Tuesday, July 3, 2018

It Just Works | Lefsetz Letter

Only it doesn’t.

Steve Jobs died and we’ve been living in the dark ages ever since.

Never underestimate the power of an individual. He or she can move mountains, or destroy them, just ask Trump. Geniuses have vision. They deliver what we didn’t even know we wanted. And the rest of the purveyors…

Never got the memo.

I’m frustrated.

We arrived at the Colorado condo and they’d installed Wally. Who the hell is that, Beaver’s brother, damned if I know. Turns out it’s a Dish product. How does it work, with a dish, via the internet, cable?

And it does work, assuming you figure out how to turn on your damn TV, that you now do it with the Wally remote, which has so many buttons it’s almost a joke.

That’s what Steve Jobs got rid of, the buttons. Simultaneously providing service along the way, with AppleCare and the Genius Bar.

But you hate Apple, unless you love it. Welcome to the polarized United States. Where forty percent of the country think the Donald is doing a good job and the rest are going WTF?

So Apple was a company of breakthroughs. Hold your horses, you naysayers, yes, some were invented elsewhere, but Jobs knew how to synthesize them to get them right.

And the man is denigrated for pursuing excellence, insisting on it.

Unlike the bozos here at the Lodge At Vail. FOR TWO YEARS we’ve told them their internet is inadequate. They just don’t believe it. But my phone just did not get reception in the bedroom, unlike with Verizon LTE. Oh, you’re STILL not on Verizon? And you call yourself a BUSINESSPERSON??

This is like Trump, this is like Jobs, you’re convinced your cell service provider is the best. Hell, John Legere even lied direct to my face, well, via the internet, that T-Mobile’s coverage is as good. ONLY IT ISN’T! And Diarmuid was driving to a bike race in Arizona when his van broke down, in the middle of nowhere. His AT&T iPhone did not work. But his son’s friend’s Verizon phone? BINGO!

And now steam is coming out of your ears.

You see there is truth. There are facts. Even though everybody in the game lies. Trump, the liar in chief. And corporations that slice the data so they appear winners. You can discover the truth, if you care, but most people don’t want to put that much effort in, they want to live their lives, understandably, which is why we’re back to the Steve Jobs usability paradigm.

It should just work. Out of the box. Without a manual. It should be INTUITIVE! How hard IS THIS?

Unless you’re Snapchat, which made its bones on being difficult to use, and when they made it easier, its users complained, they didn’t want mom and dad on the service. And mom and dad are about the only ones left watching television in real time. That’s the story of today, after politics, how the cable bundle is getting frayed, how kids are not subscribing. Who needs a triple play when you’ve got a cellphone?

Anyway, I’m sitting with a handful of remotes trying to make the TV work.

Oh, there’s a universal one… NO!!!

They should ban universal remotes, because they just don’t work. You’re better off mastering the plethora of remotes that come with your devices, because at least they are paired to them. And the universal remote is always leaving out something you need and…

I ultimately discover Wally has On Demand.

And I find “The Americans,” we need to finish the series up, watch Season 6, which I can’t on the Time Warner/Spectrum service I pay $200 for at home, they’ve only got four of ten episodes, huh??

And last night we had success.

Tonight, we had endless buffering.

Where’s the problem?

Damned if I know.

Is it Dish, is it the hotel Wi-Fi?

The show was unwatchable, so I decided to tinker. I’ll make a long story short, you can’t use On Demand without an internet connection. But I couldn’t enter the password for the Lodge Wi-Fi. Furthermore, I think there might be a specific internet connection just for Wally.

So we can’t watch our show.

But I’m overwhelmed with the incompetence surrounding me.

First, the Dish idiots. Do they even use their product? Have them install one for their grandma and get back to me. She’ll disinherit her progeny. FEWER BUTTONS! UNDERSTANDABLE MENUS! It should be easy, like taking candy, from a baby!

Needless to say, we can’t watch our show.

And there’s no one to call. Just dingbats unaware of what’s going on.

At least with Apple you get someone who speaks English, who lives in the United States, if I’m paying for AppleCare, I deserve that.

Furthermore, there should be a NO IDIOT button. If I’m bothering to call you, I know how to plug my computer in, I know how to reset my PRAM, can’t I just be directly connected to a supervisor? A genius’s genius?

But you can’t say anything negative about Tim Cook, then you’re a hater.

Kind of like America at large. I was born here. I’m a patriot. I just want our country to be BETTER!

And the way it’s going to be better is to pave the way for geniuses.

I’m not talking about those preying off the financial system, putting Toys-R-Us out of business. Do you know how this works? Hedge funds buy corporations, load them up with debt, and maybe they survive. If they do, the fund and its holders get rich. If it doesn’t, the corporation craps out, goes bankrupt.

That should be the rule of payment…ARE YOU ADDING ANYTHING??

Unlike the corporations who brought money back from overseas and just gave dividends to their shareholders.

Geniuses are not likable. They’ve got no patience for the rank and file. They don’t want to explain it, they don’t want to be held back. They just want to deliver.

Jim Morrison dies, and there are no more Doors, not any ones you want to listen to. Because he was the secret glue, the genius in residence.

Is there a new Prince? OF COURSE NOT! We’ve been waiting half a century for a NEW BEATLES!

And it certainly wasn’t Bruce Springsteen. You know you’re in trouble when workingmen are being lauded. He gave great shows, serviceable music, but where is the TRANSCENDENCE? There’s more genius in “She Loves You” than any Springsteen track.

And Dylan. How did he write “Highway 61”? And he retired to Woodstock for years because he was sick of a public that could not understand him.

So, Steve Jobs said to keep it simple, to make it easy. Which is one of the reasons Amazon triumphs, but not in video. Ever try to use their service? First and foremost it’s SLOW! How can that be, when they’re making most of their money on Amazon Web Services? That’s why they’re a failure in the sphere, not because they lack a hit.

So Steve Jobs made the Graphical User Interface, i.e. GUI, standard. All those PC users said their PCs were better, but in ’95, they all imitated the Mac.

And Jobs got music players so right, HE OWNED THE SPHERE!

Kinda like Netflix, I never have a buffering problem, but I do on Amazon!

And I know you speak my language.

And sure, you no longer need to know how your computer works, they’re relatively idiot-proof. And your car too. But it was a long journey to the destination.

Meanwhile, people think Android is better because it’s more customizable. Don’t you get it? Most people don’t want to customize their products, they just want them to work!

And now I’ve pissed off everybody. But I’m sick of a world that just doesn’t work. When so easily it could.

It’s gonna be 107 in L.A. when I get back, but there’s no global warming!

You can’t have a fire, never mind fireworks, in Vail because they had a piss-poor snow year.

And you either agree with me or you don’t.

And the truth is we laud money as opposed to culture. We don’t want solutions, we just want capitalism.

Some people change the world, make it a better place to live in.

But they’ve got to be smart and altruistic.

Remind you of anyone in D.C?

Meanwhile, Jack Welch was considered the best businessman of all time when the truth is he cooked the books at GE. He just kept selling financial assets to make the quarterly numbers continue to go up.

Until it all crashed.

America is crashing.

And it’s complicated, which is why the bozo in the White House is failing. We need experts.

And don’t go all Ayn Rand on me, don’t give me the “Atlas Shrugged” B.S.

Point is, Steve Jobs was a man of the liberal arts.. He was willing to work for a single dollar because he believed in himself.

We need more leaders!

Meanwhile, watch the parking meters.

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