I think the point that the interviewee was trying to make was that it doesn't matter the size of your contribution to improving society, it's the fact that you're making an effort to make life better/easier for individuals.
Having struggled with some complete abortions of phone UI's over the years, I know a better UI makes my life easier, and contributes to me feeling less stressed out about using my phone - which considering I use it a lot makes me less stressed in general.
Having said that, I still don't want an iPhone but I think I get the point they are trying to make. Of course it also underscores Trevor Potts main point (Bravo by the way, a good read) as I understand it - which is that to many people the iPhone is the current pinaccle of technology and the interface is close to perfection. To me I find it hard to use and a fancy toy. Everyones different and what's better for one isn't neccessarily better for all.
Of course the upshot of this is that if you try and make life better for everyone, you will fail. There's no possible way to succeed. Sooner or later you need to make the decision about whether you're going to focus on aiding a select minority, or the overall majority. And just to really mix things up - it's not always best to focus on making things better for the majority in my opinion.
After all, who's to say that by pandering to the whims of the masses, we won't doom ourselves into an evolutionary cul-de-sac? Perhaps it's better to focus on a specific minority, who knows? I don't, and I don't pretend to, I just think that it's something that should enter into all decisions.
To give an example, at work there's times I could do things that would make everything easier for the majority of users. On the other hand for a minority it would make things substantially more difficult. The obvious answer is to focus on improving the solution for the majority - on the other hand it is the said minority who contribute the huge majority of revenue to the company. So what is the best solution then?
Just a thought.
I sense this may have gone off on a tangent as so many of my writings do - unfortunately I am rather tired and have yet to have my morning coffee.