Slashdot Bits

Jobs’ Business Plan Profiled

Oh, Yeah, He Also Sells Computers

In just two and a half years, Mr. Jobs, Apple’s chief executive, has managed to take a well-designed hand-held gadget, add software connecting it to Macintoshes and Windows-based personal computers and convince the recording industry that he has found an elegant solution for ending its nightmare of digital piracy. In doing so, he has shifted the emphasis of Apple from what made it famous – hip, even lovable computers – to what he hopes will keep it relevant and profitable in the future: products for a digital way of life.

[…] The Apple that is starting to emerge may be a harbinger. The company’s growth may no longer be defined by its PC market share, now a declining sliver of the PC industry, but instead by Mr. Jobs’s ability to create consumer markets.

Mr. Jobs, who says he has a 70 percent share of the market for legal music downloads and a 45 percent share of the MP3 market, sees the shift as sweet vindication. “We’re getting a chance to see what Apple engineering and Apple design can really do once we get out from underneath the 5 percent Macintosh operating system share,” he said.

To some people in the industry, Mr. Jobs, of late, has even outshone his old nemesis, Bill Gates of Microsoft – not in market share, of course, but in innovation. “Both Bill Gates and Steve Jobs arrived with the idea of digitizing the world, but Gates has lost his way,” said George F. Colony, the chief executive of Forrester Research, a computer industry consulting firm. “Despite all of his warts, Jobs has kept the dream alive, whether it’s movies, music or photos. I call him the digitizer.”

Some More on Christian Music Filesharing

Praise God and Pass the Music Files (see also Ubiquity of Music Filesharing)

“This is something that we as a business haven’t addressed,” said Joey Elwood, president of Relient K’s label, Gotee Records, who added that some Christian fans might have a special incentive to download. The punk rocker who likes Relient K “doesn’t feel comfortable going into a Christian bookstore,” where the band’s CD’s are most readily found, he said.

Some Christians see file-sharing as consistent with their faith – especially with Christian music, for which downloading and uploading become high-tech ways of spreading the gospel.

Derek Tang, 30, is one of the downloaders. A United Methodist youth pastor in Mount Holly, N.C., he said he had “gone through the fires” debating the ethics of file-sharing with other Christians, but had heard no convincing arguments against it. “It doesn’t become a faith issue,” he said. “If the money went into the artist’s pocket, I’d have more of a dilemma. But the companies make enough money.”

When the students in his ministry seek counsel about their downloading habits, he said, “I tell them, just make sure it’s only for your own use.”