For any of us under the age 45, Apple has always been associated with education — from primary to higher education. Jeff Young of the Wired Campus Blog at The Chronicle of Higher Education shares some interesting information and thoughts on Jobs’ departure.
From the early days of the Macintosh, the company ran what it called the Apple University Consortium, an advisory panel of top college officials who got early looks at products and a chance to influence design. The group is now called the University Executive Forum, though the company applies its trademark secrecy about who is involved and what they do.
Martin Ringle, chief technology officer of Reed College, remembers being at a meeting about 10 years ago when Mr. Jobs gave officials a sneak peek at the iPod.
“People around the table said, Well, what does that have to do with higher education?” Mr. Ringle remembers. “He said, Use your imagination. It probably has lots of things to do with education. That’s what you’re here for.” Several university experimented with iPods, which led Apple to create a free service for colleges called iTunesU, designed to store and stream audio and video files for university courses and make lecture recordings available to the public.
Do a lot of companies look to higher education for guidance, inspiration, and creativity? Many of the student gazelles I am following started by marketing to the campus market.