You may have heard that Apple has hired Kevin Lynch be its new vice president of technology. He has previously worked with Apple icons, like Andy Hertzfeld and Bill Atkinson, and lists Steve Jobs among his personal heros. However, his sometimes rabid defense of Flash during his time at Adobe, where he was CTO, has many Apple fans questioning the intelligence of hiring him.
Believe or not, Apple’s new VP of technology can be seen (wearing glasses) blending, blowing up and steamrolling Apple iPhones in a recently rediscovered video. In the professionally produced three and half minute film, a Mythbuster’s parody called “MythHackers,” Lynch plays a starring role.
Further, as Adobe’s CTO at the time, Lynch not only delivered but also authored the company’s attacks on Apple over Flash from 2007 through 2010. Apple’s public counterpunches to Lynch’s bombast were delivered by none other than Steve Jobs who penned Thoughts on Flash, which derided Adobe’s oft malware-infested multimedia middleware.
Flash was created during the PC era – for PCs and mice. Flash is a successful business for Adobe, and we can understand why they want to push it beyond PCs. But the mobile era is about low power devices, touch interfaces and open web standards – all areas where Flash falls short.
To the Apple faithful — prominently Daring Fireball’s John Gruber — whether or not Kevin Lynch is a brilliant and capable leader is perhaps a moot point. Adobe picked and lost a fight with Apple over Flash. Steve Jobs, who has attained virtual sainthood since his death, personally took the lead in that often heated war of words.
Whereas there is no question that Lynch should have defended Adobe’s Flash cause, he threw himself fully into the effort and his failure is all the more spectacular for it. Now, it’s hard to think of Kevin Lynch as anything but that fist-bumping bozo blending an Apple iPhone…
What’s your take?