Immediate After-Thoughts on the Apple iPhone Launch

Robert and Patrick Scoble with Apple Pioneers Andy Hertzfeld and Bill Atkinson
Robert and Patrick Scoble with Apple Pioneers Andy Hertzfeld and Bill Atkinson

I’ve got a few photos uploaded here, but will try and get many more up in the next few days.

I’m exhausted. Dead beat. Tired.

Except for a couple of short cat naps I haven’t slept since 4am on Thursday morning.

I do have an iPhone and here almost 4 hours after I purchased it it is still in the box. Unopened. Before experimenting with it I needed to spend some good quality time with my kids and take a shower. So now the kids are in bed, I’ve had a shower and I’m sitting here with a good glass of wine.

Before I dig into the iPhone I thought I’d reflect back a bit on the last 36 hours or so. First of all, to those who say it was stupid to camp out overnight at the Palo Alto Apple store when I could have gotten it waiting only 4 hours in line at a At&T; store somewhere else, you just don’t get it.

Camping out last night at the Palo Alto Apple store was not about an iPhone. It was about an experience. Something that I value far more than my new iPhone. There were many highlights for me.

Listening to Kristopher react to having traded nods with Steve Jobs. When we left the Apple store we crossed paths with Jobs. I’m embarrassed to say that I didn’t even notice. Kristopher did though and he traded nods and a wink with Steve Jobs. Steve Jobs has been a long-time hero of Kristopher’s. It was an intensely powerful emotional thing for him. One of the best days of his life I’m sure.

Hanging out with Robert and Patrick Scoble. Two of the best people you’ll ever know. What an amazing experience for a father and son to have together. You should read Robert’s quick recap of the event. What a great thing for a father to do with his son. Patrick was so proud to be #1 in line. They made a big deal about it when they let him into the store first. That’s a memory that he’ll have the rest of his life. What a great dad to make that happen.

Meeting Bill Atkinson last night. For a good chunk of last night I got to listen to Bill Atkinson, one of the original Apple software developers talk about his personal history, his views on technology and most interesting of all for me, his work with digital photography. Atkinson is not only an incredibly accomplished technologist (I think he said he was employee #51 at Apple) but he is also an amazing photographer. Atkinson shoots with a Hasselblad and talked about his workflow, how he approaches photography with a strong critical eye to his own work (He’ll take 3,000 or so shots and might only get 4 keepers), and his printing techniques.

Bill spent the night with us and although had he wanted to I’m sure he could have just called up Steve Jobs and gotten an iPhone, he didn’t. He legitimately wanted to be there to experience what we all did. He likened it to Woodstock.

You should definitely check out his site online.

Streaming live on uStream with ZooomrTV was also a trip. Lifestreaming is such new technology and to be able to broadcast live and interact with thousands of people all over the world was amazing. It’s hard work to lifestream, but I think it really made for an even better experience. We interviewed lots of people. Thanks also to Yohannes who spent some much of his time as our cameraman. Really appreciate it Pal!

Zooomr, Zooomr, Zooomr. As much as Kristopher and I were there for the experience we were also there to try and promote our baby, the photosharing site that we both have poured our heart and soul into for the last year, Zooomr.

And Zooomr was definitely well represented at the iPhone launch. We handed out tons of stickers. We even used our stickers to mark people’s number in line. We got to personally evangelize Zooomr to so many people, were able to show our Zooomr stickers on CNBC (and get a link to Zooomr on their blog), many press photos and interviews, and getting to upload lots of photos live to Zooomr as we participated in the launch (resulting in some great digg juice). I think all in it was a pretty successful opportunity for us to evangelize something that we are both so terribly passionate about. Thank you again to Randyman who printed all those stickers for us for free! Randy man you do and always will rock!

The overall sense of community. The overall sense of community was something unreal. People watched each others stuff. Shared stories. Played guitar. SmugMug (a bunch of really awesome guys) bought us dinner and breakfast. Megan McCarthy from Valleywag brought us some beer.

I got to spend time with so many great people. Too many to even try and name. Thanks to everyone who came out and shared in this experience. You know what I’m talking about and it was an incredibly unique thing to be a part of.

I’ll have more thoughts on the iPhone later, but the launch itself was the highlight for me.

Update: Great shot of Scoble from the front page of the Mercury News! Also from TechCrunch, Eventstreaming, the seed of a revolution.

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17 comments on “Immediate After-Thoughts on the Apple iPhone Launch
  1. jcpiercy says:

    Thomas congrats on getting your hands on a new IPhone , must have been a huge buzz.

    Great to see a huge push for the ZOOOMR brandname , those stickers have come in handy . Watched CNBC lasy night and saw PS and RS in line.

    You cant buy media coverage like this on major networks. Hope the ZOOOMR accounts start rolling in.

    Enjoy the time with the family and kids. Look forwward to the Iphone Test Drive .

    canadianguy

  2. Anonymous says:

    WSJ did a thing of life after Steve. Looks interessting…http://thenewsroom.com/details/453236?c_id=wom-bc-js

  3. GEEKWD says:

    I can’t figure out how to use my iPhone — heelllppp!!! Frustrated in NY

    http://tinyurl.com/2r7cu4
    It’s here already!!! The iPhone and at great prices!!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Further interesting reading on Kristopher’s experience here:

    http://valleywag.com/tech/iday/rich-kid-gets-declined-at-the-iphone-counter-273903.php

    Lifestreaming is, indeed, hard work…

  5. It was wonderful meeting you at the Apple store, even though I felt compelled to buy a pair of shoes from the place next door because they gave you guys power :-) I just ordered a couple of iPhones online. By the time I get them, the activation frenzy will have died down, and that’s ONE problem I won’t have.

    If you need help evangelizing Zooomr, send me some background. I have a deep PR background and perhaps I can contribute something to your effort. Not talking about cash payment, either.

  6. steve kit says:

    Re: the valleywag article above about Kris.

    What a nasty, mean, vulgar (“webtards”) post that was.

    You know slagging on an adult is standard practice for the ‘wag, but insulting kids and young men is despicable.
    A Don Imus moment for the wag.

  7. Bob says:

    So it’s not about the iPhone itself, it’s about the experience… the sleepover on the street with other dorks, whining about not getting enough sleep, possibly getting a wink from a pseudo-celebrity, and pimping your tech start up? So sorry I missed it.

  8. Thomas, I am very happy myself to be able to mingle with you and Kristopher for the last 24 hours or so and more importantly the exposure zooomr got from Randy’s zooomr stickers plastered everywhere from shirts to poles, cnbc/msnbc coverages, hundreds of ZooomrTV viewers, etc.

    I totally agree with you on iPhone itself being the secondary goal. I myself could have waited on my local apple store valley fair which is 2 blocks away. But I decided to take a cab to palo alto because of the social experience. I had the opportunity to network with a lot of people who are active on the web community. That was a day to remember.

  9. Wish the magic phone had released in India, too!

  10. Miles says:

    Great post Thomas, I really enjoyed following you Thrusday night, Friday I was away and without internet for 3 days, but that was good too.

    Great job on the livebroadcasting for those of us that could not be remotely anywhere near the actual launch

  11. Anna says:

    You’re totally right about it being about the experience as much as (or more than) the phone. I didn’t have to camp out the night before at my location, and no one famous or noteworthy came by, but we had a time nonetheless. I wear my sunburn with pride. :) (Though I’d rather I’d worn sunblock, to be sure). I COULD have been first in line, but decided to run some errands and come back when there was a line. So I was fourth. And getting to visit with the people around me for the next six hours… it was fun. And like your experience, we all took care of each other. And some of us glared at the pregnant lady’s husband when he FINALLY came to stand with her just minutes before the doors opened and hours after she’d been in the heat with no food and water that was shared and with two small dogs that he left with her. Niiiice. But I digress…

    Thank you for sharing your experience. Now to go read Scobles!

    My thoughts were not as well organized and expressed, but I did blog my experience as well…

    http://techchicktips.net/2007/06/29/the-iwait-is-over/

  12. The Apple rumor mill is once again running overtime on the topic of netbooks. If you believe the reports, Steve Jobs is himself leading the charge. My take: Whatever Apple does, it won

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  14. peter says:

    Aw, this was a really nice post. In idea I wish to put in writing like this moreover – taking time and actual effort to make a very good article… but what can I say… I procrastinate alot and in no way seem to get something done.