Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Steve Jobs on MobileMe

Today, an internal memo by Steve Jobs around the MobileMe disaster surfaced on the Internet:
The launch of MobileMe was not our finest hour. There are several things we could have done better:
- MobileMe was simply not up to Apple's standards - it clearly needed more time and testing.
- Rather than launch MobileMe as a monolithic service, we could have launched over-the-air syncing with iPhone to begin with, followed by the web applications one by one - Mail first, followed 30 days later (if things went well with Mail) by Calendar, then 30 days later by Contacts.
- It was a mistake to launch MobileMe at the same time as iPhone 3G, iPhone 2.0 software and the App Store. We all had more than enough to do, and MobileMe could have been delayed without consequence.

We are taking many steps to learn from this experience so that we can grow MobileMe into a service that our customers will love. One step that I can share with you today is that the MobileMe team will now report to Eddy Cue, who will lead all of our internet services - iTunes, the App Store and, starting today, MobileMe. Eddy's new title will be Vice President, Internet Services and he will now report directly to me.

The MobileMe launch clearly demonstrates that we have more to learn about Internet services. And learn we will. The vision of MobileMe is both exciting and ambitious, and we will press on to make it a service we are all proud of by the end of this year.

That must have been hard to write for Jobs... But I subscribe to the vision being both exciting and ambitious. My suggestion would have been to outsource it to someone that knows how tough it is to build a sync platform. It looks easy from the outside... but it takes years to get it right. It is probably too late for that (if not, we are here to help...). In any case, I am confident they will make it eventually, and I am very happy they showed the world why such a service makes sense. Everyone else now wants to build a MobileMe that works on other phones and email accounts that are not just @me.com. And consumers now realize they need it. Our phones are ringing day and night... Thanks Steve, we love you ;-)