How long has it been since I told you what a good job you are doing with your website and how much I enjoy your articles, even those published on Appleinsider?
Well perhaps too long, but you haven't been as prolific lately .......
Keep up the good work ......
I recognised the name Mike Elgan, but forgot from where, so I unfortunately clicked on:http://www.computerworld.com/s/artic...ource=rss_news
before I remembered that you had warned us about this guy before:http://www.roughlydrafted.com/2008/0...on-the-iphone/
Key point of Elgonic's story is this:
"In business circles, one of the most miraculous success stories of the previous century is the story of Starbucks. The company earned its legendary status not by invention of a new product, but by the rare transformation of human culture........................ Starbucks transformed a generic commodity into a brand-name experience that people seek out. But the miraculous bit is that they changed American (and later, global) culture.
"Coffee is still coffee. They didn't change the product as much as they changed the customer.
"Consumer electronics companies face a similar challenge.............. getting consumers to accept the change."
I am sure you can explain this better than me, but how wrong can one person be?
YES, coffee is still coffee. YES, Starbucks didn't change coffee as such, but NO, they didn't change the customer and WRONG to think of coffee as a "generic commodity" or even as a single commodity.
In fact, what Starbucks did was take what had previously been viewed as a generic product, a hot brown liquid, and improved what made it SPECIAL, the coffee flavour. Then they sold the better product, or rather range of products since once you can tell the difference there are varieties of coffee, at premium prices to discerning customers.
Starbucks, together with other coffee shops, didn't "change the customer", they changed the product they offered to the customer, and the customer learned to appreciate that change and recognise its value. Customers were prepared to pay more for the improved value.
Elgone goes on to postulate that, just as Starbucks managed to hoodwink customers into paying more for a cup of coffee that was basically the same thing as the previous hot brown liquid, Apple managed to hoodwink customers into paying more for an iPhone that was basically the same as the previous mobile phones with a bit of extra brand-name. Similarly, thanks to a re-education process worthy of Stalin and Kim Jong Il, Apple will gradually lead us to accept other things that ordinary people never thought they wanted but now could never live without, like Starbucks coffee instead of hot brown liquid, iTunes instead of plastic CD's, on-screen keyboards, and finally Apps that you can download.
All this in support of the idea that even though the next Apple gadget will be better, it won't gain acceptance until Apple has somehow brainwashed it's customers into accepting something they would otherwise reject.
Where does all this lead? Perhaps it's an escape clause: if the next Apple gadget proves to be successful, it will be proof that Mike Elgan was absolutely correct in predicting how Apple would condition its customers to accept the new reality. If it fails, well of course even if the product was good, Apple didn't brainwash enough customers ...........
Whatever the outcome, no-one is likely to go back and point out that it was Mike Elgan and the clients he represented who were really trying to "change the customer" by making them believe that inferior products were acceptable.
Although I suspect that you will do a valiant job trying to remind them ..........