What Steve Jobs taught me about “old” people and product development

September 12, 2011

By David Weigelt

With the formal resignation of Steve Jobs, quite a few stories are coming out of the woodwork about Apple’s iconic CEO. One of my favorite stories takes place early in Steve’s rise to stardom when he attended the birthday of a 9-year old celebrity. Steve’s gift to the young man was, what else, a Macintosh computer. As the story goes, Steve pulled the boy aside during the party to personally watch him open the gift. As he was showing the boy how to use his new computer, two “older” gentlemen came up behind them and starting oohing and ahhing. The two gentlemen, clearly impressed with what they saw as a work of art, started asking Steve questions for which he quickly dismissed them and returned his attention to the young boy. As it turns out, the two “older” gentlemen were Andy Warhol and Keith Haring. At the end of the night, Steve continued working with the young man long after the other guests had left. Later, when asked by a reporter why he was so much happier with the boy than the two famous artists, Steve’s response was, “Older people sit down and ask, ‘What is it?’ but the boy asks, ‘What can I do with it?”

Steve’s reply could easily lead you to believe that the billionaire boomer is ageist – and you may be right. But as we’re about to learn in Steve’s first authorized biography, Mr. Jobs is a complex man.

My personal Steve story takes place about two years ago Read the rest of this entry »


Have we reached a new tipping point?

March 28, 2011

By Kathi Scharf

Last Monday my 65-year old mother called and calmly told me that she and my father were suing me for breaking up their marriage.

Dumbfounded, I cautiously asked “Why?”, at which point she told me that they had stayed up all night playing with the new iPads we had given them that weekend for their birthdays.

Laughing, she went on to share all the apps she’d installed, like CNN, QVC, Angry Birds, and four different poker apps, just to mention a few. This, from a woman who has a brand new laptop but still struggles to regularly find her Gmail account! Read the rest of this entry »

Brewing up a Mobile Application Strategy for Baby Boomers

January 17, 2011

By Ross Hollebon

Can the cult of coffee bean aficionados and brewing engineers help interactive developers and designers build a better mobile app for baby boomers? The 55–64 year olds (both trailing edge 18% and leading edge 13%) who make up 31% of the smart phone user base, certainly hope so.

A cup of coffee can be comforting and even necessary for someone starting their day. Some might confess they can’t even get through their day without a caffeine fix or two. Read the rest of this entry »

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