Mike Evangelist’s expose of how a typical Steve Jobs keynote speech is put together should not be much of a surprise to most Apple observers.
Anyone who has watched one of these shows (and that’s what they are, little shows, with Steve as the sole performer) will have noticed that they are far from improvised; everything is planned in advance, every last detail.
Every last detail:
No detail was overlooked: for example, while rehearsing the iDVD demo, Steve found that the DVD player’s remote control didn’t work from where he wanted to stand on the stage. The crew had to make a special repeater system to make it work.
I’ve commented here before on how impressive it is that the contents of Steve’s keynotes remain as secret as they do. Sure, sometimes things slip out, but on the whole there’s always one or two big surprises.
Mike’s article shows just how many people are involved behind the scenes, not just on the stage during the show, but back at Apple HQ for weeks, even months, beforehand.
Which means that the Cupertino team must be pretty much done by now; all that’s left between now and next Tuesday will be final tweaks, little finishing touches. Whatever rumors you decide to believe (is it me, or are there fewer rumors around this time?), the actual announcements have already been decided upon.
The rumors I have seen have been particularly exciting ideas, such as the widescreen Intel-powered fast-booting iBook, but I’d like to sound a small note of caution. If such a machine doesn’t get announced next week, it’s not the end of the world. It wouldn’t even be bad news. Apple said they were aiming for Intel machines this year; all the stuff about them making unexpectedly rapid progress, and the possibility of new hardware being announced in January, is all just more rumors.
As long as we remember to treat rumors properly - with an appropriate pinch of salt - we won’t be disappointed by next week’s announcement, no matter what it is or how well it has been rehearsed.