(Apple) Pie in the Face
Virtually all of us want to accomplish something significant in our lifetime. Very few will make the marks of winning a Grammy or an Oscar, becoming President, or writing a Pulitzer-worthy book. One of the reasons the people attain such amazing accomplishments (outside of hard work and/or dumb luck) is branding, making their work stand out in a sea of sameness.
Steve Jobs is one of those who can brag (rightfully) about accomplishment, and the branding thereof. He knows how to get his disciples excited. People hear the names of Apple or Steve Jobs and there is no middle ground of indifference; both icons are passionately loved OR hated.
Now Jobs and Apple can add "ridiculed" to their list. Jobs, whose evangelical fervor is touted as the benchmark of presentation skills, seems to have overstepped his bounds with the iPad 2 announcement. Kudos to Seth Weintraub for taking Jobs to task for his misstatements.
Every term from "being first" to "shipping in volume" appeared to be subjected to an alternate reality.
This is the problem with too many accomplishment brands: they don't KEEP IT REAL. If I had a dime for every project that promised things the team KNEW they couldn't deliver... SIGH. I won't even go into the number of "doctored" status reports claiming completed accomplishments (which hadn't even been designed yet). Call it what you want: spin-doctoring, selling to the masses, or ... er... um... I dunno... LYING?
I'm not going to get on a soap-box of morality with this one. From a business perspective, examine your accomplishments. Will it deliver what you say it will deliver? If not, is the message wrong or is the accomplishment flawed? Your message and your accomplishment had better be in alignment; if not, branding your accomplishment will at best be tainted (at worst, failed).
We'll hope Jobs learns his lesson on fact-checking before his next big launch... the marketplace can be pretty unforgiving.