Patrick McGee and Tim Bradshaw, in the Financial Times:
Apple’s operations team wanted to ship a “version one” product, a ski goggle-like headset that will allow users to watch immersive 3D video, perform interactive workouts or chat with realistic avatars through a revamped FaceTime.
But Apple’s famed industrial design team had cautioned patience, wanting to delay until a more lightweight version of AR glasses became technically feasible. Most in the tech industry expect that to take several more years.
In deciding to press ahead with a debut this year, Cook has sided with operations chief Jeff Williams, according to two people familiar with Apple’s decision-making, and overruled the early objections from Apple’s designers to wait for the tech to catch up with their vision.
Shocking that a CEO would want to, ya know, ship a product.
Framing this as “Tim Cook ignores the design team and forges ahead” shows very little understanding of how Apple, and business in general, works. If the headset is ready to ship a “Version 1” then SHIP THE DAMN THING. It’s Cook’s job to consider the bets, take the risks, and make the decisions.
“Real artists ship”
Knowing nothing of how Apple works internally, I can guarantee you that the CEO didn’t override the design team. Some members of the design team wanted to wait several years to launch. But the operations team, and the marketing team, and the accountants, and the software team, and the hardware team, and a bunch of other teams have apparently said “yes, we’re ready”.
Yes, we all want a pair of lightweight see-thru glasses that do all this nifty stuff, but that technology isn’t there. It does not yet exist. Imagine if Steve Jobs had waited until the iPhone hardware was perfect before they shipped. Or if Cook had waited until the Apple Watch was perfect. We’d still be waiting. The first iPhone was janky as fuck and had no apps or copy-and-paste. The first Apple Watch had a button on the side to show you contacts you could send your heartbeat to. These were definitely Version 1 products that weren’t really ready. But NOTHING will ever be ready if you don’t let people start using it.
A product in a lab is not a product.
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