Learn to fail like the iPhone

Learn to fail like the iPhone


When a new product comes out and I think it will fail, that very few will buy it and that we will soon forget about it, I am reminded of what happened with the iPhone. There is no mobile phone that has sold as many in history, yet the day it arrived in stores, skepticism was skyrocketing.

It was June 29, 2007, the presentation was in January of that year with Steve Jobs who said from the stage that he had “reinvented the telephone”. On TV, the CEO of Microsoft, who at the time still hoped to carve out a role in the smartphone sector, laughed out loud; a trade magazine put on the cover the big boss of Nokia, which at the time sold most of the mobile phones, with the title Who can ever beat the king?, implying that Apple wasn’t going to make it. In one of the rare television appearances, Jobs to the question “did we really need another phone?” he replied that “it is a sector that needs to be reinvented”. But few understood what was about to happen: the sector magazines a few days before the debut ventured a prediction according to which “the iPhone will be a failure” and many pulled out the story of the Lisa (which is this)one of Apple’s few real failures, “a computer whose traces can only be found on YouTube”. As we know it went differently.

A reporter calculated than in that year, in those 6 months, Apple sold 1,400,000 iPhones; today it sells nearly 1,400,000 iPhones in two days. This is an instructive story about failures. For example, when Apple presented its very expensive augmented (or mixed) reality headset, I was about to write that “it will be a failure”, then I remembered the iPhone and told myself to take it easy.

It also applies to each of us: when they tell us that we won’t make it, if we are truly convinced that we are ready, if we’ve done all we can, let’s move on. Usually those who changed the world did it while others said it was impossible.


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