Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 23rd Mar 2012 15:09 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless I'm currently reading Jerry Kaplan's excellent book "Startup: a Silicon Valley adventure". In this book, Kaplan, founder and CEO of GO Corp., details the founding, financing and eventual demise of his highly innovative company, including the development and workings of their product. What's so surprising about this book is just how timeless it really is - the names and products may have changed, but the business practices and company attitudes surely haven't.
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Tony Swash
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Apple is predominantly about marketing and retailing. It does not actually manufacture anything. It isn't an integrated manufacturer in the same sense as Samsung. It is all about immense media clout; thanks to its immense advertising & PR machine with a humongous budget. This media clout over a period of 30 years has resulted in an army of irrational fan following who would buy every product that comes out of Apple and defend all devious acts of the company. It's amazing that the largest company by market value, despite having highly questionable/monopolistic restrictions with regard to the App store and its iOS platform, attracts no adverse attention by the media and the FTC. The kind of media coverage that Apple gets is incredible!

What Apple is exceedingly good at is create myths. As Eric Raymond has pointed out in the past, “Mac was a slick repackaging of design ideas from an engineering tradition that long predated Jobs[Apple] (in this case, going back to the pioneering Xerox PARC WIMP interfaces of the early 1970s). Which would be fine, except that Jobs created a myth that arrogated that innovation to himself and threw the actual pioneers down the memory hole.”

Raymond went on to state “nearly a quarter-century later Jobs would repeat the same game with the iPhone. The people who did the actual innovating in smartphones – notably Danger with their pioneering Hiptop – got thrown down the memory hole by Jobs’s [Apple's] mythmaking .”

Underlying your position is the assumption that ultimately the reason that people buy Apple products with such enthusiasm is based on some sort of delusional or manipulated basis rather than the fact that Apple simply make things that people, for totally rational reasons, find more attractive than their competitors products.

You do not find Apple's products attractive and fail to see why other people do and thus other people's behaviour is deemed irrational. You are dismissive of the actions of millions as being "an army of irrational fans". You think you are being rational but in reality you are simply demonstrating a profound inability to rationally investigate the real world and understand why things actually happen.

The only reality distortion field around here is the one in the heads of people who think that Apple's success is based on marketing. If one does not recognise that Apple is above all a products company then I fear you may be living in a parallel universe. A universe in which this:

is a copy of this

Microsoft's advertising budget each year exceeds Apple's. Looking at this chart of the advertising spend by the biggest spenders one can see that Apple's budget is fairly modest.

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