Believe it or not there are actually two major speeches happening today – The State Of the Union and Apple’s State of the Tablet. According to my social networking world the Apple speech is the way more exciting, anticipated and prone to wild projections and fantasies of the two. The State of the Union is really not jazzing up the masses. Over on Slate there is a great parody of Steve Jobs giving the State of the Union Address Apple-style. While the article is tongue in cheek what it underscores is that everyone wants the next big thing and a year ago that was Obama (unfortunately now in Massachusetts it was Scott Brown) – but for those who were energized on the web for politics last year it is now the Apple Tablet that is giving everyone hope.
It’s pretty funny that a gadget that has yet to come out has been praised as the second coming, declared the savior of the publishing world and then pretty much declared a let down by last night – all before it has been unveiled to the public. But, Obama should take a page from the Apple hoopla and get back to the viral marketing and grass-roots web work that made his campaign successful. He seems to have forgotten that young people and tech centered people are who created the energy around his initial campaign and they are just as passionate and interested in the world around them, just not necessarily the stodgy old world that Washington represents and of which Obama now seems entrenched. There is nothing cool about Washington DC (that perceived coolness lasted about 6 months)
So, maybe the State of the Union Address can capitalize on the fervor of the Apple Tablet Announcement by refocusing our attention (and the government’s attention) on jobs (and Jobs – like Tom Friedman said) that are truly about the future – innovative, tech focused and creative. About a year ago my Brother In-Law and my husband started a tech side business that included building an iphone app. Where did they find the developers for this app? In India, via elance.com. They got incredibly top-notch development and execution of an iphone app for the price of one month’s rent on a typical Manhattan 1 bedroom apartment. There should be no good reason why his job wasn’t bid on by some American college students looking to make a few thousand dollars and with the skills to turn it around successfully, but there weren’t. That’s what we need to focus on, that’s the kind of job training and push we need in the schools because that is laying the long-term groundwork for the next generation of Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, or just a team of people who can competitively bid on tech jobs from within our own country.
I’m not sure if the Apple Tablet will bring about the great change that everyone thinks it will – but it will most likely spur the next evolution in computing and technology. Obama was supposed to do the same thing, only he forgot that change doesn’t just happen when the product launches, it takes an entire community to adopt it, engage with it and make it their own. That’s what happened with the iphone and the app store. Now Obama needs his own form of the app store to bring his change to life – that means opening up and listening to what’s out there, letting new ideas through and not letting people wedded to the past rule your decisions (remember all those people who said they could NEVER type on the iphone’s virtual keyboard? They got over it pretty fast when they saw all the benefits of the iphone and app store.) That State of the Union better lay out some serious apps for making this country better or his administration will end up like Windows Vista – all hype, all promised change, and one big CRASH.
This is an original beccarama.com post.