Professional contrarian John Heilemann has a cover story about Steve Jobs in the latest issue of New York Magazine, and tackles the “reality distortion field” around iPhone, and how things could go wrong, taking cues from Jobs’ past. A very good job with the story, though his observations coming out of D conference sounds very anecdotal and well, wrong, since I was there too and observed pretty much the same things he did.
Anyway, the last two paras of the long story say it all: “Less than two weeks from now, when the phone hits the streets, the consumerist pandemonium will likely be hysterical. Once again, Jobs may have fashioned a totemic object that will capture the culture–and cause rival CEOs to have coronary events. No one else in history has pulled of this kind of coup, as Jobs has, with four different products. The Apple II. The Mac. The iPod. The computer-animated feature film. Betting against a track record like that would be a dangerous wager. Especially when you know, deep down, that you want an iPhone. Bad….But Jobs has been wrong before. And if the iPhone proves a disappointment, his reputation will take a precipitous tumble: from unerring visionary to just another overreaching mogul. What’s at stake for Jobs, then, isn’t money or power–for no matter how the iPhone fares, he’ll still have both in abundance. What’s at stake is the thing that now must matter to him above all: the ending of his story.”
[Via Paid Content]