Tag Archives: jason-calacanis

Apple’s Strategy: The Good and Bad

The four major issues with Apple’s cur­rent product line and strategy that are “stifling the industry, con­sumer choice and pri­cing”, accord­ing to Jason Calacanis:

  1. Des­troy­ing MP3 play­er innov­a­tion through anti-com­pet­it­ive prac­tices.
  2. Mono­pol­ist­ic prac­tices in tele­com­mu­nic­a­tions.
  3. Dra­coni­an App Store policies.
  4. Want­ing to own almost every exten­sion of the iPhone plat­form.

It’s tough to dis­agree with these points (or Jason’s reas­on­ing) but a typ­ic­al response could be:

The restric­tions Apple places on its products are neces­sary to ensure the qual­ity of the user exper­i­ence, that Apple deserves to be paid for the innov­a­tions it has brought to the mar­ket­place and the con­sumer free­dom it has enabled to use things like the mobile inter­net, to make online music easy and fun to use etc.

Both of the above art­icles are anti-Apple (or at least anti-Apple strategy) and I agree with them both—but my stance is def­in­itely that of pro-Apple (a recent devel­op­ment since own­ing an iPhone, swiftly fol­lowed by a Hack­in­tosh).

The ROI I get with Apple products is pos­it­ive des­pite these issues and as such I’m will­ing to pay a premi­um. This isn’t a fin­an­cial ROI, but a time/enjoyment ROI. For an idea of what I mean, this short tirade against open source usab­il­ity from an art­icle look­ing at how to com­pete with open source soft­ware (via @zambonini) may help:

At a salar­ied job mak­ing $80k plus bene­fits your time is worth around $55/hour. […] And thus it is with the major­ity of open source soft­ware:

Open source soft­ware is free if your time is worth noth­ing.

[…] I’ve used main­stream image edit­ors like Pho­toshop, Paint.NET and Gimp; some of my best friends are main­stream image edit­ors. And when I saw Gimp I almost went blind. Chil­dren were weep­ing; fruit was bruis­ing. The UI could kill small anim­als.

Are there excep­tions in the open source world? Abso­lutely.

When an open source pro­ject gets enough tal­en­ted people work­ing on it, it can become a down­right mas­ter­piece.

In UI and UX terms the major­ity of open source applic­a­tions are behind or on par with PC-based soft­ware. These are then both behind Mac-only applic­a­tions. There are excep­tions, of course, but they’re exactly that—exceptions.

Gran­ted; there are unne­ces­sary and debil­it­at­ing restric­tions on Apple products, and when these restric­tions make product use cum­ber­some I’ll switch in a heart­beat. But it seems that these restric­tions are part of a lar­ger strategy: to build the best user exper­i­ence.

This, from a Tech­Crunch art­icle look­ing at Apple’s strategy:

“Our goal is not to build the most com­puters. It’s to build the best.”

That was Apple COO Tim Cook two days ago dur­ing Apple’s quarterly earn­ings call. Sure, it may sound like spin from an exec­ut­ive who does­n’t have a bet­ter answer as to why Apple isn’t com­pet­ing in the low-end of the mar­ket, and thus, gain­ing mar­ket share. But it’s not.

You need look no fur­ther than num­bers released today by NPD to under­stand Apple’s strategy. Its rev­en­ue share of the “premi­um” price mar­ket — that is, com­puters over $1,000 — is a stag­ger­ing 91%.

The Decay of Social Networks

Unac­count­ab­il­ity and anonym­ity on the Inter­net has brought about “the end of empathy”, says Jason Calacanis, as he dis­cusses the ‘con­di­tion’ of Inter­net Asper­ger­’s Syn­drome:

This dis­ease affects people when their com­mu­nic­a­tion moves to digit­al, and the emo­tion­al cues of face-to-face interaction–including tone, facial expres­sion and the so called “blush response“–are lost. […]

In this syn­drome, the afflic­ted stops see­ing the human­ity in oth­er people. They view indi­vidu­als as objects, not indi­vidu­als. The focus on repet­it­ive behaviors–checking email, blog­ging, twit­ter­ing and retir­ing andys–combines with an inab­il­ity to feel empathy and con­nect with people.

[…] In IAS, screen names and avatars shift from rep­res­ent­ing people to rep­res­ent­ing char­ac­ters in a video game. Our 2600’s and 64’s have trained us to pound these char­ac­ters into sub­mis­sion in order to level up. We look at blog­gers, people on Twit­ter and pod­casters not as indi­vidu­als, but as challenges–in some cases, “bosses“–that we must crush to make it to the next phase.

A good art­icle dis­cuss­ing the per­ils of liv­ing our lives in pub­lic, although I feel it loses some­thing toward the end when it takes on a more per­son­al tone.

via LA Times