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Former Apple marketing exec talks Steve Jobs, Apple as product 'launch machine' - Page 2

post #41 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post
 

Guys, you're all mixing words. It's selling. You want to see. The only thing about Apple is the reason it doesn't seem desperate is you're selling a great product. And most products just plain suck. Most whole companies suck.

Steve Jobs was the same age as me.  I remember growing up here in California, and one of my rock music heroes (Frank Zappa) lectured us and said advertising was fundamentally evil.  He said they were tricking us into buying shit we absolutely did not need and would not make our lives better.  I don't know if Jobs was a Zappa fan, but I'm convinced Jobs sincerely believed his products would make people's lives better.  

 
Ireland is right, they're all selling.  And I think he's right that the difference between selling a great product and a shitty product is important.  I ask, is the seller telling the truth and does he sincerely believe his product will be good for us?  Or is the seller trying to deceive us so that he can separate us from our money?   I think this is the distinction Steve Jobs made.
post #42 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by delreyjones View Post
 

 

Did you watch the video with Allison Johnson?  Do you think Steve Jobs hated Allison Johnson?

 

I hate Allison Johnson and I don't even know her.

 

The story goes like this, but keep in mind I heard it third-party. Allison worked for the marketing department, but her job was making sure there was plenty of coffee and juice in the room where ideas were pitched about products and promotions. One day while a heated meeting was going on, she was cleaning up the pile of crumbs around the bagel cutter - it was a mess!

 

Someone shouted out that the unreleased MBA should have rounded edges like the MBP. During the quiet lull after that statement, Allison picked up the well-used bagel slicer and said, more to herself (albeit too loudly), "I think it needs sharper edges."

 

And that, my friends, is how she moved up from being the marketing's coffee lady.

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post #43 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post


Content trumps grammar... As it should!

 

Except the content is pretty weak, and the mistakes made are those one learns not to make at age 8 or 9. But you carry on playing cards, one of the few pursuits where not being able to communicate is an advantage...

post #44 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Macky the Macky View Post
 

 

I hate Allison Johnson and I don't even know her.

 

The story goes like this, but keep in mind I heard it third-party. Allison worked for the marketing department, but her job was making sure there was plenty of coffee and juice in the room where ideas were pitched about products and promotions. One day while a heated meeting was going on, she was cleaning up the pile of crumbs around the bagel cutter - it was a mess!

 

Someone shouted out that the unreleased MBA should have rounded edges like the MBP. During the quiet lull after that statement, Allison picked up the well-used bagel slicer and said, more to herself (albeit too loudly), "I think it needs sharper edges."

 

And that, my friends, is how she moved up from being the marketing's coffee lady.

Heard it 3rd party, eh?  I'm thinking the creator of that story has quite an imagination, albeit an unattractive imagination.

post #45 of 81
My first exposure to Steve Jobs:

Early 1979: I was doing a demo in our Sunnyvale store, to about 30 people, about what you could do with an Apple ][.

Steve was in the crowd behind me and called out "that's all wrong!".

Steve came up and gave the best demo of what the Apple ][ could do for you…

I was selling, successfully… But Steve was marketing… Really successfully!
Edited by Dick Applebaum - 3/17/14 at 7:06pm
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post #46 of 81
Selling is harvesting -- Marketing is sowing!
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post #47 of 81

Tell the cabbie "881 7th Ave" and step on it .

post #48 of 81

Selling is forgetting that people have wants and needs. For example a man walks into a hardware store and asks for a quarter-inch drill bit. A sales man will assume the customer needs a quarter-inch drill bit - after all, that's what he asked for.

 

In fact, the customer doesn't need a quarter-inch drill bit; what he really needs is quarter-inch holes. He knows the hardware store doesn't sell quarter-inch holes, so he phrases his request in the form of a want, which, in his mind, is the way to get what he really needs. Proper questioning might reveal that the customer needs to put quarter-inch holes in sheet metal at the rate of 100 a minute; a quarter-inch drill bit is not what he wants, what he needs is a pneumatic punch.

 

It may seem like semantics, but customers often phrase their wants in terms they can imagine and not reveal their needs. Jobs once said something to the effect, "Customers don't know what they need until they see it. Our job is to give them what they need but didn't know it until we show it to them." (or something to that effect).

 

What made the iPhone so astounding is that no one that I knew of was asking for a phone without keys. Yet, when everyone (except Steve Ballmer) saw the iPhone, they said to themselves, "Well, of course!"

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post #49 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Macky the Macky View Post

Selling is forgetting that people have wants and needs. For example a man walks into a hardware store and asks for a quarter-inch drill bit. A sales man will assume the customer needs a quarter-inch drill bit - after all, that's what he asked for.

In fact, the customer doesn't need a quarter-inch drill bit; what he really needs is quarter-inch holes. He knows the hardware store doesn't sell quarter-inch holes, so he phrases his request in the form of a want, which, in his mind, is the way to get what he really needs. Proper questioning might reveal that the customer needs to put quarter-inch holes in sheet metal at the rate of 100 a minute; a quarter-inch drill bit is not what he wants, what he needs is a pneumatic punch.

It may seem like semantics, but customers often phrase their wants in terms they can imagine and not reveal their needs. Jobs once said something to the effect, "Customers don't know what they need until they see it. Our job is to give them what they need but didn't know it until we show it to them." (or something to that effect).

What made the iPhone so astounding is that no one that I knew of was asking for a phone without keys. Yet, when everyone (except Steve Ballmer) saw the iPhone, they said to themselves, "Well, of course!"

Well reasoned, and well said!
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post #50 of 81

Looks suspiciously like Robert Smith of The Cure.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

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post #51 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

Steve came up and gave the best demo of what the Apple ][ could do for you…
 

 

Make beeping sounds and display 6 colors (orange, blue, green, purple, black, white)?

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

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post #52 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

Looks suspiciously like Robert Smith of The Cure.

LOL ... Have you no shame?
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post #53 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

Steve came up and gave the best demo of what the Apple ][ could do for you…

 

Make beeping sounds and display 6 colors (orange, blue, green, purple, black, white)?

Ahh.. Hires graphics.... no, that was Tog!
Edited by Dick Applebaum - 3/17/14 at 7:33pm
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post #54 of 81

That is why now many are calling Sales & Marketing, when you go out and close down the deal. You are a Sales, and if not, you are marketing it.

 

But those are slightly different with Apple. And from a world's common understanding point of view with Sales and Marketing. Both are about pushing for sales. Which differences differentiated by its results. By when did you see Apple stuff "pushes" for sales? They dont. ( Or Generally dont ) By Rather they teaches you the experience, the value etc. You could Do what ever you want in Apple Store and walk away without being ever get pushed to buy one thing.

 

Instead they pushes for experience and value, and the why and how behind everything they do. And that pulls in people and buying with more sales and loyal customers.

 

And it is more like indirect sales and marketing.

post #55 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by JBHoule View Post

Samsung goes the hard sell route, from their advertising to the bounties/spiffs paid to retail sales people.

 

Don't forget their paid shills in online forums.

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post #56 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by ksec View Post

That is why now many are calling Sales & Marketing, when you go out and close down the deal. You are a Sales, and if not, you are marketing it.

But those are slightly different with Apple. And from a world's common understanding point of view with Sales and Marketing. Both are about pushing for sales. Which differences differentiated by its results. By when did you see Apple stuff "pushes" for sales? They dont. ( Or Generally dont ) By Rather they teaches you the experience, the value etc. You could Do what ever you want in Apple Store and walk away without being ever get pushed to buy one thing.

Instead they pushes for experience and value, and the why and how behind everything they do. And that pulls in people and buying with more sales and loyal customers.

And it is more like indirect sales and marketing.

Now that's jazz!
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post #57 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Macky the Macky View Post
 

Selling is forgetting that people have wants and needs. For example a man walks into a hardware store and asks for a quarter-inch drill bit. A sales man will assume the customer needs a quarter-inch drill bit - after all, that's what he asked for.

 

In fact, the customer doesn't need a quarter-inch drill bit; what he really needs is quarter-inch holes. He knows the hardware store doesn't sell quarter-inch holes, so he phrases his request in the form of a want, which, in his mind, is the way to get what he really needs. Proper questioning might reveal that the customer needs to put quarter-inch holes in sheet metal at the rate of 100 a minute; a quarter-inch drill bit is not what he wants, what he needs is a pneumatic punch.

 

It may seem like semantics, but customers often phrase their wants in terms they can imagine and not reveal their needs. Jobs once said something to the effect, "Customers don't know what they need until they see it. Our job is to give them what they need but didn't know it until we show it to them." (or something to that effect).

 

What made the iPhone so astounding is that no one that I knew of was asking for a phone without keys. Yet, when everyone (except Steve Ballmer) saw the iPhone, they said to themselves, "Well, of course!"

One of the great and often-taught examples of what you're saying is the Polaroid camera. Before it came onto the market, people didn't realize that they really wanted near-instant photographs. Photographers (amateurs especially) accepted the reality at the time; that there was some waiting involved from when they took their photos until negatives were developed, then prints made and processed and finally the finished photos were put into their hands. Edwin Land showed them a solution for what have previously been an accepted limitation in photography. The Polaroid camera was a product that answered a previously unperceived need.

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post #58 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by delreyjones View Post

Did you watch the video with Allison Johnson?  Do you think Steve Jobs hated Allison Johnson?

He hated marketing. I've no idea how he felt about Allison Johnson.

"People don’t know what they want until you show it to them. That’s why I never rely on market research."

And a quote pulled from a recent story:

"“There was just a total hush,” Farag recalls. “No one was going to fess up to being the moron in the room. Eventually I said, ‘Well, this was asked for by the marketing division. It’s a multi-button mouse. It’s been approved through Apple’s process channels, and so we’ve been working on it.”

Jobs stared at him.

“I’m Marketing,” he said. “It’s a marketing team of one. And we’re not doing that product.” With that, he turned and stalked off."

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post #59 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Hrmmph... Lest anyone forget, Steve Jobs hated marketing people.

Yeah, he much preferred marketing Macs.

Sorry.
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post #60 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

I hate to be the one to state the obvious, but that is selling the product. You can word it anyway you want, but it's still s spade.

Shades of grey, maybe, but significant shades.

Do you want Microsoft's breakdancing Surfaces to educate you? Or Apple's recent 'Communicate' ad last Christmas?
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post #61 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by SwissMac2 View Post

The interview from Behance's 99U conference, first spotted by Cult of Mac, Johnson described her time at Apple...
Comparing about the two techniques...
It was a really interesting an important technique.
His core leadership team, product and marketing leadership team was sitting around the table,
This is not the company I want to be.
Did he deeply care about that company and was it one in the same as him?

Every one of these sentences from the article contains grammatical errors; not spelling errors, which anyone can make, but serious mistakes about how the English language is written! The words that should have been there are:
In, ____, and, were, Apple, and.

How can anyone take you seriously if you make such stupid errors?

I just watched the video. Great interview.
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post #62 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Macky the Macky View Post

You are onto something there...

I always gave the customer enough information so they could make an emotional decision while thinking it was an informed one.

Return of the Mack!
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post #63 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by JBHoule View Post

Comparing Samsung's marketing to Apple's shows the difference between informing and selling.

Samsung goes the hard sell route, from their advertising to the bounties/spiffs paid to retail sales people.

Apple's advertising is soft and informative, sometimes humorous, sometimes emotional, sometimes rather serious or inspiring. It's the same at the retail level, where Apple Store employee's ask questions to understand the customer's needs, demonstrate and explain (show and tell), and answer questions. There is no arm twisting. It's product education, before and after a customer makes a purchase.

Then you've got Blackberry 'Amateur hour is over' (PlayBook). Remember that Motorola ad for a tablet? All explosions and hype.
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post #64 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Does no one know the answer to what I assumed was a well-worn joke?

What was the joke?

Edit: ah, the Carnegie Hall.
Edited by Benjamin Frost - 3/17/14 at 9:44pm
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post #65 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Benjamin Frost View Post

What was the joke?

http://www.quickiwiki.com/en/Carnegie_Hall#Carnegie_Hall_joke

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post #66 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

Selling is harvesting -- Marketing is sowing!

Not grimly, I hope.
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post #67 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Macky the Macky View Post

Selling is forgetting that people have wants and needs. For example a man walks into a hardware store and asks for a quarter-inch drill bit. A sales man will assume the customer needs a quarter-inch drill bit - after all, that's what he asked for.

In fact, the customer doesn't need a quarter-inch drill bit; what he really needs is quarter-inch holes. He knows the hardware store doesn't sell quarter-inch holes, so he phrases his request in the form of a want, which, in his mind, is the way to get what he really needs. Proper questioning might reveal that the customer needs to put quarter-inch holes in sheet metal at the rate of 100 a minute; a quarter-inch drill bit is not what he wants, what he needs is a pneumatic punch.

It may seem like semantics, but customers often phrase their wants in terms they can imagine and not reveal their needs. Jobs once said something to the effect, "Customers don't know what they need until they see it. Our job is to give them what they need but didn't know it until we show it to them." (or something to that effect).

What made the iPhone so astounding is that no one that I knew of was asking for a phone without keys. Yet, when everyone (except Steve Ballmer) saw the iPhone, they said to themselves, "Well, of course!"

And why Google's strategy of putting out beta in their Goggle Glasses seems so anaemic. It's as though they don't really know what the compelling case for them is, so they're putting it out there to see if it'll come to some of the beta-testers.

Edit: and for GG's reference, that's a whole 65 posts before I sullied this thread with mention of Google. So there.
Edited by Benjamin Frost - 3/17/14 at 9:45pm
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post #68 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

He hated marketing. I've no idea how he felt about Allison Johnson.

"People don’t know what they want until you show it to them. That’s why I never rely on market research."

And a quote pulled from a recent story:

"“There was just a total hush,” Farag recalls. “No one was going to fess up to being the moron in the room. Eventually I said, ‘Well, this was asked for by the marketing division. It’s a multi-button mouse. It’s been approved through Apple’s process channels, and so we’ve been working on it.”

Jobs stared at him.

“I’m Marketing,” he said. “It’s a marketing team of one. And we’re not doing that product.” With that, he turned and stalked off."

Genius. At work.
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post #69 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Benjamin Frost View Post


Then you've got Blackberry 'Amateur hour is over' (PlayBook). Remember that Motorola ad for a tablet? All explosions and hype.

 

Just this weekend I saw a sealed Xoom tablet sitting in a shop window, covered with dust, next to a sealed PS2. It reminded me of the Tablet Wars Part 01, Xoom, Slate (?), Playbook....

 

So many promises, so many crash-and-burns.

post #70 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_Carnegie

So I suppose we can expect a WhatsApp Hall in SF some day soon? 1smoking.gif
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post #71 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

I hate to be the one to state the obvious, but that is selling the product. You can word it anyway you want, but it's still s spade.

And I love to be the one to state that the one who sees no difference misses the point.
post #72 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Benjamin Frost View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

He hated marketing. I've no idea how he felt about Allison Johnson.

"People don’t know what they want until you show it to them. That’s why I never rely on market research."

And a quote pulled from a recent story:

"“There was just a total hush,” Farag recalls. “No one was going to fess up to being the moron in the room. Eventually I said, ‘Well, this was asked for by the marketing division. It’s a multi-button mouse. It’s been approved through Apple’s process channels, and so we’ve been working on it.”

Jobs stared at him.

“I’m Marketing,” he said. “It’s a marketing team of one. And we’re not doing that product.” With that, he turned and stalked off."

Genius. At work.
lucky it panned out then. Thats the danger and blesding of having one person who can make those decisions. When they are right they are right but if their wrong. ..eek
post #73 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by delreyjones View Post
 

Steve Jobs was the same age as me.  I remember growing up here in California, and one of my rock music heroes (Frank Zappa) lectured us and said advertising was fundamentally evil.  He said they were tricking us into buying shit we absolutely did not need and would not make our lives better.  I don't know if Jobs was a Zappa fan, but I'm convinced Jobs sincerely believed his products would make people's lives better.  

 
Ireland is right, they're all selling.  And I think he's right that the difference between selling a great product and a shitty product is important.  I ask, is the seller telling the truth and does he sincerely believe his product will be good for us?  Or is the seller trying to deceive us so that he can separate us from our money?   I think this is the distinction Steve Jobs made.

 

Well said. An important distinction for sure.

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post #74 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by singularity View Post

lucky it panned out then. Thats the danger and blesding of having one person who can make those decisions. When they are right they are right but if their wrong. ..eek

And that is why Steve Jobs may have been a credit stealer, cranky, unpredictable, a nightmare to deal with for some, but at least he wasn't Steve Ballmer.

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post #75 of 81

Reading some of the posts that were here earlier, it would seem the distinction between marketing and selling is an internal one. I think everyone has a different set point about when marketing becomes selling and vice versa, or if they are exactly the same thing.

 

I think the takeaway from the story for me is how much Jobs cared about Apple, its products and the image it presented. That kind of passion cannot be replaced and maybe that is the reason Jobs went to Cook as his replacement. I think Jobs saw that Cook was and is passionate about different things and could bring Apple to a different level than what he himself could. From what is presented in the story, Jobs would have hated the press that Apple is getting right now. Cook seems to be mostly ignoring things right now. I hope he is right in his approach, but then he knows what Apple has behind doors number 1, 2 and 3.

post #76 of 81
The mention of Anki in the interview offered some insight as to how Apple selects at least some 3rd party products to show off. Allison formed her own creative agency after leaving Apple and Anki was one of their clients. Anki has quite a lot of good reviews but I felt the demo they showed at Apple's event was very amateur looking. If there hadn't been that inside connection to Apple, I wonder if it would ever have been shown at the event.

Once a company like Apple has a history of successful products then anything associated in any small way with the company attaches itself to that reputation and doesn't have to try so hard to sell itself on merit. It's unavoidable really but there's the danger that poor products damage how the company is seen through their association with it and that companies will try to associate themselves with Apple however they can (e.g Nest) to get that boost in immediate respect.

Allison mentioned about there not needing to be more companies that work just like Apple but more unique companies and I think that's true but the reason there aren't is that the public puts their interest into so few brands and smaller companies just take the easy route of trying to align themselves with the big players. When this happens, the big companies are seen as marketing vehicles because that's the effect and many consumers then become cynical towards the big company e.g 'people only buy this product because of the logo'.

It reminds me of what Steve said about being fired from Apple:

"I didn’t see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life."

Being wrapped up in success and building on past success is an easy way to lose sight of where a company should be going and regardless of the semantics of what counts as marketing, the important part is being genuine. The comment made by one of Apple's staff when asked for Steve Jobs to wear a suit when meeting with AT&T's board about them not wearing suits is not a sign of disrespect, it's a sign of honesty. Salesmen wear suits and try to drive around in flash cars to give the illusion of success in order to get an immediate respect and trust from a potential buyer. If they wore ripped jeans, a t-shirt and tried to sell you a $30,000 car, a buyer would immediately be suspicious of the deal.

The problem is that people inherently have a distrust of the unknown as the reputation isn't there - the eBay seller with no feedback for example. Having feedback and a reputation gives buyers confidence. Marketing acts as a way to convey that. Although Apple is genuine about the products they ship, they still have to convey a positive message and people pick up on that:



Until a person buys a product, they need assurance of the unknown. If descriptions of a product are conveyed in a neutral way, buyers would feel neutral towards it. It can be seen as a contradiction to use marketing and be critical of marketing but it's about how honest the seller is being and whether they put the emphasis on telling people what they have is great when it's not or doing something great and then telling people about it. Apple is for the most part an honest seller. When MobileMe failed, they didn't try to market it, they canned it. When the antenna issue happened, they were open about it and fixed it.

There was an interview with John Sculley:

"The thing that separated Steve Jobs from other people like Bill Gates — Bill was brilliant too — but Bill was never interested in great taste. He was always interested in being able to dominate a market. He would put out whatever he had to put out there to own that space. Steve would never do that. Steve believed in perfection. Steve was willing to take extraordinary chances in trying new product areas but it was always from the vantage point of being a designer.

Now if you leap forward and look at the products that Steve builds today, today the technology is far more capable of doing things, it can be miniaturized, it is commoditized, it is inexpensive. And Apple no longer builds any products. When I was there, people used to call Apple “a vertically-integrated advertising agency,” which was not a compliment.
Actually today, that’s what everybody is. That’s what HP is; that’s what Apple is; and that’s what most companies are because they outsource to EMS — electronics manufacturing services."

http://www.cultofmac.com/63295/john-sculley-on-steve-jobs-the-full-interview-transcript/

He was making a point that people see Apple as a marketing company because they outsource the product manufacturing and sell it as their own product but if there was nothing special in their control over design then everybody would just need to be better at marketing, which is crazy because anyone can do that. A company that isn't genuine about what they sell won't stand the test of time and Apple has lasted a long time.
post #77 of 81

My new t-shirt says: I read this interesting article and all I got was a stinking grammar lesson.

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post #78 of 81
From "The Bite in the Apple", by Chrisann Brennan. Seems relevant:
Quote:
I later understood that Apple’s marketing agency had promoted the concept of a massive genius figurehead for the company. Big wink to Regis McKenna. Steve was their boy, when in truth there were many people who built Apple. One of them, Jeff Raskin, was quoted at the time saying that what was happening to Steve was sad because “Steve believed his own press.” I was always looking for foundational wisdom on Steve and this statement by Raskin seemed right.
Daniel also told me that people at Apple had started talking about Steve’s “reality distortion field.” When I heard this, I knew immediately that the phrase was perfect. I could hardly believe someone had been able to identify such an amorphous quality with absolute accuracy. And I marveled that three simple words of such scientific and poetic brevity could get it completely handled. The term “reality distortion field” contained the notion of wizardry, and the idea that Steve had some kind of dubious talent that suggested something of an alien power.
Quote:
So I wasn’t alone in noticing it.
My own experience was that Steve had a recontextualizing force field around him, like a conceptual miasma that bent meaning whenever you got within a few feet of him. The reality distortion field may have been invisible, but it left an impression on your actual senses. And it was so new and so distinctive that someone—I don’t know who—was compelled to give it a name as a way of dealing with it.
Quote:
Steve was fully aware of the big picture, but I had no way of knowing that Apple would go public within three years and that my pregnancy would have been perceived as a threat to Steve’s public image and therefore, the Apple brand. I think they had it pretty much figured out by then that Steve was a wild card and a public relations nightmare. But spin it just right and you could romanticize him as the upstanding, if quirky, genius. Apple was a young company and needed to build public trust. So they created a persona for the gifted, good-looking young man. It was all identity branding and power. It was about money. Done.
I’d rather have a better product than a better price.
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I’d rather have a better product than a better price.
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post #79 of 81

"Selling is harvesting, marketing is  sowing."

 

Exactly.

post #80 of 81

"Make beeping sounds and display 6 colors (orange, blue, green, purple, black, white)?"

 

Missing the forest for the needles.

 

It's a common, but potentially-curable affliction.

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