Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Seeding the Apple Way

I've been wanting to say this for a longest time.

Of course, I hope that Apple is successful - that Steve Jobs created a viable business model that will follow in his footsteps.

But I also fervently hope that now that Apple is the biggest company in the world, that someone - anyone - will wake up and try to emulate the way Apple is thinking rather than merely copying what Apple is doing. In other words, I hope that business become more like Apple because I think it would make businesses better and would make the world a better place in which to live.

For Love or Money?

Steve Jobs did not do what he did because he loved money. He made money because he did what he loved. There's a difference.

Is Android Disrupting Apple?

As this point in time, has Android caused Apple to sell even one less phone or make one less dollar in profit? The only battle that Android is winning (not won) is market share in a market that is still growing by leaps and bounds. With the exception of the patent lawsuits, Android hasn't made Apple change its iPhone strategy one iota.

So has Android disrupted Apple? Not hardly.

Improving What Is v. Creating What Should Be

I would say that Steve Jobs didn't think about products. He thought about categories or industries. With the iPod, Apple didn't try to make a better MP3 device, they tried to make a better music industry. With the iPhone, Apple didn't try to make a better phone, they tried to create a pocket sized computer. With the iPad, Apple didn't try to make a better netbook, nor even a better tablet. Apple tried to create a category of portable computers.

The reason Apple reinvents every market it enters is because it doesn't try to improve on what exists. It tries to create what they think should exist.

The Definition of Innovation

Many people don't understand the definition of "innovation". Innovation is not measured by the "newness" of its parts, but by the newness of how those parts are used.

The person who figured out how to make fire by rubbing two sticks together did not discover sticks. He did not discover fire. He just took something old and used it in a new, in a different way. THAT is innovation. And what Steve Jobs did was innovation too.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Patent Purgatory

Here's what's happening in the patent wars.

Android Advocates hate Apple because Apple is being sued by so many others. This, they say, is proof that Apple is a thief and evil.

Android Advocates hate Apple because Apple is suing so many others. This, they say, is proof that Apple is anti-competitve and evil.

Android advocates don't give a damn about patent litigation and they don't give a damn about being fair mined. They just hate Apple. The end.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Android's Fall from Grace

Via Foss Patents:
The Federal Court of Australia ordered an interim injunction against Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1 over strong suspicions of the infringement of two technical invention patents.
The patents at issue are not tablet-specific. They are very broad and can hardly be worked around, unlike various other intellectual property rights that Apple asserted and Samsung recently engineered around.
Not tablet specific. Can't be worked around. Sounds like real trouble for all tablet makers.
After today's decision, I believe no company in the industry be able to launch any new Android-based touchscreen product in Australia anytime soon without incurring a high risk of another interim injunction. The two patents on which today's ruling is based aren't Galaxy Tab 10.1-specific at all. They will affect all Android-based smartphones and tablet computers, across all vendors.
Google's cavalier attitude toward other companies' intellectual property is starting to backfire in seriously harmful ways. Samsung is only the first Android OEM to suffer serious economic damage by not being able to launch products in certain markets.
Off the top of my head, I can think of at least 5 reasons why Android might be nearing its end:

  1.  It's a failed business model that doesn't make anyone any sustainable profits.
  2. The purchase of Motorola by Google has ended Android's licensing model and initiated the integrated model. I think Google has even less chance of creating a successful integrated Android product than Microsoft had with the Zune. Furthermore, the purchase of Motorola has lit a fire under every other Android manufacturer as they desperately seek to separate themselves from Android before Google cuts them off in favor of Motorola.
  3. License fees paid by Android manufacturers means that Android is no longer "free".
  4. The Oracle suit. A potential nuclear bomb that may end Android altogether.
  5. The various Apple injunctions which may make it impossible for various Android products to even reach the market.
Android is unraveling. It now appears that it's only a matter of how fast and how hard it falls.


Tipping Point

From  Philip Elmer-DeWit of Apple 2.0:

Gartner: Mac grew 20 times faster than the PC market in Q3. IDC gives Apple an even bigger edge, with Mac's U.S. shipments outpacing PCs 80 to 1.

Malcolm Gladwell defined a tipping point as "the moment of critical mass, the threshold, the boiling point." Of course, we normally don't recognize the tipping point until after it has long since passed. Have we reached a "tipping point" with the Mac? I would contend that we passed the tipping point long ago.

I've often wondered what it would take to return the Mac to the mainstream. Twenty years ago, the Mac entered a vicious cycle - a death spiral - that few products ever recover from. The Mac was viewed as a toy, and then a niche product and then, worst of all, as a product that was doomed - destined to disappear forever. In the world of platforms, where software is crucial and developers only develop software if they think there will be sufficient customers to pay them for their products, loss of confidence in the sustainability of the platform is a death sentence. But Apple's fanatical following kept the platform alive - against all odds, against all common wisdom, against all common sense. Slowly, painfully, inch-by-inch, step-by-step,  Steve Jobs halted  and then reversed this patten. The Mac moved from a death spiral to a virtuous cycle. And then, the Mac's integrated business model leveraged its modest market share into massive profit share. If this wasn't a miracle, it's about as close to one as it gets.

Now the Mac's profit share is not only growing, it is growing by leaps and bounds, a sure sign that sales have passed the "tipping point" and propelled the Mac into the mainstream. So what does this mean? It means that you ain't seen nothing yet. The Mac isn't just outgrowing the PC hardware market, its growth is accelerating. The stigma that Macs were doomed has long since passed. And the stigma that Macs were niche products has passed too, allowing consumers and even businesses to buy Macs without hesitation, without feeling that they have to somehow justify their purchases either to their bosses or to their spouse or tot themselves. And the stigma that Macs are just toys? Well, if by "toy" people mean that their Macs are fun to use, then perhaps the Mac will never outgrow - will never want to outgrow - that "stigma".

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Something's broken alright

More Thurrott via Daring Fireball:
I have one prediction of my own. And that is that Apple will completely revamp the very much broken external antenna design that it saddled iPhone 4 users with.
You mean the "broken" external antenna that allowed Apple to sell 20.3 million iPhone 4's last quarter alone, up from the 8.4 million on the iPhone 3GS that had a "working" antenna? THAT broken antenna?

Funny thing about that "broken" antenna. I never heard any of Apple's customer's complaining about it. Just Pundits and self-proclaimed experts.

Too easy

Wendy Li via Daring Fireball
However, when iPhone 4S was launched, Apple fans were disappointed somehow, for they were expecting the redesigned iPhone 5 as rumors suggested. Naturally, many analysts had predicted a subdued response to iPhone 4S. 
But no one foresaw that the tech genius Jobs would suddenly pass away, only one day after iPhone 4S was released. Jobs’ demise stirred sadness and grief around the world and it’s believed that Jobs’ untimely death has rocketed demand for iPhone 4S from consumers.
Paul Thurrott via Daring Fireball
Apple’s lackluster iPhone 4S garnered more than 1 million preorders in its first 24 hours of availability, though much of that is likely tied to the delayed launch. 
Pundits say the iPhone 4S is lackluster so sales will be lackluster. Sales are spectacular. Do Pundits admit they were wrong? Of course not. They look for a way to explain why their reasoning was correct but their conclusions were wrong. "The lackluster phone sold well? Must have been Steve Jobs' death. Must have been the delayed launch."

How about iPhone 4S sales were great because Apple's customers think that it would be great to own the iPhone 4S?

Nah, too easy.

Believing in what Apple already knows

We use the phrase "they don't get it" far too often, but I have to admit that when I see the way investors, analysts, and pundits view Apple, I honestly do believe that they truly don't understand Apple at all.

This is not new. People didn't understand Apple back in the 80's either. The difference then was that Apple fell from grace and the critics were quick to say "I told you so". Apple doesn't conform to the norms? Well, Apple failed, proof positive that the old guard was right and the radical teachings of Steve Jobs was merely a passing fad.

But what about now? Apple has the largest market cap in the free world. In fact, their market cap exceeds their nearest competitor by hundreds of billions of dollars. Their brand is revered, their products are ubiquitous and their profits are outrageous. By any measure, Apple is not only a success, but they are the epitome of success.

Yet, just as in the 80's, Apple generates nothing but doubt from outside observers. They still think that Apple is "doing it wrong". "Yeah, sure," they say, "Apple may be on top today, but their business model is fatally flawed and Apple is doomed to fail."

One doesn't trust what one doesn't understand. One doesn't understand unless one seeks knowledge. One doesn't seek knowledge when one believes that all the answers are known and that they know all the answers.

Why don't the pundits believe in Apple? Because what Apple is doing is unbelievable. Literally. The pundits are not going to start to understand Apple, to trust Apple, to believe in Apple, until they stop knowing what they already believe and start believing in what Apple already knows.

We were promised jetpacks

From Mark Gongloff:
Apple shares have climbed back to $400, up nearly 3% today, as analysts cheer word that people are actually interested in buying the iPhone 4S.
Apple shares have rallied hard in recent days, which some called a tribute to the late Steve Jobs, but also driven by word that there might be more demand for the iPhone 4S than the “we were promised jetpacks” crowd realized. 
There's a certain class of people who insist that Apple is failing because they never live up to their unfair and unrealistic expectations. The label "'We were promised jetpacks' crowd" cleverly and succinctly sums up their nature.

Once you go Apple, you never go back

From Tony Bradly at PC World
Last week was a huge week for Apple. First the iPhone 4S was unveiled and met with criticism that it wasn't an iPhone 5. Then Steve Jobs passed away. Then Apple and its wireless providers shattered previous records by pre-selling a million of the "disappointing" iPhone 4Ss on Friday. One thing that didn't seem to get the attention it deserves is the iPhone 3GS.  
But, the big news is that people can get an iOS smartphone for free with a two-year contract with the iPhone 3GS.
Not sure I would say that a free 3GS was THE big news, but it was very big news indeed. At $49 dollars, the 27 month old iPhone 3GS was the second best selling smart phone in the world. Now its free. Expect the 3GS to continue to be popular.

That's all well and good. But the big news is that with Apples high satisfaction numbers, with Apple's high retention ratings, those who buy an Apple product - any Apple product - may never want to buy anything else ever again.

Disappoints Who?

From Nick Mokey , June 8, 2009, via John Gruber at Daring Fireball:
Apple iPhone 3GS Disappoints at 2009 WWDC. A better camera, overpriced memory upgrade and a compass aren't really cutting it for us.
Hmm. Sounds mighty familiar.

Apple products always seem to disappoint but Apple products always seem to sell well. Isn't that a paradox? Perhaps the better way to put it would be to say that Apple products always seem to disappoint the pundits, but always to more than satisfy Apple's intended customers.

Picture Perfect

Peter Sichel of Sustainable Software:
Apple didn't design the hardware to match some feature checklist, they designed it to make their software amaze and delight customers, to create an emotional connection that effects peoples lives. To compare the iPhone or iPad to other products primarily on their hardware specifications is not representative of the quality of experience users are likely to have with the product.
iOS 5 comes out tomorrow. Across the blogasphere, the Anything But Apple crowd shouts loud and clear that iOS 5 simply copies features that their phones already have. But is that really the case?

Android creates a collage, Apple paints a picture. The Android approach is to pile feature upon feature upon feature, one atop another. The advantage of this approach is that, well, you get lots and lots of features. For many, this is exactly what is wanted.

Apple does things differently. They see features as merely pieces to a giant, constantly expanding puzzle. Rather than looking at what their devices do and adding from there, they look at what their devices can do for their customers and work their way backwards. Features are not added to enhance their products, features are added to enhance their customers.

Apple does not add a feature until it both fits and adds to the overall picture. This can lead to tremendous user frustration. Apple's features often come out late or, sometimes, not at all. But, as the Apple advocates like to point out, "It just works". What they mean by this is that the features in an Apple device are (mostly) part of a seamless whole, not just dots that the users have to connect themselves.

So, back to the original question: "Is iOS 5 merely copying features that already exist elsewhere?" Not hardly. Apple doesn't build superior features. Apple builds superior phones. Not only will each of the features of iOS 5 work and work well, but they'll all work together.

Apple doesn't always do things right away but they have a habit of doing things the right way. And for many - even for most - that's more than good enough. And really, who wants to settle for good enough?

Android strives to build the biggest collage.  Apple strives to be picture perfect.

Monday, October 10, 2011

All I want for Christmas is smarter analysis

From John Dvorak:
Data indicates that early Christmas shoppers are preordering the Amazon's new Kindle Fire tablet faster than you can say “Tickle Me Elmo.” Various tablet computers will top nearly every Christmas wish list. Therefore, it is very likely that Apple will roll out the iPad 3 by the holiday.
No it's not. The iPhone was on an annual cycle until that cycle was extended this past year. The iPad too is on an annual cycle. Apple is not putting out a new iPad only six months after their latest model.
The iPad and Kindle Fire are not the only hot tickets, either. HP seems to have “found” more of its tablets, which it will continue to sell for $99.  
You're kidding, right? The HP tablet has been discontinued and is being sold off to deplete inventory. That's what you call a "hot ticket"?
A lot of people thought the pad would be all they would need, but finally bought a new laptop computer as a more sensible traveling computer. 
I'm sure some people have done that, but a "lot of people"? Proof? Source?
The Apple mavens demonstrate this the best as they often own each and every Apple product—a phenomenon that tends to skew numbers and foil market research. They have every iPad, every iPhone, and at least two Macintosh computers. 
For God's sake, John, just retire already. Not only are you embarrassing yourself, but we're all embarrassed for you.

Choosing choices

Speaking with The Seattle Times yesterday, Lees, president of Microsoft's Windows Phone division, said he believes Apple missed an opportunity with the iPhone 4S. Comparing the new iPhone with Mango-enabled Windows Phone devices, Lees expressed surprise that Apple didn't give consumers more choice in terms of the hardware. 
Those consumers apparently don't see eye-to-eye with Lees. This morning, Apple announced that it logged 1 million preorders for the iPhone 4S in the first 24 hours it was on sale.
It's dogma on the web that "more choice is always better." Maybe in government. But not in marketing.

(In the Paradox of Choice) Barry Schwartz aptly demonstrates that having too many things to choose from often leads to the consumer feeling bewildered when facing the choice, and less satisfied even after taking a decision. He cites studies that indicate people are less likely to buy a product when faced with too many choices. 
One of the more important examples cited is that of 401k plans. The more fund choices offered by employers offering matching 401k plans, the fewer people actually selected any fund at all, even though that meant foregoing ‘free’ money.
In sales, choice is a strategy, not a moral imperative.

Bigger is not necessarily better

From Sebastiaan de With
Android phone manufacturers need to stop treating screen size as if it was penis size.
The importance of screen size is subjective. It's a preference. Tens of million of iPhone owners have voted with their dollars and have elected the 3.5 inch screen. Where do people get off saying that "bigger is better" when so very many people feel otherwise?

Your opinion is not a fact, its just an opinion and your preferences are not necessarily my preferences.

Putrid Pundits

The pundits just don't get it. They criticized the iPod, the iPhone, the iPhone 3G, the iPhone 3GS, the iPhone 4, the iPhone 4S, the iPad and the iPad 2. Then they're stunned when they get it wrong. Since they don't understand Apple they think that Apple cannot be understood. Rather than concede that they were wrong, they blame consumers for being stupid. I know who the stupid one's are. And it's not the consumers.

Analyze this

Apple PR:
Apple® today announced pre-orders of its iPhone® 4S have topped one million in a single day, surpassing the previous single day pre-order record of 600,000 held by iPhone 4.
Wise words from SplatF's Dan Frommer:
...remember this for the future, technology “experts” and skeptics: Normal people don’t really care about model numbers or cosmetic changes! Or they wouldn’t be ordering iPhones in record numbers.

Be in-"considerate"

Netflix is “still considering” game rentals, a rep says by email.
Never tell anyone that you're "considering" something. Either do it or don't talk about it.

Microsoft Lowers Flags to Half-Staff in Tribute to Steve Jobs

Classy. Very classy.

Steve Jobs was not a dictator, you're just being a dick...tator.

You think Jobs exercised censorship and authoritarianism? You think Jobs was a dictator? Apparently, you don't understand that words have meanings.

Dictator: a ruler with total power over a country, typically one who has obtained power by force.

Has Jobs obtained power over you by force? No he has not. Has Jobs obtained power over his customers by force? No he has not. Can you choose whether or not you use Apple's products? Yes, you can.

Jobs controlled Apple with an iron fist. But you don't have to - never had to - deal with Apple. You have freedom of choice. And tens of millions of people freely choose to buy Apple's products. That's hardly the mark of a dictator or a dictatorship. That's the mark of a successful business.

It's the interface, stupid

Steve Jobs is rightfully credited with many insights and many advances in technology. But here's a different way of looking at Jobs' contributions to computing.




Before Jobs, everyone interfaced with their computer by using their keyboards. The Mac popularized the mouse driven interface. The iPad popularized the touch driven interface. Now the iPhone 4S is on the verge of popularizing the voice driven interface.

Jobs didn't revolutionize the computer - he revolutionized how we INTERACTED with the computer. And each advance made the interaction between man and computer less computer like and more liked by humans.

Customer's disappointed with iPhone 4S? Not so much.

Apple's iPhone 4S breaks early order record; Mon Oct 10, 2011

More than a million people placed early orders on Friday for Apple Inc's latest iPhone, the last product the company debuted before the death of its co-founder Steve Jobs. 
Orders for the iPhone 4S, which will appear on store shelves this Friday, surpassed Apple's previous one-day record of 600,000 sales for the iPhone 4, pushing the company's shares up 5 percent to close at $388.81 on the Nasdaq stock market. 
The new phone disappointed some fans,,,
Apparently, it didn't disappoint very many customers.
...when Apple introduced it last week, but it is proving to be a bigger draw because more telephone companies are carrying it and it will appear in more countries, analysts said.
Or, it would have still sold 1 million units even if it had only been sold in the U.S.
Another big factor may be Jobs. Massive outpourings of grief and sympathy over his death last Wednesday at the age of 56, along with testaments to his genius and status as a visionary business leader in the media and by Apple products users online may have spurred sales.
Or, it would have sold 1 million units anyway.
"Many potential Apple customers, who have been on the fences before, will probably now want to (buy) it," said Steven Osinski, marketing professor at San Diego State University. 
Or. there weren't as many customers on the fence as you thought.
"It's no different than when John Lennon was assassinated, sales of Beatles records shot up for a little while."
Actually, it's very different. The Beatles hadn't put out an album in over a decade before John Lennon's death. Apple announced the iPhone 4S on the Tuesday before Jobs' death. People aren't buying the iPhone 4 because Jobs died. They are buying it because they want to own the iPhone 4S.
The initial skepticism from fans on the iPhone 4S was overridden by their desire to honor Jobs, said Barbara Sullivan, Managing Partner of Sullivan, a branding and marketing agency.
Who was initially skeptical again? The customers who bought 1 million pre-order units or just the pundits?
"It had everything people wanted. The market was disappointed, but the customers looked past the headline to see the content of the device itself," said Hudson Square analyst Daniel Ernst.
Spot on. There's a disconnect between what the people want and what the market thinks the people want.
Analyst Colin Gillis said Apple still has a long way to go to meet Wall Street's sales expectations.
"It's not the first million. We know there's a large loyal base of users."
Lord, I'm so sick of this argument. Apple's only sells well because it has a large loyal base of users? But last quarter, the then 12 month old iPhone 4 went from 8.4 million units in the previous June quarter to 20.3 million units - a year-over-year growth of 142%. You can't get 142% growth from Apple's "large loyal base of users". Growth like that comes from people who have never previously purchased an iPhone - and possibly have never previously purchased an Apple product - before.
They need to sell more than 20 million of these in this quarter to hit estimates," said Gillis. "Apple needs to break records to hit expectations."
So let's get this straight. The iPhone 4S "underwhelms" but it must break records to meet expectations? I'd say that those are some pretty unrealistic expectations...except for the fact that Apple is going to, once again, smash them.

Long term thinking...not

Netflix aborts Qwikster
...which they just announced. Way to think things through.

One can compete and still be classy

Samsung Delays Nexus Prime Launch After Jobs' Death
This move might have been done in order to avoid the unseemly spectacle of celebrating a new, competing product on the heels of Steve Jobs' death...

...but in my book, it was a class act.

Job's Death Increases Stupidity among know-nothing analysts

At a meeting with Apple Inc. finance chief Peter Oppenheimer this year, investor Kishore Rao asked the company to tap its billions in cash to pay a dividend. 
Oppenheimer had heard the request before and explained that Apple is keeping its powder dry for "strategic opportunities," without elaborating on what those could be, Rao said. The stock had almost doubled in the year before that meeting, and Oppenheimer argued Apple has been a good steward of its cash and investments, currently worth $76.2 billion. 
The drumbeat to open that treasure chest may now grow louder following the Oct. 5 death of Steve Jobs, Apple's former chief executive officer. 
"They don't need all that cash," said Keith Goddard, CEO of Tulsa, Oklahoma-based Capital Advisors Inc., whose largest holding is Apple. "It won't change their growth rate to pay a dividend."
Question: Who is in a better position to decide how to spend that $76.2 billion in cash: the company that earned it or the analyst who has done nothing but whine about it?

I'm sure that if Apple had listened to Keith Goddard's advice over the past five years, there would be no argument as to how best to distribute Apple's 76.2 billion in cash reserves because there would BE no 76.2 billion in cash reserves.

Man bites Mac

Mac OS X Lion drove me to Windows 7 - Joe Wilcox

Question: What do the following three things have in common:

-Man bites dog.
-Mac owner moves to Windows PC.
-Joe Willcox makes sense.

Answer: Three things that almost never happen.

Apple Shock

Apple's impact, which Joanne Chien, senior analyst at Digitimes Research named as "Apple Shock", has expand along with the global economic downturn, sending waves across the PC industry causing a reconstruction in all areas from market scale, brand operation and supply chain structure.
So apparently, this is what losing the PC wars feels like.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Distorting the reality field

Some things are subjective, some things are objective. One of the great shortcomings of mankind is that we often think that the subjective is the objective; that our opinions are facts; that what is good for me is necessarily good for thee. Just as egregious is our tendency to think that facts are merely a matter of opinion, a simple preference. You have facts that contradict mine? Well, they don't count because you're a fanboy or you're biased or you're paid to say that. Of course, none of those ad hominem attacks change the profound truth that facts are still facts no matter who says them or why they say them.

I'm glad there are choices. This is the true "open" a word that so many people abuse. An "open" government means that we get to choose who governs us. An "open" economic system means that we get to choose what we sell and what we buy. But an "open" company is neither of those things. It's merely a licensing model, a strategy, neither good nor evil, neither right nor wrong.

Do you like Windows Phone 7? Good for you. Do you like Android phones? Good for you. Do you like Apple branded phones? Good for you. The beauty of an "open" economic system is that you get to pick and choose your favorite product rather than being told which one you have to buy and use.

But please stop telling me that your phone is better than mine unless you have some objective criteria to back that up. I like chocolate, you like vanilla. Is vanilla better than chocolate? Better for you perhaps. Vanilla sells much better than chocolate. Does that mean that vanillas is better? More popular, yes. That's a fact. Better for me, no. That's a preference.

Does it come as a surprise to us that Android phones are favored by those that like to tinker with their phones? It shouldn't. Does it come as a surprise to us that Apple phones are favored by people who don't want to tinker with their phone; by those who value their time more than their money; by those who just want a phone that will to do its job so that they can get on with the job of living their lives? It shouldn't.

My only objection to Android Advocates is their suggestion that "open" is somehow morally superior; that "open" will inevitably defeat closed; that everyone who doesn't choose what they choose is necessarily wrong or stupid or both.

Oh, and one more thing I hate about the Anything But Apple crowd. Whenever they're proven wrong; whenever the facts are against them; whenever Apple is successful despite that ardent protests that Apple isn't successful or CAN NOT be successful; rather than revising their opinions to conform with reality, they revise reality to conform with their opinions.

-"There's a special class of people that will buy Apple products no matter what." Really? Where did this "special class of people" come from. Why does it exist? Why doesn't any other comapny have this mythical mystical fan base?

-"People who buy Apple products are stupid." Really? Because they like something that you don't like? Because their numbers grow every day? Because, overall, they're more satisfied with their purchase than other phone owners are satisfied with theirs? Doesn't sound to me like Apple owners are very stupid.

-"It's all clever marketing." Really? Why can't the company you favor get better marketing? What magical power does Apple have that they are the only ones who have this superior marketing of which you speak? If Apple's marketing is so magical and infallible, why does Apple have failures as well as successes? And why hasn't Apple's marketing overwhelmed you if its so irresistible?

-"Apple's customers are controlled by a reality distortion field." Really? A mythical, magical, hypnotic power exudes from Apple and only Apple? A power akin to witchcraft, a power founded on superstition and ignorance? That power?

You like your product and I'll like mine. But stop telling me what's best for me. And stop telling me that no one is buying Apple products or that Apple is failing or is inevitably doomed. All the facts, all the evidence contradicts that opinion. When Apple succeeds despite your fervent protestations, despite your ardent wishes that it not be so, stop telling me that it cannot be and start asking yourself, "What does Apple know that I don't?"

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Apple was Steve Jobs' greatest creation

Did you notice that the presenters did no tribute to Steve? No homage. They scrupulously avoided mentioning him. Or even referencing him by imitating his presentation style or delivery. There was one moment, near the end, when they introduced Siri, their crowning achievement. It was then that they could have - almost felt like they should have - employed the "one more thing" mantra that Steve Jobs had made so famous. But they didn't copy him. They didn't emulate him. No pale imitation of the phrase that Steve Jobs had redefined, just as he had redefined so many things in his life. The presentation carried on without out him. Without referencing him. Because that is what Jobs would have wanted.

Steve Jobs was a showman. He was a private man. He was incredibly arrogant. He was incredibly humble. He was an egotist. Yet he put the needs of his company ahead of his ego. Perhaps it was because he was prouder of his company than he was even of himself. When it came time for Apple to present the future or to honor the man who had created that future, Apple choose the former. Because that is what Jobs would have wanted.

The tribute that all those who participated in the event paid to Steve Jobs - the last event to occur in his lifetime - was to carry on. To focus on Apple and not on the man who had single handedly raised Apple from the dead. To focus on the result of their efforts and not on the efforts themselves.To focus on the future and not the past. To focus on what would be and not on what would soon be no more.

Of all the things that Steve Jobs created, Apple may be his most important creation of all. Steve Jobs was leaving Apple forever, but he wanted Apple to carry on when he was gone. Steve didn't want Apple to end even though he was so near his end. If he had built Apple right, then Apple would continue without him. So that's what the presenters did. They continued without out him. Because that is what Jobs would have wanted.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

RIP Steve Jobs

He made my life better. What greater compliment can I pay the man?

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Saying no

"...it comes from saying no to 1,000 things to make sure we don’t get on the wrong track or try to do too much..." - Steve Jobs
This quote is said so often that it starts to lose its meaning. So let me approach it from an angle that you may have never considered.

The greatest time management tool in the world is saying "no". We all want to do too much. We all want to say yes to our family, our friends, our boss or our customers. But every time we say "yes", we unintentionally say "no" to something else. And that something else is probably something that we already determined was important.

Figure out what's important. Schedule plenty of time - too much time - to get it done. After all, its important. And say no to anything that would take time from it.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Make it easy for customers to give you their money

"Duh!", right? Well if it's that obvious, then why aren't you doing it?

My parents shop at a store that sells crafts. There's always a long line. There's always a long line because it takes for-freakin-forever to pay the store. I don't know what system they're using in that store, but I do know that their system doesn't work. I'd rather have my fingernails pulled out than shop in that store. It would take less time.

Have you ever bought anything in a furniture store? Have you ever financed your purchase? Heaven help you. You wander around for hours picking out the perfect sofa and then you sit around for hours trying to pay for it. And all the time you're thinking, "I want to give you $500, why won't you take it?"

How do you buy things from Apple?

Step one: You click the "buy" button.
Step two: (there is no step two).

Examine how your customers pay you. Reduce the process to the least number of steps possible. Then make of the steps as small as possible. Don't make it hard for your customers to give you their money. It's not polite and it's not smart.

Easier for me or easier for thee?

There's a hidden lesson is the following story:
Throughout the information age, the corporate I.T. department has stood at the chokepoint of office technology with a firm hand on what equipment and software employees use in the workplace. 
They are now in retreat. Employees are bringing in the technology they use at home and demanding the I.T. department accommodate them. The I.T. department often complies. 
Some companies have even surrendered to what is being called the consumerization of I.T. At Kraft Foods, the I.T. department’s involvement in choosing technology for employees is limited to handing out a stipend. Employees use the money to buy whatever laptop they want from Best Buy, Amazon.com or the local Apple store.
So, should you join the consumerization movement? Maybe. Should you should revise your I.T. polices? Almost certainly. Should you revile your I.T. department? That's a personal decision. But none of those is the lesson I'm shooting for.

What the above story should be telling you is that the biggest bottleneck to productivity in your company is probably...you. It's not just the I.T. department that chokes employee productivity. The productivity of you and the business you're in depends upon the questions that you ask yourself every morning.

What's the difference between the beginning of the above story and the end? In the beginning of the story, the I.T. department was asking, "How can I make things easier for me?" At the end of the story, the I.T. department was asking, "How can I make things easier for my customers (the employees)?" And don't fool yourself. We're not just talking about the I.T department here. Every business branch, every employee, has a tendency to ask themselves, "How can I make things easier for me?"

One of the things I've always admired about Apple is how simple and easy their products are to use. Their products almost always work exactly the the way I think they should. What a gift.

Do you think that Apple creates those products by saying, "how can I make things easier for me?" No way. The question Apple asks is, "how can I make things easier for our customers?" They take responsibility for making our lives less complex. They take responsibility for making our lives easier. They make their lives more complex and they do all the hard work so that we can enjoy the simplicity and the ease of use that their products afford.

Be like Apple. Ask yourself, "how can I make things easier for others?"

Don't give your own presentations

Do you run your organization? Do you give your company's presentations? Do you think that's a good idea? Because it's probably not.

Steve Jobs was the CEO of the company he founded and during his tenure he presided over all of Apple's important events. But his being CEO is not why he gave Apple's presentations.
Steve Jobs didn’t run Apple’s keynotes because he was the company’s CEO; he ran them because he was the company’s best presenter.
Exactly. Don't have the CEO do the presentations. Have the best presenter do the presentations. If that person happens to be the CEO, so be it.

And by the way, that advice is just as germane to every aspect of your organization. Don't assign tasks strictly by title. Assign them by merit.

Write Right

Good writing is important. Maybe crucial. For an example of good communication, take a look at Steve Jobs' resignation letter, below:
To the Apple Board of Directors and the Apple Community: I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple's CEO, I would be the first to let you know. Unfortunately, that day has come. 
I hereby resign as CEO of Apple. I would like to serve, if the Board sees fit, as Chairman of the Board, director and Apple employee. 
As far as my successor goes, I strongly recommend that we execute our succession plan and name Tim Cook as CEO of Apple. 
I believe Apple's brightest and most innovative days are ahead of it. And I look forward to watching and contributing to its success in a new role. 
I have made some of the best friends of my life at Apple, and I thank you all for the many years of being able to work alongside you.

Simple. Plain. Short. Expressive. Sincere. An easy to under message that flows from the top to bottom.

Now compare that with the following letter to Yahoo's employees from the Yahoo's management team,
What Yahoo! needs to do better — and we’ve talked about this — is accelerate innovation, reignite inspiration, and give our users what they want now — great content that is engaging and easy-to-use on any device and provides an experience in which they can participate and contribute.
Inspiring stuff, right? Makes you want to run through a brick wall for the company, right?
At this point, we cannot offer many specifics about the Board’s review; we’ve just gotten started.
If you can't provide any specifics, then why have you penned this long, long letter?
Our advisers are working with us to develop ideas that we will pursue proactively.
Pursue proactively? Did you think that we would assume that you were going to pursue things lethargically?
At the same time, they are fielding inquiries from multiple parties that have already expressed interest in a number of potential options. We will take the time we need to select and structure the best approach for the company, its shareholders and employees.
Translation: The company is up for sale.
You are instrumental to the success of our business — we can’t do it without you. While we will move with a sense of urgency, this process will take time. Months, not weeks. We know that’s a lot of potential distraction, but we believe it will be worth the wait.
Note the last half of the last sentence: "we believe it will be worth the wait." Not "it will be worth the wait (for you)." The management team is talking how waiting will benefit themselves, not the Yahoo employees.

If you are a glutton for punishment, you can read all three Yahoo letters here.

A couple of tips on clear writing. Drop the jargon. Drop the buzz words. Drop the acronyms. Take the time and make the effort to keep it short. Finally, writing, like most things, is a habit. If you use jargon, buzzwords and acronyms with your colleagues, you'll use them when you communicate with your clients and the public too. You can't write well some of the time. You have to learn how to write well all of the time.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

We make money to make more movies

Walt Disney: “We don’t make movies to make money, we make money to make more movies.”
Now substitute what you are truly passionate about for the word "movies". If you're not making money to make more "movies", then stop doing what you're doing and start doing that.

And here's the nice ironic twist. I guarantee you that if you make money to make more "movies" that you'll make more money. And you'll be happier, which is kind of nice too.

Why do people hate Apple?

Spoiler alert: I don't know the answer.

MacDailyNews published an amazing story today in which Apple's customer service team went way above and beyond the call of duty. I don't want to quote it here and steal their thunder. Click the title of this piece to link to the original story.

Back to our question: Why do people hate Apple?

- Apple provides excellent customer service.
- Apple products always have the highest user satisfaction ratings.
- Apple's innovations are literally life changing and always in a good way.
- Apple isn't a dictatorship. If you don't like their products, you're free to shop somewhere else.

I know that it's human nature for a certain portion of the population to rebel against whoever is on top. Even Apple may have benefitted from this tendency during the dark days when Microsoft seemed both omnipotent and omnipresent. But I still don't really understand the venom that spews from Apple's detractors.

As I said to start this post, I don't have an answer...yet. But I'm going to think on this and I suspect that, with some time and with some focused thought, an answer may come to me. If you think you have an answer now, please chime in. I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Relentless Kaizen

Apple basically has 4 products (iPod, iPhone, iPad, Mac). Their core competency is integrating hardware and software to create a great user experience. Apple spends most all of their time using their core competency to polish their products.

Amazon has millions of products. They are the exact opposite of Apple, right?

Wrong. Amazon's "product" is their web site. Their core competency is making online shopping easy. Amazon spends most all of their time using their core competency to polish their service.

What's your core competency? Are you constantly polishing your product or service?

Constant consistency

Here’s the thing about Apple’s “recent” success. 
It isn’t recent. 
The only thing that has changed are some numbers. Some big numbers: largest company in the world, second most profitable company in the world, most profitable retail stores in the world, best-selling smart phone, second best-selling smart phone, best-selling tablet computer, etc. 
Other numbers have not changed: customer satisfaction, customer loyalty, consumer ratings, etc.
Man oh man, is that analysis spot on.

Do you have a philosophy and a plan that will be just as good and just as relevant ten years from now as it is today?

Apple keeps its customers in line(s)

Once again, Apple draws huge crowds to their grand opening of China’s biggest Apple Retail Store in Shanghai. Click the link to see the pictures.

What can we learn from this?

I used to ask business owners if their customers were so loyal that they would tattoo the name of their company on their bodies. People laughed. Then I directed their attention to Harley Davidson. Now THAT's customer loyalty.

Today when I want to talk about customer loyalty, I point to Apple. They get huge lines for most everything they do. Who else draws lines most every time they debut a product or open a store? Wouldn't you kill for customers like that? Well here's how you get that kind of customer loyalty.

If you want your customers to be passionate about your goods or your services, then you have to be passionate about providing your customers with the ver best. If you want your customers to to be fanatically loyal to you then you need to be loyal to them in everything you do.

It's hard to do. It's crucial that you do it. Apple doesn't GET loyal and passionate customers, Apple earns them. Take a look at your customers. You always get the customers you deserve. If you don't like your customers, you need to stop blaming them and you need to start working on you.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Disruption is the name of the game

(Disney's) dismal efforts in gaming have been tied to expensive failures created for console games, particularly Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Sony's PlayStation 3. Those titles require hundreds of programmers and take two to three years to finish, the company said.
Mobile games, on the other hand, can be created by teams of fewer than a dozen, and can be brought to market in about six months. 
The thing about a disruptive product is that you never know what it's going to hit next.  Predicting that the iPhone was going to change the phone industry and the carriers was easy. But a disruptive product is like throwing a large stone in a small pond. The waves just keep extending further and further and further.

Today's disrupted industry? Gaming.

Critics mocked initial observations that Apple's iPhone could possibly challenge dedicated mobile game devices like the Nintendo DS and Sony PSP two years ago, but now the App Store is rivaling the online markets of the top game consoles, a remarkable turn of events given how new both the App Store and the iPad are, and particularly given how inexperienced and even resistant Apple has been when it comes to embracing gaming as a market. 
One of the signs of a disruptive produce is that the incumbents don't feel threatened. Microsoft's CEO famously laughed at the iPhone. Other CEOs were no more prescient than he was. The iPad was challenged at first because everyone thought it would fail.

Gaming is being disrupted today, in part, because they refused to believe that the iPhone and iPad could become a threat. If you don't want your company disrupted, be sure to look for trends, not willfully ignore them.

Make new customers, but keep the old...

A whopping 89 percent of iPhone owners have indicated they will stick with Apple for their next handset, dwarfing all other hardware makers, according to a new survey.
When I was a child, I learned the popular ditty:
Make new friends, but keep the old
One is silver, and the other gold.
The same can be said for customers. Experts say that acquiring new customers costs as much as 10 to 20 times more than retaining existing customers. And existing customers purchase 2 to 5 times more. Yet most business spend the vast majority of their time and resources on getting new business rather than retaining their existing base.

Make new customers, by all means. But don't forget your your existing customers either. They're easier to retain, they spend more money and its the right thing to do.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Make no promises you cannot keep

No one outside Apple’s top ranks knows whether the iPhone 5 (or whatever they’re going to call it — or them, if there are two new models, not just one) was planned for a fall release all along, or whether it slipped and was originally intended for a June/July release.
And they never will know. An in vogue business maxim is "under promise, over deliver". That's a great business policy. But even better is to make no promises at all. That translates into "seldom promise, over deliver. Not as clever or as pithy, for sure, but it certainly is utilitarian. Salesman and CEOs have an awfully hard time following this advice. They want to say something - ANYTHING - to assure their prospects or their prospective shareholders. But, as Abraham lincoln once said:

"Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt."

Yes, it's important to under promise and over deliver. But by all means, your first option should be to make no promises at all.

HP's long term thinking is stinking

Less than a year after hiring Léo Apotheker as its chief executive, Hewlett-Packard’s directors were meeting Wednesday to consider replacing him, according to several people with knowledge of the board’s actions. The leading candidate was Meg Whitman, the former chief executive of eBay, who was sought for her ability to run a large technology company, they said.
The surprise move revealed not only the confusion inside the company over its strategy, but also the directors’ difficulties in choosing the leadership of the company.
Honestly, what is wrong with that company? Or maybe the better question is what ISN'T wrong with that company?

About 15 months ago, HP had to get rid of their CEO due to a scandal. They brought in an Enterprise software guy who sat on his hands for a year. When he finally declared his intent to turn HP into a software company the board was taken by surprise? Say what? YOU HIRED THE GUY. Didn't you know what he was all about?

I admire that Apotheker made a bold move. I wish he had made it a year earlier. And I abhor the way he mad his move. He should have quietly put out feelers for selling webOS and HP's PC division and announced their sales simultaneously with announcing HP's change in strategy. But that's all water under the bridge now. If the HP board is truly looking for a new CEO then they're changing their strategy for the third time in less than a year and a half. It's like there's no one at the tiller in that company.

One of the things that I've always admired about Apple is that they are long term thinkers. They plan many, many years out and then bring that strategy back in order to dictate today's actions. Comparing them to master chess players is probably a pretty good analogy. They think 20 or so moves ahead. In contrast, many of their competitors seem to be simply reacting to the news of the day. To extend the analogy, while Apple is playing chess, Apple's competitors are playing checkers. And badly too.

HP isn't even playing checkers. They're just blowing in the wind. Hopefully HP's board will pick the right CEO this time. But based on their recent record, I'd say that it's the board, not the CEO, that's creating the problem.

Cannibalize yourself

Over the past four quarters, unit sales (of iPods) are down 12.5% from the prior year, while revenue has fallen by 6.2%. Sales of the IPod are in decline.
Or are they?

Have you met my little friends the iPod Touch, the iPhone and even the iPad? Are they all fully functioning iPods? Yes they are. And are their sales numbers? Yes they are.

Apple doesn't report iPod Touch sales but Apple has indicated that iPod Touches now account for more than half of all iPod sales. The iPhone and the iPad sold 20.3 and 9.2 million units respectively in the last quarter alone. If you count all of these devices as iPods - and you should - then iPod sales have not decreased - they've increased immeasurably in the past five years.

What's the lesson here? The iPod was the device that first saved Apple from obscurity then launched Apple to fame. Yet in ten short years the iPod went from being Apple's hottest product to being an afterthought.

Cannibalize yourself. Don't wait for your competition to do it. Apple's philosophy is that if anyone is going to steal market share from their products then that someone is going to be Apple. That should be your philosophy too.

Free is a trap, not a business strategy

Bing, Microsoft's two-year old search engine, is losing nearly a $1 billion a quarter, with no sign of letting up.
Microsoft (MSFT, Fortune 500) has lost $5.5 billion on Bing since the search service launched in June 2009, but the company's search losses actually pre-date that. In fact, the software giant has never made money in its online services division. Since Microsoft began breaking out that unit's finances in 2007, the company has lost a total of $9 billion.
Sure Bing is bleeding red ink, but at least they're gaining lots of valuable market share, right?

Even the good news with Bing isn't so great. Microsoft proudly proclaims that it has gained search market share against Google (GOOG, Fortune 500) in each of the past 27 months. While that's true, it is not gaining search share from Google.
Bing currently maintains a 14.7% share of the search market, up from 8.4% when Bing launched, according to online data tracker comScore (SCOR). Google currently commands 64.8% of the market -- down just two-tenths of a percentage point from the 65% it held when Bing debuted.
More than half the share that Bing has gained has actually come from third-place Yahoo (YHOO, Fortune 500). The rest has come from search cellar-dwellers Ask.com and AOL (AOL).
There's usually no such thing as "bad" market share growth, but Yahoo's search is powered by Bing. That means more than half of Microsoft's share growth has come from cannibalizing its search partner.


Dot.coms, start ups, Microsoft and Google are teaching us lessons that we should all unlearn. "Sophisticated" business mavens will tell you that you can make money by losing money. In some instances, that's true. But you can never make money by giving away your primary money making service or product for free.

Dot.coms and start ups are always losing money in order to gain market share declaring that once they have sufficient market share that they'll alter their business strategy and start to make money. Not going to happen. How many start ups have we seen gain market share and then fail once they tried to turn that market share into cash? The lucky ones get acquired by big companies that have an even less coherent business plan than they do. Market share does not automatically translate into profit share.

One of the poster children for the advocates of free is Amazon, which lost tons of money while it was establishing itself and its market share. But Amazon never lost money on its primary services - selling goods and merchandise. Those prices always remained competitive. Amazon lost money because it was building a huge infrastructure of software and delivery services that made it nearly competitor proof. If Amazon had gained its customer base by giving away its merchandise, those self-same customers would have melted away the moment Amazon raised its prices.

Microsoft? They have too damn much money. People say X-Box is a huge success. Success? Microsoft went 5 billion dollars in the hole with that project. X-Box is profitable now but who knows how many years of profit it will take for them to break even. And even when they finally go into the net black, their return on investment will always be paltry. They probably could have made more money by simply sticking that 5 billion dollars in treasury bonds.

Google? You'll notice that Google never gives its search services away for anything less than a profit. Google plays around with all sorts of services and sets up all kinds of "moats" around their search business. But they never give away their primary product for free.

One of the things I've always admired about Apple is that they never (to my recollection) lose money on a product. It's well known that Apple gives away content and services in order to sell hardware. First iTunes, then the App Store and now iCloud fall into that category. Of those three, only iCloud falls into the realm of unpaid for services. iTunes makes a profit as does the App store. Not much of a profit as far as Apple is concerned but far more profit that any other loss leader that I'm aware of.

Unlearn the lesson that you can make money from free. If you can't sell your loss leader for cost, then you're probably doing something wrong.

How Netflix Lost its Glamor and its Way 
A shrewder group of executives would have realized that streaming would become the future and never have provided it to DVD renters for free in the first place. If a thing has value, and it costs you money to obtain and deliver, you charge for it. Good CEOs know that. Customers who wanted streaming content would have a choice: pay for streaming or forego it. Instead, Netflix gave away something of value, acclimated the customers to an entitlement, then abruptly shocked them with the real costs. Compare that to Apple TV where, if you want something of value, good content without commercials, you pay for it.
Never give anything of value away for free. You'll find it almost impossible to sell it for a profit ever again.

So simple, a child can use it.

A survey commissioned by a security app developer that polled parents in the U.K. has revealed surprising attitudes about children and access to technology and the internet. The study focused on primary-school children (ages 5-10) and found that one in 10 kids under the age of 10 years old already owns their own iPhone. One in 20 have their own iPad...
Certainly the number of children who use iPhones and iPads is amazing. But the bigger story, in my opinion, is that so many children CAN use iPhones and iPads.

iPhones and iPads are sophisticated computers. They have far more computing power than the computers used ub the Apollo space flights. They allow one to communicate via text and FaceTime, surf the net, listen and view content and run a seemingly infinite number of powerful software applications. Oh yeah, the iPhone allows phone calls too.

Critics of modern computers would say that the fact that children can use iPhones and iPads is simply more proof that today's computers are "dumbed down". That "real" computing requires a "real" user interface. By "real" user interface, they seem to mean a "complicated, hard to use" interface.

If that's what "dumbed down" means, then I everything to be "dumbed down:. I don't want to think about how my car's engine runs, I just want to get where I'm going. I don't want to know how my microwave works, I just want to eat my food at the proper temperature. I don't understand how to access my hundreds of cable channels, use my DVR and navigate my remote control, I just want to watch my television programs.

The iPhone and the iPad aren't dumbing us down, they are freeing us. Freeing us from knowing how our computing devices work. Freeing us to focus on our tasks, not how we get those tasks done. Because despite what the technorrati thinks, we don't want to know how to use our computers. We just want to get things done.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

The iPad Zen

The buzz that the iPad is generating is unbelievable. The skeptics diss the iPad for being a toy and not being a "real" computer, but the public doesn't view it that way. Even groups who are normally overly cautious about trying new technology - like education, business and government - are jumping on the iPad band wagon.

Despite its enormous success, all the critics want to change the iPad. "Sure," they say, "it's pretty good now but it would be REALLY great if they just made it more like a desktop computer! But isn't that what everyone said before the iPad made its appearance? And isn't that why all the tablets sold prior to the iPad failed?

Despite the iPad being a mega-hit and despite the fact that it's been on the market for 17 months, analysts, pundits and competitors still don't understand it. Customers seem to get it, but I think that they get it at a visceral level. I doubt that they could cogently articulate exactly why they like it.

I think this is the genius of Steve Jobs at work. No one else would have made the iPad because its shortcomings are so obvious and it's strengths are so subtle. Even now I struggle to explain why the iPad is such a success, yet Steve Jobs intuitively grasped why it would work. He knew then what we still fail to understand now.

The iPad's success reminds me more of the iPod than of the iPhone. Remember how everyone said that the iPod lacked features and remember how every competitive product that added those "missing" features - then failed and failed miserably?

People - especially the high priests of "open" - always talk about how choice is good. But is it always so? When it comes to government, choice is good because there is only one government and it has a monopoly on power. You can't pick and choose which government you want. You can't really choose to ignore government edicts. When you have a monolithic government with a monopoly on power. The power to vote - to choose one's government is good. Rights - which is the power to keep the government from imposing its will on certain aspects of one's life is good.

The free market is nothing like that. The advocates of "open" don't get it. In a free market you get to vote with your dollars on which products you like. You get a choice between products. The advocates of "open" believe that one should have "choices" within each company - that each company should provide an endless supply of different products for our consumption.

The iPod didn't provide us with choice, it restricted out choice. Choice comes at a price. For every new feature, for every new way of accessing those features, we pay a price. Things take a little longer. Things become a little more complex. The iPod worked because it walked that fine line between simplicity and complexity. It gave us some features and it empowered us. It removed some features and it empowered us. The ability to empower us by taking away features is a seeming paradox that baffles people even to this day.

The iPad is like the iPod. It has some great features but not so many features as we think we would like. But the features that the iPad has are uncompromised. They all run beautifully. And those features which could only be done by half, which would entail compromises, are eliminated.

Could a child use an iPad if it had a task manager? Could a senior citizen? Will the power that a Windows 8 tablet provide make up for it's complexity, it's loss of intuitiveness? The power user will say yes without hesitation. They are willing to put in the time and effort to learn a complex machine in order to do complex work. They don't see why everyone else would not be willing to do the same.

The iPad is not for the best of us - it's for the rest of us. As hard as it is for the technoratti to grasp, we don't want to work on our computers. We want our computers to work for us.

We want to write letters not learn how Word works. We want to surf the web not learn how our browser works. We want to watch videos not learn how downloads and codecs and file types work. We want computers to enhance our lives, not complicate our lives.

The iPad works, but it's far from perfect. Every time you have to think how to do something, that is a failure. Every time you pause before accomplishing a task, that is a failure. The iPad works when it allows you to do something once and you never have to think about HOW to do it again. Instead you can focus on WHAT you're doing.

The iPad is not a pyramid that you keep piling feature after feature upon. The iPad is a high wire act - a delicate balancing between complexity and simplicity

This is what people don't get about the iPad. They look at the added value of the features and say, "Why doesn't the ipad do that?" Apple looks at each feature and says, "Does it increase the overall user experience?" For non-Apple thinkers, every additional feature is inherently good. For Apple-thinkers, it's a balancing act -features are only useful if they're not outweighed by the burden imposed on the user.

Why do people in the Enterprise crave the iPad even though it can't do everything they want? Because they want everything they to be as easy to do, as the iPad is to use.