- Renaissance Nerd
- Last Active
- unconfirmed, member
While this analysis is very good, and is one of the reasons I never read or watch news, rather I only read and watch opinions. Puncturing the cookie-cutter Mad-Lib template-driven 'news' media, whatever topic they pretend to cover, is a public service. I used to think that at least the quotes were correct in news items, but then I was interviewed myself for a small piece in the Arizona Republic, and Lo! They misquoted me twice. I started paying close attention after that, and there are many, many people who have been misquoted so often that the mind boggles, to the point that they never talk to the press without at least one reporter accusingly bringing up a old misquote that has been denied many times.
The press coverage of Apple is not unique, but par for the course. Of course they're biased, because the template they're following makes them biased. Whoever is the big dog has to be unfavorably compared with the underdog, always. They're puffing up failures by other companies because of their belief in helping the little guy, even when the little guy is a multi-billion dollar corporation who can't compete without (as they fondly imagine) their helping hand.
Apple is anathema to journalism school templates because of one thing Jobs insisted upon that has slowly been abandoned by most other corporations: the pursuit of excellence. Microsoft's motto has always been 'barely functional is more than good enough for us,' while Apple has usually tried for excellence in function and form both. Barely adequate is perfect for the bureaucratic monstrosities that most corporations have become, and Apple makes everybody feel bad by not settling for half- or quarter-arsed.
It goes to show that even a socially liberal company can run afoul of the socially liberal media by disagreeing on one point, but that one point is what turned Apple from a shaky, failing, crumbling enterprise in the mid-nineties to one of the all-time greats, in less than a decade. Excellence matters--even when the pursuit of it results in failures.
I never heard whether Jobs addressed the intentional destruction of all the Apple dealers while he wasn't at Apple, but the Apple Stores made me think he was the one guy at Apple (Woz was already retired) that realized it was a terrible idea. When Apple cut all their dealers throats by changing their lineup to exclude small stores, including many other policies that favored big box stores, they had a 19% market share. Over 3,000 Apple Dealers went out of business over the next eighteen months. By the time the BizMarts and CompUSAs and others went out of business a few years later, Apple market share had sunk to just above 2%, and then Jobs came back. The climb from that suicidal series of decisions is why Jobs gets so much credit; it's one of the greatest turnarounds in business history. I am still wary of anything Apple does, because I was one of those dealers. Small dealerships like mine preached Apple as much as sold it back then, and the reward for our loyalty was oblivion. Fighting the 'IBM compatible' fetish was hard work, and Apple without Jobs and Woz actually believed that just putting their computers on the shelves in bigger stores would sell more units. It didn't, and almost all of those big box retailers are gone now. I knew it would happen, because the concept was fundamentally flawed, but corporate America is all about fads. When you see a board room you should picture a bunch of swooning teeny-boppers chasing Elvis, screaming and crying to get in on the latest thing. Apple is different today for one reason: they actually value excellence over faddish conformity. That is the legacy of the Steves, and so long as they keep to it they'll continue to do well. Ever wonder why so much of the tech press hates Apple? That's it in a nutshell: Apple doesn't follow the goofy fads.