Jobs is notoriously secretive and loves to build suspense, excitement and curiosity. He is the undisputed master showman in the world of technology. If Apple is a cult or religion, Jobs is the savior and messiah. Mac users are but the believers. And in an economy where the jobless are many, Jobs is one of the few who can still manage to thrive and get his followers to surrender their hard earned money in the name of their faith. It's extraordinary.
But something struck me as very odd yesterday while the world tweeted, blogged and live-streamed this event. Doesn't Steve Jobs own a calendar? If, as he claims, the iPad is going to revolutionize technology, publishing and even the world, wouldn't Jobs have been smarter about choosing the date to go public with this announcement? Did he not realize that Obama's first state of the union address was going to take place several hours later? To me, this is the story. It seems like an enormous PR fail.
Go to any mainstream news website. As of last night, the iPad is nothing close to being the main story. And the stories of the iPad that do appear are not so much about the product as they are about the unfortunate name choice and the resulting laughs that are coming at its expense. I have no doubt that months from now, few of us will remember the meat and potatoes of Obama's speech last night (let alone the gist of it) or that Apple shares will continue to soar and that sales of the iPad will have Jobs laughing all the way to the bank. But I do wonder if Jobs will think about getting his hands on a calendar before making his next big announcement.