Friday, March 26, 2010

Listen up Steve

Full disclosure, I think "Social Studies" has a vaguely Orwellian whang to it, like "Homeland Security." If it's History & Geography, just call it that, OK?

Texas has ordered content revision prior to its next purchase of Social Studies textbooks. More Alamo, less global warming, something like that I'd suspect. Reason that's a national story is because volume of Texas purchases means it's cheaper for other states to adopt nearly same book. Much as I admire Texas' proud heritage, they really shouldn't be writing other people's schoolbooks.

But less philosophically, am I the ONLY person who sees that big mountain of money shimmering in the distance? Must be upward of a Billion easy; we just gonna keep driving around it on our way to the brain dead status quo?

Steve Jobs is about to start selling the I-pad; quite a fancy little gadget. No doubt it could only be more fragile if it was made from dragonfly wings, and it's already been leaked that battery replacement will be $100. It'll sell fine Steveo, but here's you a side project.

Start by determining target price. Then challenge your development group. You want version of the I-pad stripped to specific essentials, you want it chimp-proof robust, you want it feasibly repairable, and at the target price.

Congrats Steve; you just invented the I-book. In this context, I is for Infinite. Now choose a small upper-middle class school district in a good media exposure area and give I-books free to every 9th grader. Oh, be sure to throw in a VERY well padded carrying case. So gone are the several books kids lug around. Each text is pre-loaded on the I-book as screen icons. Turn in the I-book at the end of school year, and at end of summer all the sophomore texts are loaded and welcome back kids.
Sit back and be patient, won't take long. It'll catch like prairie fire in coastal affluent school districts and quickly move inland.

This accomplishes several things Steveo. Off the top of my bald head...
a. School districts will love it. At maybe $250 per I-book and a reasonable one-time blanket cost for each digitized textbook, they'll save tons of dough.
b. You're getting school districts to pay for the privilege of getting future customers comfy with your tech.
c. Leverage the newly won reputation for Apple as builder of the most robust and affordably repairable tech available.
d. You'll sell a lot of I-books Steve. Volume will afford manufacturing efficiencies and provide cost reduction on shared component purchases.
e. School districts in Seattle want textbooks, not texasbooks. I-book will easily accomodate textbook specialization very affordably.
f. Which brings me to the last point (ADD now kicking in) you just birthed Apple Publishing Steveo. Your source code is proprietary, right? Nobody can digitize any
I-book without your permission, right? I can easily foresse a future state outcome where people go to Barnes & Noble, pay $12 to have the latest Dan Brown book loaded on their zip drive.

Glad we could have this little talk Mr. Jobs. I'll send you an invoice.