Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Apprentice to "The Steve"

Funny guy, Steve Jobs. You know who he reminds me of? Donald Trump. Think about it. Something works well and it's tremendous, or fantastic, or sensational. Something fails and it's tremendous, or fantastic, or sensational but we don't understand it.

They're like: the kings of gall.

Don't get me wrong. I think he's brilliant; every industry should have someone like him. What I admire most is the design ethic that he, or Apple, keeps at the forefront: that of reduction. Removing to improve the experience instead of adding. There was a collective "What the?..." gasp when he took the rainbow stripes off the logo and replaced it with plain color. Now it makes perfect sense; same with the idea of chucking the floppy drive...

I wish though that he'd drop that line about comparing Apple to BMW. Has he seen the latest BMWs? Switch to Audi Steve. I also wish he'd re-assess his incremental improvement strategy. He plays on the loyalty of his existing base by bringing out a product, waiting for the resulting rush and showroom shine to taper off (usually only about four months), and then introducing an only slightly better model; not an upgrade or clip on, but a replacement unit that the loyal -- yet again -- rush out and buy. What a tease.

The kicker for me -- the reason I don't jump boats back to Apple -- is that I'm locked into my Pocket PC. I'm one of that rare breed that has neat handwriting; Newton worked for me, and Pocket PC works for me (I'm writing this on mine). So I have a hand held that is blindingly fast and synchs well with my PC. That ability to take my stuff with me and work on it in the field is half of my total PC reasoning.

So please Steve, swallow your bias for things pen-based or John Sculley inspired and resurrect Newton 2. I dunno; call it iPal or something, and do a PC port for synching to woo some converts. It can't fail.

(At the least, this Steve critique should generate some traffic to my site). :)


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