Steve Jobs Is “The Decider.” Are You?

“I’m completely uninterested in buying an iPad — it really feels like the second coming of the CD-ROM ‘revolution’ in which ‘content’ people proclaimed that they were going to remake media by producing expensive (to make and to buy) products.” –Cory Doctorow
Writing on his blog, 9GiantSteps, George Howard–a musician, producer, educator, and writer who teaches in the College of Business at Loyola University in New Orleans–challenges Doctorow’s vision and tackles the weak points in the “wisdom of the crowd” model.

Why people have not yet come to the realization that wisdom of the crowd/crowdsourcing, etc. is simply a variant of design by committee (taken to a massive extreme) is beyond me…
What is required is that someone with a point of view and knowledge make decisions. This is what the iPad represents. Decisions were made. Cory Doctorow and others were left out of this decision making process, and they don’t like it.
I personally am delighted that I can read Mr. Doctorow’s work on my iPad; I’ll read more of his work more enjoyably because of it. However, I’m also very glad that Mr. Jobs (and his team) designed the iPad and not a collection of Mr. Doctorows.
I know precisely what would have been developed by the “open source” community. It would have been a watered-down version that attempted to please everyone.

Naturally, this discussion about product development applies to the creation of ads, logos, websites, etc., as well.
The fact is you can take in all the ideas “the world” has to offer, but nothing good will come from it unless there’s a STRONG creative director plucking gems from the pile and working directly with the idea generators to improve their initial thoughts.
Editor’s Note: For further enjoyment please push play…



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.