Pre – Apple September 12th Event by Derek Devine

I remember the first Apple event I watched. Steve Jobs famously announced the original iPhone at Macworld in 2007. I didn't know who he was at the time, but I remember being in awe over his meticulous presentation skills. Flashforward today, no one has his charism and thoughtful delivery skills. However, I'm looking forward to Apple's September 12th Event. 

I shattered my Apple Watch screen, so if rumors are true, a new Apple Watch announcement is in the works. A bigger screen, while have the same form factor is the buzz on the web. I was skeptical about the Apple Watch when it first came out as I didn't understand its utility, as the watch is a companion to your phone. However, I found great functionality while tracking my workouts, glanceable notifications, and checking the time. And as an iPhone X owner, I'm not interested in purchasing a new phone. Apple typically announces the "s" predecessors during this cycle and I skip them due to minimal features and to save money. 

The events are still fun to watch/stream, so I'll be having a window open to follow along at work. I used to be extremely religious the day of an Apple event and avoid all news until I got home to watch the stream and pleasantly surprised. But without Jobs, live streaming will sufficient.  

iPhone X, X Months Later by Derek Devine

Today marks X months later since I have been using the iPhone X. Here's how I rate the phone. 

Introduction  

I have used the iPhone X since being released on November 3rd, 2017. The iPhone X has drastically evolved in several categories, however there's a category that is being neglected that is starting to put Apple behind and affecting their ecosystem.  

Design/Fit - 9/10 

iPhone X is what I have been waiting for before I upgraded from my iPhone 6. iPhone X is the perfect combination of phone size (iPhone 6), but with a bigger screen (iPhone 6 Plus). Never been a fan of the iPhone 6 Plus surfboard design (being huge with no purpose). The iPhone X bigger screen in a small form factor is a win. The phone fits perfectly in my hands thanks to the glass on the front and back, and the seamless stainless steel band. Now only if Apple can remove the camera bump, I would give them a 10. If Google can use AI and deep machine learning to produce an equivalent/better photo quality with (1) one camera and (2) smaller camera bump, then Apple needs to work harder. 

Performance - 9/10 

Coming from a slow performing iPhone 6 (now known due to Apple neglecting to inform users of throttling iPhones performance), I can appreciate the snappy-ness of the iPhone X paired with iOS 11. Switching between apps are fast again. Loading apps are fast again. Operating the phone is fast again. The problem is these are all areas that I'm experiencing "again." The performance of every iPhone I have owned slows down after a year and then drastically after 2 years. Apple poorly optimizes the hardware and software with new software updates, which inhibits the performance of older phones. Maybe I'm supposed to upgrade every year? Overall, too early to truly evaluate this category as iPhone's performance historically gets worse after a year and more after 2 years. 

OS/AI - 7/10 

iPhone X weakest area. I'm not a heavy phone user, but when I do use my phone I want TGSD. I wish apps animated faster when opening and closing. When I tap on an app, I want it to appear, no animation. Notification Center is a mess. Multi-tasking is ok. Control center and notification center should be combined. Siri isn't smart, but slow and un-responsive enough to the point of avoidance other than simple task of setting an alarm or timer. Siri is lacking compared to the competition and is putting the ecosystem as risk. Siri is so bad, I don't bother to use it on my mac nor my apple watch, because I have been consistently proven by Siri to fail. 

Display - 10/10

Honestly, the screen is incredible. I have seen Samsung displays and others, but I prefer the controlled, non-saturated colors that Apple illuminates. And the introduction to OLED is welcomed. The screen to body ratio is amazing. The notch is easily forgotten after a few minutes of use for the first time, and then entirely forgotten after a day.  

Battery Life - 10/10 

My phone gets me through the day without charging. What more could you ask for? I guess two days? Overall, too early to truly evaluate this category as phone's battery life are subject to get worse after a year and more after 2 years.  

Overall - 9/10 

After using the iPhone X for X months, I'm satisfied. The ease of transitioning from my iPhone 6 was seamless thanks to iCloud. I was up and going in an hour with no issues. The almost full-screen to body ratio has been a great addition to the iPhone X. The gestures are intuitive to switch between apps and multi-task. However, the iPhone X was the first iPhone I couldn't recommend to everyone as the price is steep and hard to justify. 

Kenneth Chenault on Leadership by Derek Devine

Kenneth Chenault was CEO and Chairman at American Express from 2001 – Feb 2018. Kenneth was CEO for over 16 years and was with the company for over 36 years. I have been following him throughout the years and extremely fond of his leadership ability.  He's straight-forward, engaging, speaks from years of experiences, and has great leadership principles that I practice. Below are the 6 characteristics Kenneth shared that great leaders exhibit. 

  1.   Integrity: Consistency in behavior, actions, and words  

  2.   Courage: Speak-up and give your view. Show that you take things personally  

  3.   Team-Player: Be independent, but STILL a team player  

  4.   Strong Execution Skills: You have to perform and EXECUTE 

  5.   Interested in Developing Others: Do you help develop your peers. Your success depends on your team. 

  6.   Adaptable: Be flexible of solving problems in different ways. The strongest and smartest species don't survive, the ones who adaptive do. 

I can't stress how important these characteristics are, especially #1 & #6. 

Kenneth Chenault Quotes: 

  • On Leadership: "Define reality and give hope” 
  • On Diversity: "When you hire people that are different, you tend to see more people that are different at your company" 
  • On Communication: “Tell people the truth, and don’t talk down to people” 
  • On Building a Good Brand: "Brands are about bringing an emotional and rational connection together"  
  • On Feedback: "Internal and external feedback are important. For external feedback I ask people, ‘What do you think we’re doing wrong?' to get other perspectives" 
  • On Personal Growth: “You are your personal brand” 

Sources: 1234