A quick reality check: our content & collaboration systems have been with us since we first put PCs on desktops. Today, these systems are pervasive in our workflow, our work lives, and our work cultures. Need proof? Here are some data from our recent survey of 4,985 US information workers:
91% of information workers use email. Email's still the most ubiquitous and important collaboration tool, but hardly the only one that people use.
58% of information workers uses their employee intranet portal. This vital resource is in the flow of daily work, particularly among Sales people and in the enterprise.
40% of information workers spend an hour or more per day creating documents. We spend huge amounts of time capturing knowledge and process in documents.
I'll let others wax on wax off about Mr. Jobs' courage, taste, focus, vision. I'll merely point out that under Steve Jobs, Apple has been a brilliant systems thinker. The story starts with a whooping and winds up with market systems brilliance. Let me explain.
The vendor with the best market system wins. It's why Microsoft whooped Apple in the PC market. While Apple under Steve Jobs focused on its Macintosh closed system of hardware, software, and applications, Microsoft built an open market system on Windows: any hardware, any application, many ways to make money.
Mr. Jobs and Apple mastered the lesson: it's the market system that matters. A successful market system includes all the players, all the pieces, the end-to-end solution, the business model, the flow of money, the attractors, blockers, hardware, software, content, and services all wrapped into what we in 2006 called a single digital experience (what we now call a "total product experience").
With the launch of the iPod in 2001, Apple's market systems mastery shone through. Others had built great MP3 players. Only Apple built a great music market system.