We have at least the courage of our convictions to say we don’t think this is part of what makes a great product, we’re gonna leave it out. Some people are gonna not like that, they’re gonna call us names, it’s not gonna be in certain companies’ vested interests that we do that but we’re gonna take the heat because we want to make the best product in the world for customers. And we’re gonna instead focus our energy on these technologies which we think are in their ascendancy and we think they’re gonna be the right technologies for customers and—you know what?—they’re paying us to make those choices. That’s what a lot of customers pay us to do, is to try to make the best products we can. And if we succeed, they’ll buy ’em, and if we don’t, they won’t. And it’ll all work itself out.
Lots of good observations from Jobs’ D8 interview, but the above might say the most.
It’s Adobe Flash he’s talking about leaving out, but the gist of the quote has little to do with Adobe or Flash. It’s about Apple’s philosophy of trying to build the best product and then letting the end user decide. Not some IT group. Not some research or analytics firm. Not some tech pundits. Not some advertising company. Not some record label or movie studio. The end user.
You’ve got Microsoft trying to please the enterprise, Google trying to please Madison Avenue, NBC, ABC and CBS trying to please cable operators, etc. In each case the consumer is dealt with using rules and practices designed primarily to keep the pleased entity happy, not the end user. The end user comes second. By contrast, Apple takes their products to the consumer, trying to please the individuals that vote by paying with their own money.