A bit more seriously (and less speculatively), a good point of comparison here is in the way that Apple keynotes⁷ have changed since Cook took over. A software funeral would feel totally out of place today, as would Phil Schiller jumping onto a mattress to celebrate “one giant leap for wireless networking.” There’s no drama anymore. If you have two hours to kill, watch the original iPhone introduction and compare it to the original Apple Watch introduction. The difference is striking. When Jobs introduced the iPhone, he spent quite a bit of time explaining the issues with smartphones of the time and how Apple aimed to address them; Cook began his introduction of the Apple Watch with a video reminiscent of an iPod nano ad and never gave much of a motivation for the existence of the device (i.e., the product category) itself, other than effectively saying, “Smartwatches are getting popular and we think we can make a better one.” I wanted an iPhone from the minute it was introduced, though I didn’t get one until the iPhone 3G came out. I wasn’t convinced that I wanted an Apple Watch until I realized that it would be released close to my birthday.
Without immersion with users, without being in-situ, without a sense of culture, language, norms, and deep understanding of the problems faced — an iterative product development process slips from market-pull to technology push — Krista Donaldson, CEO, D-Rev