2008 Steve Jobs interview about early App Store success & future of Facebook emerges

Posted:
in iPhone edited November 2018
A previously unheard interview recording with former Apple CEO Steve Jobs was published, giving a glimpse into his perspective just a month after the launch of the iPhone App Store in 2008.

Steve Jobs


"The total revenue has been $30 million in the first 30 days," Jobs told Wall Street Journal reporter Nick Wingfield, now with The Information. "Developers get $21 million. Nine of that $21 million is going to the top 10 developers. A lot of small developers are making a lot of money. This is just in the first month," he enthused.

The executive sounded an optimistic note in much of the interview, suggesting the App Store was bound for success since there would be "a lot more iPhones out there in the future and a lot more iPod touches." The company has mostly neglected the Touch for several years, preferring to concentrate on iPhones and iPads -- the latter only premiering in 2010.

"Who knows? Maybe it'll be a billion-dollar marketplace at some point in time," Jobs continued. "This doesn't happen very often. A whole new billion-dollar market opens up: 360 million [dollar run rate] in the first 30 days, I've never seen anything like this in my career for software."

The interview also gives a glimpse back at early dilemmas, such as how to price apps and whether or not Apple would eventually allow third-party distribution. As of 2018 iOS distribution is still locked to the App Store without jailbreaking a device.

Other tidbits from the interview include Jobs offering early praise for Facebook and its iPhone app, and noting that Google and Facebook were already seeing the iPhone as a leading driver of mobile traffic, crucial to their advertising businesses.

"I think there are a lot of people, and I'm one of them, who believe that mobile's going to get quite serious," Jobs concluded in the recording, "because there are things you can do... Obviously, mobile's with you all the time, but there's services you can provide with mobile that obviously are not relevant on a desktop, such as location-based services integrated into your application. They can be mighty useful and we're just at the tip of that. That's going to be huge, I think."

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 8
    This man was beyond brilliant. He had the ability to see.
    d_2stanthemancornchipwonkothesanejbishop1039christopher126StrangeDayslolliverwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 2 of 8
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,599member
    This man was beyond brilliant. He had the ability to see.
    I have to agree, there are lots of people making market and technologies prediction and not too many can hold a candle to Steve. His view of what it could be was mostly right on.
    stanthemancornchipjbishop1039anantksundaramchristopher126lolliverwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 3 of 8
    65026502 Posts: 255member
    This man was beyond brilliant. He had the ability to see.
    My favorite (sorry I don't have the source handy) is from the '80s when he was saying how one day all of our computers will be interconnected and digital information will be transferred between us with ease. Mind blowing.
    jbishop1039anantksundaramchristopher126lolliverwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 4 of 8
    One thing that made Steve so great is that he grew up as a computer enthusiast. He knew exactly what he wanted as a user and he knew other people would like what he liked. He had a lot of confidence in what he saw as needs, and good taste to go with it. He knew enough to start the invention, then found great people to build it. In a big way, Apple was just a company that built things that Steve wanted to use, and then to sell. The Keynote app is a good example of that. And it makes sense that if you’re a kid in the ‘70s Silicon Valley, if you like some technology you just dreamt up, had built and used it, everyone else would like it too. 

    Combine that with Steve’s charisma and coolness and you have the makings of the greatest tech CEO of all time. I’ve been fascinated by Jobs since the ‘80s. He was the perfect guy to bring computing to the masses. He completely transcended that ‘80s “nerd” label. Jobs would have never named his company Microsoft. Yet that’s what everyone else did in an attempt to achieve legitimacy. Steve knew his and other’s ideas alone with great people around him would ligitimize a tech company called Apple when no one else would have dared. 

    Great read, btw. There are some great NeXT-era interviews when he was starting to lay back a bit, that are truely enjoyable to read. 
    jbishop1039anantksundaramStrangeDayslolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 8
    One thing that made Steve so great is that he grew up as a computer enthusiast. He knew exactly what he wanted as a user and he knew other people would like what he liked. He had a lot of confidence in what he saw as needs, and good taste to go with it. He knew enough to start the invention, then found great people to build it. In a big way, Apple was just a company that built things that Steve wanted to use, and then to sell. The Keynote app is a good example of that. And it makes sense that if you’re a kid in the ‘70s Silicon Valley, if you like some technology you just dreamt up, had built and used it, everyone else would like it too. 

    Combine that with Steve’s charisma and coolness and you have the makings of the greatest tech CEO of all time. I’ve been fascinated by Jobs since the ‘80s. He was the perfect guy to bring computing to the masses. He completely transcended that ‘80s “nerd” label. Jobs would have never named his company Microsoft. Yet that’s what everyone else did in an attempt to achieve legitimacy. Steve knew his and other’s ideas alone with great people around him would ligitimize a tech company called Apple when no one else would have dared. 

    Great read, btw. There are some great NeXT-era interviews when he was starting to lay back a bit, that are truely enjoyable to read. 
    Good thoughts! :) I'd just got out of the US Navy and started college in 1982...Signed up for a Fortran class. The first day I was punching 100 cards to make the computer do something as banal as 'print.' Of course, it didn't work. Thought it was the stupidest thing I'd ever seen. Dropped the class the next day!

    Oh well, not everyone is destined to be a billionaire. :)
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 8
    Because the App Store has so quickly become the norm, people don’t realize how revolutionary it was. The standard for software purchasing before that was to buy physical media with physical documentation for a pretty significant price. You could also download software by that time, but it was the Wild West. Buying and installing software was an expensive, irritating and somewhat risky thing to do. Downloading software was done directly from the developer or from third party stores or aggregators with little or no assurance of quality or security. Every new application came with the risk at minimum of compatibility issues with your OS and/or other apps, and with a significant probability of coming with either malware or bloatware. Installing software was also a tedious procedure that came with an underlying expectation that something would probably go wrong during the process. 

    Like so many other things, Apple’s innovation wasn’t creating something from nothing, but rather reorganizing things from a hot mess to something simple and intuitive. With the App Store came a process for purchasing apps that were so inexpensive that the price wasn’t a barrier to trying something new. Developers would profit from volume sales rather than a high markup. Apps used a standardized UI, making instruction books unnecessary. Apps were vetted by the store, ensuring compatibility and security. Installation became simple and quick. Finally, a single store on your device with streamlined billing meant the act itself of finding and purchasing apps would no longer be a barrier. 

    The App Store took most of the things that made buying software a hassle and moved them out of the way. The huge sales figures that Jobs noted in the interview was just the first indication that he had once again simplified the complex and found a vast reservoir of untapped demand. 
    aaronsullivanwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 8
    It has been said about others, but is most appropriate about Steve Jobs.  A person's IQ is inversely proportional to how long it takes that person to figure out that Steve Jobs is smarter than they are.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 8
    philboogiephilboogie Posts: 7,438member
    This man was beyond brilliant. He had the ability to see.
    Uhm, no. He didn't wanted to do the App Store. Two on the board had to convince him.
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