Two interesting news items from yesterday…

iphone-3gThis is an email I sent to my company on Thursday, Oct 6th, the day after Steve Jobs passed away. I felt compelled to make it public:


By now everyone on the planet knows that Steve Jobs passed away yesterday. He only resigned six weeks ago from Apple so the world was pretty shocked that he passed away so suddenly. Whether you love or hate Apple, what he deserves credit for is asking Why.

One of his favorite sayings was Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish. This statement is plastered on my desktop background. He didn’t come up with this. He first saw this on the back cover of the final edition of the Whole Earth Catalog. (The Whole Earth Catalog was a hip collection of stuff you could buy mail order in the early 70s). He was inspired by this statement because he felt this statement encapsulated two primary beliefs that guided him throughout his life.

1. Stay Hungry — never rest on your laurels, never give up, its about the journey not the destination
2. Stay Foolish — you learn something every day. Never think you know it all or that you have everything figured out. Thats when its over.

To me the iPhone was Apple’s greatest invention. One of Jobs mentors was a guy named Alan Kay. Kay once said People who are really serious about software should make their own hardware and thats what Apple did with the iPhone. They looked at the popular smartphones on the market in those days like BlackBerry, Palm Treo and Motorola Q, and asked: Why have a keyboard? Why is half of the device taken up by something that isn’t really needed for every application?

In other words, software developers were having to work around limitations of the hardware. Why not make the hardware a clean slate, and let the software developer use whatever he or she needs to provide the best user experience for the problem they are trying to solve? Well the rest is history. Now we have a completely different way of interacting with computers in both the smartphone and tablet market.

Here is the video of the unveiling of the iPhone

So what’s the other piece of news? Buried in the headlines of Jobs untimely death and Amanda Knox arriving in Seattle (Seriously? This is news?), there was a little story in the LA Times that a company in India, with the help of the Indian government had just produced a tablet that costs $50 to make. With subsidies from the government they plan to sell them to students and schools for $35 OR LESS. I thought the Kindle Fire was cheap at $199. But $35 for something less functional and smaller than an iPad that starts at $500?

Here is the complete story

So what could all of this mean for us? The revolutionary changes in how people interact with computers from the iPhone to tablets is fundamentally changing how people work. No longer are they tethered to a desktop, monitor and mouse. They are now on the road, in the service yard, on the showroom floor, with something in their hand that is as powerful as the computer on their desktop just a few years ago.

This is an extraordinary time for us because we have the opportunity to now provide products to serve both our current customers and future customers in ways we couldn’t before. In the not too distant future our customers will be able to enter or look-up work orders, enter time, search for parts, accept payments on the move and check out a customer at a mobile register. All of these things are possible by doing what we’ve always done on a new platform.

Those of you that haven’t tried out our new DockMaster in the Cloud platform really must. We haven’t made a formal internal announcement about it yet, because we want to make sure that IT is ready for everyone to start using it. More to come on this. DockMaster in the Cloud is just a start. There are so many things this company can do with the right vision and guts to get out there and do it. So Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish and thank Steve Jobs while you are at it!