iPhone 3G & MobileMe introduction – WWDC (2008)

In a totally mobile oriented keynote, Steve Jobs introduced iPhone 3G and unveiled iPhone OS 2.0 & MobileMe.

Keynote summary

MobileMe icon
MobileMe made it’s debute, and it wasn’t pretty…

02:29. Update on iPhone OS 2.0 – Steve Jobs
05:45. iPhone enterprise customers video
09:38. iPhone OS 2.0 SDK demo – Scott Forstall
21:08. App developers (SEGA, eBay, Loopt, TypePad, AP, CowMusic, MLB.com, Modality, MIMvista, Digital Legends)
54:08. Push Notification introduction – Scott Forstall
58:35. More OS 2.0 features & App Store – Steve Jobs
1:06:44. MobileMe introduction & demo (Email, Contact, Photo, Calendar) – Phil Schiller
1:21:44. iPhone 3G introduction & demo – Steve Jobs
1:40:04. iPhone 3G TV ad “Hallway”

Date: June 9, 2008
Location: Moscone Center, San Francisco
Steve was 53 years old.

Apple WWDC 2008 invite
The tagline on the invite read: “A landmark event. In more ways than one.”

The story behind the MobileMe failure

Ex-Apple employee Erin Calton recently made a post on Medium.com that recollects the MobileMe disaster:

I worked on the MobileMe team, now iCloud, as an Engineering Project Manager, and we had a notoriously bad launch when we re-branded and created an awesome new product out of .Mac. There were three to four levels of bosses between me and Steve (thankfully) and we had been telling our bosses that we did not feel confident about our launch date for a long time.

We gave any number of suggestions of what we could do to launch that wouldn’t be such a giant production, but would totally have worked. Somewhere up the chain of command, it was decided it was not the Apple-way to launch something without a million fireworks. “But it’s the web!” we cried to no avail. We had our marching orders, and we walked single file to our collective doom.

Erin Calton
Erin Calton, ex-Engineer Project Manager at Apple

Then it fell down launch night. And all the lovely troopers (because everyone who works at Apple is completely kick-ass and does the hell out of their jobs), worked literally around the clock to fix it. Sleeping under desks, shuttling from hotels nearby, tagging in the next coder for their shift, until it was back up.

Once it was up, we (at least a hundred of us) got called into a meeting with Steve Jobs. We all walked over to the building like we were headed to the guillotine.

He stood in front of us and yelled at us, told us that we should be mad at each other, said we could have done a staggered launch and complained that we didn’t even try to do all the things that we (those on the ground floor of production that actually make the fucking products of the world) had been begging to do. It was the world’s best de-motivational speech.

Now, regardless of whether no one in the inner sanctum of dudes-that-Steve-listened-to-at-the-time told him all the things we told our bosses, or who-up-the-chain-of-command was not brave enough to suggest we do something not-Apple-like — this was the system that Steve created. He made himself so fearful and terrible that an entire group of amazing, talented, hard working people, ended up getting screamed at wrongfully. It was his fault that the MobileMe launch went so poorly, not ours.

Source: Medium.com