What did Alan Kay and Steve Jobs talk about at the 2007 iPhone keynote?

“Steve and I first met during his visit to Xerox Parc in 1979 at the urging of some of his computer people to see what we’d been doing for the previous 8 years,” Alan Kay writes for Quora. “This subsequently formed the basis of the Lisa and the Mac a few years later (the Mac was done in 1984, 11 years after the more powerful and capable Parc Alto, which started working in 1973).”

“Later, I was chief scientist of Atari for a few years (81–84), and Steve and I would periodically have lunch. The last year of Atari was a collapse and I eventually accepted Steve’s invitation to come to Apple. In 1984, Time or Newsweek asked me my opinion of the Macintosh, and I said ‘“The Mac is the first personal computer good enough to be criticized’ …Steve and I remained friends (I was the go-between that brought him together with the people who were to become Pixar),” Kay writes. “I think he invited me to the 2007 iPhone unveiling partly because it was kind of a tiny ‘Dynabook’ — and he had always wanted to do one — and partly because he was going to use a quote of mine that he had always taken to heart ‘People who are really serious about software should make their own hardware.'”

“After the event[,] He brought the iPhone to me, put it in my hands, and asked: ‘Alan, is this good enough to be criticized?,'” Kay writes. “My reply was to make a shape with my hands the size of an iPad: ‘Steve, make it this size and you’ll rule the world.’ When the iPhone had been revealed a few minutes earlier I realized that they must already have done an iPad/Dynabook-like machine (easier) and that the “iPhone first” must have been a marketing/timing decision.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Alan is obviously a genius and inspired Steve Jobs more than once.

[Apple] requires a charismatic leader who will shoot people in the knees when needed. – Alan Kay, 2013

Alan Kay: Apple ‘requires a charismatic leader who will shoot people in the knees when needed’ – April 8, 2013
Alan Kay: ‘Much of the iPad UI is very poor in a myriad of ways’ – April 3, 2013
From Alan Kay’s Dynabook to the Apple iPad – April 30, 2010
Legendary designer Alan Kay says Apple iPad will rule the world – February 22, 2010


    1. Alan Kay is great, a genius. But not an entrepreneur. Ultimately he was wrong about tracing a much larger screen over the iPhone and saying to build what we know as an iPad and Apple will rule the world.

      Tablets are niche, smartphones rule the world. It was Steve Jobs who was right to dump their tablet development and build a smartphone. The simple guiding principle of Steve Jobs using their ownselves of ideas… as templates for consumers to solve real peoblems for people… is the way to go.

      Alan does not have those smarts.

      1. Banned on the run… should be permanently banned for being just a pimply moon orbiting the planet Uranus.

        Sad sad sad and sadder.

        YOU frickin’ have no idea who Alan Kay is, you think he’s the guy who is dyslexic and was the inventor of the kayboard.

        Sheesh. Please stop wasting everyone’s time and go hide up Uranus where at least it is nice, warm, moist and friendly to trolls like you.

  1. Alan Kay brought my Atari User Group (S*P*A*C*E group) the ROM listing for the Atari 800 computer to a meeting in Kent Washington. Spoke to the group and showed a video.

      1. She did! Betty Black showed-up too. It was quite the shades of grey on the B&W monitor the Atari was hooked up to.

        Atari 800… those were the days.

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