In my search for time-filler podcasts (background noise), another speech by Steve Jobs gained airtime thanks to Fast Company Magazine. Before unleashing Apple’s torrid pace of innovation, Jobs’ product launch of NEXT Computer highlighted how much storytelling it took to bring something new into the world. Evocative storytelling is making a comeback given how much time the average person has to reflect. I think there is pervasive fatigue consuming social media.

NEXT eventually got acquired by Apple. Jobs went back to the mothership, and the rest is history. During these COVID times, innovators are stepping outside traditional enterprises to build something better. Many innovations will disrupt industries. Some will simply be absorbed back into the mothership (filling product gaps) as was the case with NEXT Computer.

This story will get played over and over again given the hegemony in Big Tech. Big Tech seeks to ‘buy’ versus ‘build’ the really hard stuff. NEXT didn’t take off like Steve Jobs envisioned and he did what most entrepreneurs do when the going got tough…sell! Nonetheless, the launch was inspiring at a time when both Apple and IBM were struggling with moribund products.

The Powersharing Series by Steve Jobs demos NeXT in Boston, 1988 on #SoundCloud: