The Lesson of the iPhone.

When you do something new, get ready for the naysayers.

Today in the daily version of The Hustle (sign up if you haven’t already) I was reminded of the struggle it can be to break out something new. If you are on the right track with something, expect the naysayers. Their example: the original iPhone launched 10 years ago, with some not-so-great reviews.

Hindsight is 20/20

The original iPhone launched 10 years ago, in June of 2007. But back then, the potential of the new device wasn’t as obvious as it is today.

In early reviews, people had a hard time even describing the device, sheepishly referring to it as a “computer with a blank screen that users configure so they can operate [it] with their fingers.”

Worse, quite a few members of tech royalty at the time wrote it off as a failed experiment.

And boooyy do they sound like dinguses now

Among the iPhone’s early naysayers (all from ‘07):

Padmasree Warrior, Motorola CTO: “There is nothing revolutionary or disruptive about this technology.” Hey, we miss the Razr too.

Jon Rubinstein, Palm CEO: “Is there a toaster that also knows how to brew coffee? [No], because it would not make anything better than an individual toaster or coffee machine.” Honestly, that sounds pretty sweet though.

Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo, Nokia CEO: “I don’t think that what we have seen [from Apple] is something that would… necessitate us changing our thinking.” Back to burners, as usual…

Steve friggin’ Ballmer, Microsoft CEO: “There’s no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share.” *Invents the Zune*

TechCrunch: “That virtual keyboard will be about as useful for… text messages as a rotary phone.” Can’t see the buttons for the screen.

When people are confused, it might be a good thing.

Makes you think, doesn’t it? If you aren’t confusing people, maybe you aren’t doing anything new or special enough. Just a random thought. Happy Friday everyone!