Good Reads for August, 2014

catmull_jobs_lasseterEvery month, we’ll be bringing you no more than a handful of slightly longer — but always worthy of your time and attention — reads about the wonderful world of Apple. This is Good Reads.

The basic approach—pairing a freely-rolling ball with a optoelectronic system—was used by generations of mice that followed, changing only incrementally until optical mice did away with trackballs altogether.

  • Plenty was said in August regarding the realities of indie App Store development, but for every post about the long, gruelling hours for little reward, and the minuscule chances of fame and fortune with even a little help from the App Store curation team, there wasn’t a counter-post about what it took to succeed — perhaps not with your just your app, but with your business, too.

Over time, I’ve begun to realize something: I was searching for the wrong thing. It wasn’t the app’s success that mattered, but the success that came in the journey building it.

  • It’s not specifically about Apple or even technology, but the self-discovery that the iPad DJ undertook makes for some interesting reading. It’s the story of how one individual finds herself in the spotlight after one YouTube video, suddenly with more attention than she anticipated, wanted, or could handle.

But the real story is this: The first iPad DJ video, nearly one million views later, has become the bane of my existence. No matter what I do or say or create, no matter how much I build and grow and develop my art, every person whose interest I’ve piqued with my work invariably goes home, Googles me, and finds this video.

  • I really enjoyed this piece from Louie Mantia about tinkering. Everyone I know has experimented with custom themes and changed the look and feel of something they use on a daily basis at some point or another, and one day, all that tinkering just happened to turn into Louie Mantia into the designer he is today.

And suddenly: iPhone. As soon as there was a way to jailbreak it, we could customize it. I found the folder, like many others, where the icons were. I replaced them. I drew my own. I attached my name to the download in like a lucky idiot, and people started to notice me who previously hadn’t.

  • As we approach the dawn of a new iPhone, we can take the time to appreciate the genius of Steve Jobs once again. Over at Medium, Peter Sims tells us about the real genius of Steve Jobs. Steve Jobs was the guy who had the “unique genius to foresee technology vectors and envision, design, and execute truly brilliant products and platforms”, but even that didn’t explain his parallel successes at Apple and Pixar.

Again, while it must be said, we’ve all heard Jobs stories like these, and this narrative. Jobs “the younger” leadership was often destructive and counterproductive. But, according to all accounts I’ve gathered, through a number of personal crucibles — most notably getting fired from Apple — Jobs grew his leadership and his ability to collaborate enormously.

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