but we'll probably never know the details.



    Here is another take on it.
  • stourquestourque Posts: 344member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post



    My recollection was that he made the comment to school children. Perhaps I'm just remembering a Saturday Night Live skit.
  • mabhattermabhatter Posts: 39member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


    Here is another take on it.



    I think that you have to remember that this is one of the people who's NAME ison those patents...patents are filed by PEOPLE not companies. So the "creator" is not getting any reward NOW that Apple is selling the creation, and is threatened for doing something similar.



    Sadly this happens a lot... Companies have their "secret" executive roadmaps, while the guy who did the inventing is looking for another job because he is not being rewarded. Usually patent courts give leeway when the guy who's NAME is on the patents is being sued for "using" them by his former employer. Obviously, Steve wanted to play hardball and put his own "fan club" out of business. At the time there was no conflict for Al because the product was going to sell more APPLE stuff. The board is not always informed of products two years away.
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