Apple’s Phil Schiller: ‘We are focused on inventing the future, not celebrating the past’

“Several weeks ago, self-described computer historian and author David Greelish started up an online petition, asking Apple Inc. to include a visitor center, with a small gallery telling Apple’s story, for its proposed spaceship building in Cupertino, Calif.,” Therese Poletti reports for MarketWatch. “So far, the petition by Greelish, whose day job is a systems administrator in the Atlanta area, has only 39 signatures.”

“Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing, Phil Schiller, even responded to one of Greelish’s emails, saying he didn’t think the idea is a good one for Apple,” Poletti reports. “‘We are focused on inventing the future, not celebrating the past,’ he wrote. ‘Others are better at collecting, curating and displaying historical Items. It is not who we are or who we want to be.'”

Poletti reports, “Schiller makes a good point. This was also the view of co-founder Steve Jobs, who upon his return to Apple in late 1996 found the company had created a mini-museum at its One Infinite Loop headquarters. He promptly had it dismantled and sent everything to Stanford University.”

Rendering of Apple's "Mothership" campus proposed for Cupertino, CA
Rendering of Apple’s “Mothership” campus proposed for Cupertino, CA

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Schiller is correct to echo Jobs. However, Apple should — and likely does — realize that the “Mothership” will be a mecca for Apple fans, so some accommodation for them will have to be made; if not a second Apple Company Store that’s open to the public (we’d expect Apple would do this at the new campus, too — either inside the building or separately on the grounds), then at least a “photography station” so pilgrims can get their snapshot and be on their merry way.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]

Related articles:
Steve Jobs’ ‘Mothership’ Apple campus delayed until mid-2016 – November 21, 2012
Stanford archives offer window into Apple origins, reveal evolution of the personal computer – December 29, 2011


  1. Put the Apple Campus Store near the auditorium. That’s where the Visitor Parking is, and convenient for those journalists who visit for keynotes to buy their stuff on the way out.

  2. Ok, a visitor center would be great and something with a tribute to Steve Jobs and maybe even Woz some day. It would be great to have a downloadable media archive about Steve Jobs. To not honor him is to miss the “Difference” he made.

    “Think Differently” and honor Steve Jobs.

    1. “not celebrating the past” I believe Schiller is correct. Honor? Honor the heroes who have died defending this country. I believe the word honor is thrown around loosely. You don’t honor someone who was the driving force behind consumer electronics. Especially someone who was clearly, putting it mildly, not a nice person. Respect. You can, if you wish, respect the fact that he was a marketing genius and saveed the company that he and the Woz started. I understand and respect that. There aren’t very many people who could have done that. But that’s business. And he’s dead so it’s time for everyone to finally move on. You can be certain that Schiller’s comments are direct pipeline to the way Steve jobs viewed life. He wouldn’t want people to honor him so if you want to respect his outlook on life, honor those who really deserve to be honored. And no one is going to “miss the difference that he made”. The byproducts of what he and the Woz have done are everywhere. That’s what you and I used to communicate to this site. That is more than sufficient. Use the word honor respectfully.

  3. I’m not sure I agree with MDN’s take on the subject. Even though people will want to come and see the new facility, that doesn’t mean they will get the opportunity to get access. This is what the stores are for, public access to great products and a taste of Apple.

    In my mind, a better solution would be for the town to create a visitors center and make money for the town and celebrate the fact that Apple is there. I’m sure Apple would gladly supply them with artifacts if they still have them. Some place close to the facility but would not require Apple employee’s to stand around and getting paid for telling stories of the past.
    If you want to see what Apple does and buy trinkets, go to an Apple store. That’s what they are for.

    My 2-cents.

  4. An Apple museum would be fascinating to me and many other people, but I agree that Apple should not the one curating it. Nostalgia just isn’t part of the company’s DNA. Enthusiasts outside of Apple Inc would be much better at handling it.

    1. I can see the Apple museum now. Snow Whites on the left of the entrance, Grannie Smiths on the right and Macintoshes ahead on the back wall.

      They could sell hard cider, very hard cider and taxi rides back to their motel.

  5. There’s the Museum of Computer History, in Mountain VIew, 20 minutes away from Cupertino. It’s an awesome museum, if you ever visit the Silicon Valley area.

    I do have my own personal museum, though: An Apple II, an Apple II+, a Fat Mac, a Macintosh Plus, a NextStation and an IBM PC.

    Yes, I’m a geek.

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