Originally Posted by fecklesstechguy
OK you and I both wear big boy pants in the tech world (I assume anyway) and we both have been around enough to know that corporate culture permeates all levels of workflow. Moreover you and I have been privy to all the cultural commentary and leaks over the years about how Apple and in particular Steve Jobs does things. I have insider friends all over the place, Apple, Microsoft, Adobe, Google - all the heavy hitters of this industry. Apple is a necessarily (if secretive) FLAT organization by design - it's the way Jobs likes to run the business - the polar opposite of Microsoft in fact - which has a bloated, entrenched toxic culture replete with turf wars, protectionism and the usual nasty stuff. Not saying Apple is "better", just different. And different in ways that make Agarwal's statements closer to what's probably true than not. Apple is not silo'd like most organizations, the teams work collaboratively and consistently together. In some cases the team are "recombinant" that is smaller teams come together to form larger teams to ensure the level of awareness needed in bringing a product together.
Looking over the behavioral landscape Dick it makes sense for Apple to bring in the pros to see the changes (massive unilateral and workflow-changing changes), to say "this is what's coming, get ready". Not, "hey guys what do you think of us completely rewriting how your favorite cheap video editing tool works - tell us how you really feel". The smart ones saw it for what it was and went out and bought extra licenses of FCP7, the blindly optimistic ones said, "Apple wouldn't really do this to us" and ignored the writing on the wall. The rest were dumbfounded, shocked (shocked I tell you!), and OUTRAGED when it hit the street and was exactly what Apple showed them.
In the final analysis with the significant differences that are Apple corporate framework practices, you have to be careful extrapolating corporate behaviors that are not accurately matching what goes on in Cupertino. I've held enough positions at different levels in enough Fortune 50 companies (apparently like you) to comfortably agree with Argarwal, in principle if not in complete detail. The details don't really matter.
The bottom line is this, Agarwal is either accurate in what he presented, or he isn't. If he is, then Apple was deliberate and focussed in what they did - which potentially makes sense from their past acts, their culture as well as from a market perspective. IF he is not, then Apple is guilty of arbitrary and capricious behavior which not only alienates a "loyal" (sic) market segment, but does so in the most ludicrous way possible short of simply killing the application suite.
From 1978-1989 I had almost daily dealings with Apple management and employees at almost all levels. They had a fairly normal top level and administrative structure and a "matrix management" structure for the technical employees. There were notable exceptions to accommodate Jobs, and to a lessor extent, Woz.
I suspect Apple's organization is different now, and may be as you describe.
Now, to quote Agarwal:
Why Apple built Final Cut Pro XApple doesn't care about the pro space
Apple doesn't care about the pro space
The goal for every Apple software product is to sell more hardware. Even the Mac operating system is just trying to get people to buy more Mac computers.
The pro market is too small for Apple to care about it. Instead of trying to get hundreds or even thousands of video professionals to buy new Macs, they can nail the pro-sumer market and sell to hundreds of thousands of hobbyists like me.
Millions of people are buying phones and cameras that can shoot HD video, and many of them are looking for ways to edit. I know how to use Final Cut Pro because I worked on it for 6 years, but for most people it's just too complex.
I disagree with him and your assessment that he is accurate or is not.
I submit that Apple doesn't need
the pro space.
That gives Apple the freedom to move ahead boldly and even cut the cord,
But Apple understands that there are a few key pros who are decision-makers or decision-influencers that can set the trend for the industry.
about these pros and cultivates them... Why, because they are highly visible and can influence buying decisions by Apple's largest target markets for FCPX -- the Prosumer and Consumer.
I suspect within a month or two, Apple will publish an article how several respected bleeding-edge pros are using FCPX to cut this or that video.
At, the same time, Apple and 3rd-parties will flesh out FCPX to be a viable replacement for FCP7...
There will be enough advantage that the forward-thinking pros (those worth Apple caring about) will begin to use FCPX in their daily workflow.
From another perspective, I have a friend -- a high-level executive at a TV Broadcast network, who, when asked about FCPX wrote (emphasis mine):
FCP is actually a powerful program but I still think iMovie does the job for most less than 10 minutes productions. Its [FCP's] real value is revealed when using After Effects or Motion, integrated tight in the production. Content is still king and video 'direction' makes a video look pro... not really the 'editing' tools in most cases.
If you ever travel to NY I would love to give you a tour of some of the edit suites and see how the product is integrated in the workflow. FCP is not the main edit tool, however as a FCP fan you will see its value when connected to graphic virtual sets and tapeless video ingest servers. Pretty amazing in capable hands. But you will also see how simple on & off-line systems (equiv. to iMovie) does the bulk of the work.
You will also note that most of the success FCP stories are 30+ minute short films, documentaries, etc.
What... they are using iMove (or an equivalent) to do the bulk of their work?
These guys are pros, aren't they?
Now, these pros
(and optionally Motion 5) will be able to do their work faster and easier with better results.
I suspect a lot of the pros will use FCPX on MBPs for sports highlights, onsite news shorts. Other pros will use FCPX/Motion to cut commercials.
I suspect that Apple knows about these pros and cares quite a bit about them.