First Draft of Steve Job’s Open Letter to Adobe

April 29, 2010

Steve Jobs recently released an open letter to Adobe explaining his thinking about Adobe products for Apple devices.

It got me imagining what the first draft might have looked like before marketing got a hold of it:

“Apple has a long relationship with Adobe. In fact, we met Adobe’s founders when they were in their proverbial garage.  But since this is business, I decided to forget all that history.

I wanted to jot down some of our thoughts on Apple products and by extension Adobe’s Flash products so that customers and critics may better understand why we do not allow Flash on iPhones, iPods and iPads.

First, there’s “Open”.  We’re not and don’t want to be.

Second, there’s the “full web”. We don’t like it.  Everything should be an app.  It’s easier to monitize apps for developers and especially for Apple.  Without an app store, Apple would see no profits from most web content.

Third, there’s reliability, security and performance.   We like to use obfuscation.  By not allowing access to the core platform we think we’re safer and faster.  At least if we force you to use our products, we can decided what bugs to fix, how and when to fix them.

Fourth, there’s battery life.  Ours sucks.  We’re not going to do anything to fix that anytime soon.  Flash would just highlight our deficiencies.

Fifth, there’s Touch.  We thought of it first.  Our best way to try to maintain our advantage is to put up business impediments to our competition.

Sixth, the most important reason. We want to sell development tools too.  I nearly killed the company when I created a closed system vs. IBM’s open PCs.  Now I think I’ve learned enough from my mistakes to take the same path and not have the same outcome.

New open standards created in the mobile era will win on mobile devices but in the mean time, I want to make as much money as possible.”