Nothing earth-shattering but nonetheless important reading.
Mossberg: I was reading a trade publication that had an annual ranking of consumer electronics retailers, and I was amazed to see that you’re like number 23 in terms of consumer electronics salesÇƒÓbigger than a number of other well-known consumer electronics retailers. Was that your intention or was it primarily to promote your brand?
Jobs: Our intention was very simple: All of our competitors sell the same products. They’re all designed by the same company in Taiwan, so at the point of distribution, you don’t have to know very much to sell them. You don’t have to be able to explain them, because they’re all the same; you just have to be able to point to the ones where your company gets more in gross margin, and we can’t thrive in that environment.
We innovate, and let’s say we’ve got a dozen major breakthroughs a year: we can advertise three or four of them; if we do more the consumer thinks we’re a little nuts. So the rest of them have to be delivered at the point of sale. The competence level is getting less at the point of sale. It is impossible to get knowledge at the point of sale.
We wanted to make the best buying experience in the world, because this was at the beginning of the digital hub revolution that we saw with digital photography, digital music, and everything else.
Apple: The Digital Media Hub [alwayson-network.com]