So yeah, there's one prescient quote in there, but some more that are wrong. And many people were hoping for an Apple iPod/phone for quite a while; see, for example, http://technologizer.com/2009/12/28/iphone-rumors/ (the first list of collected iPhone rumors I found in a google search).
What's the original quote? I bet that in "client-side apps is a bad idea", he was talking about desktop apps as opposed to web apps. Client-side JS is very much a web app thing, so far from refuting the prediction, it confirms it. And indeed the prediction turned out correct, if not so prescient as to be newsworthy years later.
Assuming I'm guessing correctly, that brings us to 3 correct predictions vs. 1 incorrect one, quite a bit better a record than you're implying.
Edit: Also, since you allude to "some more that were wrong": care to say what they were?
p. 227, from scrolling around a bit from the Google Books links in the original post: http://books.google.com/books?id=B4dk0tYPrckC&pg=PA228...
Also, pp. 228-229:
Note that this is just from reading a few of the footnotes from that link; I haven't read the rest of the book, so I can't speak much on it. All I'm saying is that he got some things right, some wrong, and that other people were talking about an iPhone before he did.
And I should have said "a few prescient quotes, and a few that are wrong." The "one prescient quote" that I wrote was a mistake on my part, as I had just discussed two prescient quotes (iPhone and open-source browser innovation); not sure why I wrote "one."
My main point is just that if you look at the one quote about an Apple phone with a web browser, out of context, he does look fairly prescient; but if you look at the rest of them, and the history of iPhone rumors, he has about as good a track record as anyone reasonably bright and paying attention to the industry.
This was published in 2009. Hackers and Painters came in 2004.
"And now come signs that Mr. Jobs means to take Apple back to the land of the handhelds, but this time with a device that would combine elements of a cellphone and a Palm -like personal digital assistant."
My favorite one of these was from my favorite music band, The KLF, who after the success of "Doctor in the TARDIS" decided to write a book called The Manual, Or How to Have a Number One the Easy Way, which explains, as it says on the tin, how to go about producing a hit record without any money or musical talent.
One of the most impressive things about this book is this bit, from the section on coming up with a good catchy chorus for your smash hit, something people will remember:
Stock, Aitkin and Waterman, however, are kings of writing chorus lyrics that go straight to the emotional heart of the 7" single buying girls in this country. Their most successful records will kick into the chorus with a line which encapsulates the entire emotional meaning of the song. This will obviously be used as the title. As soon as Rick Astley hit the first line of the chorus on his debut single it was all over - the Number One position was guaranteed:
"I'm never going to give you up"
It says it all. It's what every girl in the land whatever her age wants to hear her dream man tell her. Then to follow that line with:
"I'm never gonna let you down I'm never going to fool around or upset you"
Amazing. By two decades these guys anticipated mashups and the Rickroll.
No. The people who bought the single in 1987 were responding to the song very differently from the people who turned it into an internet meme 20 years later. The passage you quote describes the former; it doesn't predict the latter.
Even more ironically, Squeak is a derivative of Smalltalk-80, a Smalltalk implementation that a research group at Apple released.
I didn't know it would take another 10 years...
Once back to Apple, Jobs could use some characteristic Mac stuff, like the menu bar on the top of the screen (disfunctional on multi-monitor or big-screen settings), the shelf went to the left, the dock went down, the recycler became a trashcan and the filesystem browser was renamed "Finder" ;-)
But it's NeXT to the core. Never wondered why so many important class names start with "NS"?
Apple has a wealth of fascinating abandoned projects.
I'd love to have an A/UX box.
Edit: didn't think of it this way when writing the above, but a unix kernel with an actual, Apple designed, Mac GUI on top was actually a failure... Go figure.
That said, I do like the things Gnome lifted from Classic, I'm just not sure that your predicition bares out beyond a superficial examination.
(Which isn't phrased as a prediction, but is basically equivalent in that it can only be proven or disproven by future events.)
The funny thing is that the post sounds completely banal today, but at the time there were several hundred comments about how wrong I was and all sorts of industry insiders calling me dumb.
You also say that "the next generation of WiFi will make your product obsolete in two years anyway." Well, it's been three years, and the next generation of WiFi hasn't made anything obsolete.
You also say this: "Cell phones don't fit into girl's pants. Remember how the women you asked said they would only use your software if it had a vibrate mode? Oops." I don't know if this is a prophecy that women won't use cell phones or what exactly it is.
Come to think of it, I wonder what is going to happen to Microsoft? Something is obviously coming (they won't just fade into background), but what would it be?
People say that oh, don't worry Microsoft will become just like IBM, but I don't buy it. IBM does a lot of different things, and it did even more in the past but stopped. Microsoft, on the other hand, really does just one thing well: Windows/Office and, assuming those are going to fade away, what does it leave them with? That's why I believe there's going to be a major shift/transition in Microsoft business model.
What would be your dream setup?
I'd like it if the Air was about half the size. I don't know why Apple won't make something in between the Air and an iPhone...
- Alan Kay
You see wishes do come true!
However, that's not exactly an earthshaking prediction. I mean, really, did anyone think that this wouldn't eventually happen? It's more of a question of when. In fact, when I read your quote, you're not predicting something, you're asking for it.
Note that unlike suggestions to purchase stock in the company, this advice applies to technology at private companies, as well.
In all these cases, the choice is always "Work for us or pay us back" - I don't think you can structure a contract so that they must work for you without running afoul of the 13th amendment.
Shorting the competitors because you think a company is going to do very well is actually a bad idea -- it's entirely possible that Microsoft would have been able to open another very profitable market.
It's quite easy to detract from/criticize something, but to learn something from it is everything.
Engineering Manager: Well, mobile is obviously a next big thing.
Me: You know what would be hot? If you could be listening to your MP3, then you get a call and the music fades out into your call. Then when the call ends, it fades back in. That would sell like hotcakes.
Engineering Manager: [Looks at me like I'm an idiot]
If Apple gives me a free iPhone 4, Microsoft will be in big trouble...