• Steve Jobs faked full signal strength and swapped devices during the first iPhone demo due to fragile prototypes and bug-riddled software.

• Engineers got drunk during the presentation to calm their nerves.

• Despite the challenges, Jobs successfully completed the 90-minute demonstration without any noticeable issues.

    • Snot Flickerman
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      4 months ago

      I know it’s already normalized, but…

      Maybe it’s just me, but maybe we shouldn’t be normalizing outright deceiving people when you’re selling a product.

      How is that not false advertising? Why should companies be allowed to magic up a fake example of their product actually working, and sell that to customers, when the real product doesn’t actually work yet?

      Just because it’s “perfectly normal” doesn’t make it okay to peddle propaganda and lie to people for profit.

      It’s like the Tesla “robot” that was clearly a person in a weird suit. Why are they allowed to advertise things that functionally don’t exist? Why are they allowed to sell unfinished products with promise they may one day be finished (cough full self driving cough)?

      I mean holy fuck it’s like Beeper offering paid access to a service that allows Android and PC users to use iMessage, but Apple keeps breaking each new iteration every few days… Like there was no long-term plan to make sure that the service would work long-term before asking people to pay for it.

      It’s all fucking bonkers, man. We’ve just allowed snake-oil salesmen to rule the roost. The bigger the lie, the bigger the profit.

      • @[email protected]
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        504 months ago

        Oh, I agree with you! And I’m sure we can have this discussion about almost any current product launch, too.

        • lemmyvore
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          254 months ago

          How is that not false advertising? Why should companies be allowed to magic up a fake example of their product actually working, and sell that to customers, when the real product doesn’t actually work yet?

          If when they ship the actual thing to the customer it’s not like they claimed then it’s fraud (or “false advertising” which is the lenient version).

          Strictly for presentation ahead of time I think it’s borderline. Negative hype can kill a product that could have been good. Sure, complete honesty would be ideal, but if you say “well it sucks right now but we promise it will be ok when you buy it”, not many people would rush to order one. Many good products never made it to market because of insufficiently good perception. On the flip side, creating positive hype out of smoke and mirrors can be used to kill a competitor’s product for no good reason, so it’s not quite ok either.

          • @[email protected]
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            4 months ago

            Negative hype can kill a product that could have been good.

            Positive false hype can deceive people into wasting money.

            Sure, complete honesty would be ideal, but if you say “well it sucks right now but we promise it will be ok when you buy it”, not many people would rush to order one.

            And they shouldn’t. It’s just another way of saying “people acting rationally based on truthful information”

            Many good products never made it to market because of insufficiently good perception.

            That should be a separate issue. It’s not the only available path, just one often taken because it’s the most forgiving of shoddy business practices, doesn’t justify its existence, either.

            On the flip side, creating positive hype out of smoke and mirrors can be used to kill a competitor’s product for no good reason, so it’s not quite ok either.

            I think people are starting to realize the depth of corporate deception and bad-faith practices and how that affects everyone at large, and so they’re rightly tired of them and trying to reset it all back to simple, effective, and fair ethical standards.

          • @[email protected]
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            34 months ago

            Strictly for presentation ahead of time I think it’s borderline.

            I disagree, I think this is equally as bad. These presentations are still false advertising, just to a different audience.

            These presentations are selling investors and press and attention on something that doesn’t exist yet. Sure, sometimes it works out where the product works, but other times, it’s wasted money from investors and attention from the public that wasn’t warranted.

            I don’t see this any differently than the current shit show with The Day Before. Both are promising smoke and mirrors. Apple succeeded and is praised and people are here defending it saying it’s okay. The Day Before didn’t, and everyone’s at their throats saying it shouldn’t be allowed and that they should be sued for false advertising and for the amount of time wasted on hype for something that never came.

      • gradyp
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        4 months ago

        I agree, but what’s more, I am not trying to defend the behavior of Jobs here. But…to me anyway there is a material difference between say this, where the product did live up to the demo ultimately. In this case the demo was done on pre-release versions and so problems were expected and planned for.

        Contrast this with say the cyber truck launch. Similar situation but 1. they failed to properly anticipate and plan for failure (broken window?) and 2. they made promises about wishes and desires, because the delivered product thus far does not live up to the promises.

        The whole behavior is shitty to be sure, but I’d be ok going back to demos about planned yet achievable and deliverable features.

          • @[email protected]
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            54 months ago

            I think that’s kind of rhe point of these sorts to demos to begin with.

            The company says we’re developing a product that, we are not ready to ship today, but will be this awesome. Give us some money and you can see how awesome it will be.

            I generally assume that anything a company says about a product/service that is not shipping today is the best possible spin on the best version of what they’d like to sell. What you buy probably won’t be what is shown as an early demo

            • @[email protected]
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              44 months ago

              Just because you’ve adapted to the lies doesn’t make them ok, nor the best version of what is possible

      • @[email protected]
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        184 months ago

        Eh I think it’s fine because they weren’t selling the public engineering samples, they were selling finished devices. As long as the product they sold worked as shown on stage, that’s fine.

      • @[email protected]
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        4 months ago

        It would absolutely have been false advertising if the first iPhone hadn’t been the absolute phenomenon that it was. That’s literally how simple it is. Apple delivered.

      • @[email protected]
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        74 months ago

        How is that not false advertising? Why should companies be allowed to magic up a fake example of their product actually working, and sell that to customers, when the real product doesn’t actually work yet?

        For Apple, we can stop right here, the product worked as described. Apple did the demo, and then released the things they said they would in the time they said they would.

        It’s like the Tesla “robot” that was clearly a person in a weird suit. Why are they allowed to advertise things that functionally don’t exist? Why are they allowed to sell unfinished products with promise they may one day be finished (cough full self driving cough)?

        Snake oil salesman in the dictionary should just be updated to a picture of Elon Musk. Elon has a long track record of saying shit and not doing it, whether that’s full self driving, cybertruck (well, that finally came out), solving world hunger, etc.

        I mean holy fuck it’s like Beeper offering paid access to a service that allows Android and PC users to use iMessage, but Apple keeps breaking each new iteration every few days… Like there was no long-term plan to make sure that the service would work long-term before asking people to pay for it.

        Yeah, I totally agree.

      • Alex
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        34 months ago

        Beeper stopped charging customers for the time Apple broke their app.

        • Snot Flickerman
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          -44 months ago

          So each time Apple breaks it, they have to stop charging customers? Sounds like a real winning business plan to lose money each time you need to code up a new solution to the original problem. /s

          • Alex
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            114 months ago

            That shows they actually care about billing their users fairly. They lost some money but gained some trust, just like how Apple would’ve lost some money if they didn’t fake their demo

      • @[email protected]
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        24 months ago

        Why should companies be allowed to magic up a fake example of their product actually working, and sell that to customers, when the real product doesn’t actually work yet?

        The way Apple does things is insane, but they weren’t selling iPhones yet.

      • @[email protected]
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        24 months ago

        There’s a very simple reason… The world is absurd, and we’ve designed an idiotic financial system full of issues

        Here’s the thing… If Apple didn’t fool investors into giving them money, they might not have had the money to get through the difficult problem of getting to a production chain. And if Apple was honest and Google staged their demo, investors are going to be drawn to the party faking it

        Obviously, there’s many problems with this, and the fact that they can just cash out and never deliver cough Tesla cough. There’s also the issue that this makes marketing and hype far more monetarily valuable than actual performance… It doesn’t matter to investors if Tesla or Apple lies, they made real money if they time it correctly

        The government is supposed to put boundaries on this kind of behavior, because if anyone does this, it lets scammers take resources that should go to companies playing honestly and actually making things

        But know what else produces extreme return on investment? Spending money to shape regulations

      • @[email protected]
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        4 months ago

        Who’s normalizing it?

        I have exactly zero control over what these people do. They’re gonna do what they’re gonna do, and I have fuck all to do with it.

        And don’t tell me we have influence en masse. If that were true, then this stuff wouldn’t be happening. Quite the opposite, clearly most people don’t want to look past the smoke and mirrors for the stuff they’re hyped about. (We’re all susceptible to this kind of thing).

        A quote from 230+ years ago kind of sums it up nicely:

        Happy will it be if our [decisions] should be directed by a judicious estimate of our true interests, unperplexed and unbiased by considerations not connected with the public good. But this is a thing more ardently to be wished than seriously to be expected.

        He’s talking about public good, but you could insert any subject, eg. Perspective on a sales presentation (all of them are lies, to greater and lesser degrees).

        I’m sure I could find similar quotes from the Stoics (~1000 years ago), Sun Tzu (~1900 years ago) or even Hammurabi (~3800 years ago), showing this ain’t new. It’s part of human nature.

        Liars gonna lie, telling myself I can change that is just delusion, which gets me nowhere.

    • @[email protected]
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      4 months ago

      Maybe a demo should be just that; not a magic show. Normalizing deception for profit doesn’t seem like a healthy thing for anyone, but that’s only because I** didn’t own any stock in apple back then. Edit: Yes, I am still salty about the purchasing Starfield also

      • @[email protected]
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        94 months ago

        Eh I think it’s fine because they weren’t selling the public engineering samples, they were selling finished devices. As long as the product they sold worked as shown on stage, that’s fine.

    • TimeSquirrel
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      4 months ago

      Yeah I think the industry learned from Bill Gates’ flub when demoing Win98.

      For those too young, it bluescreened and crashed on a giant projector screen in front of thousands of people when they plugged in a scanner to demonstrate “plug and play”.

      • @[email protected]
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        64 months ago

        That was an early beta of Win95, very iconic. He famously closed the laptop, smiled, and said “I guess that’s why we’re not shipping yet.”

        And yes, that’s exactly the kind of situation you want to avoid on stage.

        • @[email protected]
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          -24 months ago

          Right. You definitely want to avoid that because Bill Gates is a billionaire and Windows still dominates the market. Looks like Microsoft paid a heavy price for that transparency.

      • gullible
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        4 months ago

        Even more worth a laugh is the Surface presentation where both the presentation model and the backup froze within a minute of each other.