In February of 2010, a few weeks after Steve Jobs was on stage introducing the iPad for the first time, we were called in to Apple headquarters to present our vision for Inkling to Jobs himself. At that time, Inkling had been in business for about four months, time spent exploring how we can translate and improve the user experience of introductory college textbooks on a new tablet-style device.
Inkling was a team of about eight people at the time. We debated implementing something to run in the simulator to show Steve live, but we weren’t ready. Instead, we came armed with a document, which came to be known internally as the “SteveBook.” This book laid out our vision for the Inkling app and platform. It included ideas for how digital learning content can be made more modular, into “cards” that can be reshuffled depending on whether a student is reading a chapter for the first time or studying and reviewing the material later.
While the v1.0 of the Inkling iPad app that launched six months later was different in some aspects, the initial vision was intact, and the SteveBook still served as an important reference point for several years of the app’s evolution.