During Steve Jobs’ keynote speech at WWDC yesterday, he experienced several technical difficulties. At one point, he attempted to open the New York Times app only to have Safari refuse. The Apple CEO remained calm and cracked jokes about this “never happening.” Some time later, it was revealed that there were more than 570 Wi-Fi base stations operating in the massive room. With every person present connecting to the Internet in some fashion, the presentation couldn’t proceed as planned.
Jobs asked everyone to close laptops and turn off phones and other devices so that they could see the demonstrations he had planned. The audience clapped their approval and some began powering down. Steve told participants that they should police each other and make sure everyone in the room complied. It’s quite clear that many kept right on blogging/tweeting/recording from all of the live feeds still running on the Internet at the time.
CNET captured this video which shows the connection failure drama in its entirety. Many jabs have been taken at Apple and Jobs for this little gaffe. I caution all of you who are jeering to think about any and every conference you have attended. Are you telling me that you have never experienced a glitch like this? It happens all of the time. No conference center (or network) can control things beautifully 100% of the time.
Steve handled the situation with humor and by keeping his cool. I’ve seen other presenters fall apart at the seams over far less.